GPS car trackers act as vigilant observers, constantly surveilling your vehicle’s location. Initially, top-tier car trackers were costly investments, necessitating professional installation and accompanied by substantial monthly fees. Although these premium devices endorsed by insurance companies remain accessible, budget-conscious drivers can opt for affordable alternatives.
These cost effective alternatives utilize GPS technology found in systems and offer user friendly kits, for self installation. This means you can easily keep an eye on your car, van, bicycle or camper using a smartphone app that’s easy to navigate.
Many of these trackers are designed to connect to your cars On Board Diagnostics (OBD) port. Tthers may require wiring into the vehicle, which is generally a straightforward process. Once installed, pairing the tracker with your smartphone is the step.
In addition to real time vehicle tracking various models offer features. You can set up areas that send alerts if your vehicle exits a defined zone. Some devices also notify you if your car experiences an impact or if the tracker gets disconnected.
When it comes to expenses there are package options available at varying price points. Some packages offer features, for a recurring fee.
Hardwired Kits – These kits necessitate integrating them into your vehicle.
The installation process can vary depending on where you prefer to place the device. You have options, like, near the battery, fuse box or any other power source that you use.
For OBD II Kits; Since the 90s most vehicles have come with OBD II ports. Installing devices that connect to these ports is quite straightforward. They can be easily moved between vehicles. However it’s important to note that these devices are also relatively easy for thieves to remove since they are easily accessible.
When considering the cost it’s essential to look beyond the initial purchase price. Some services may require a fee while others might ask you to provide and pay for a SIM card. On the hand some systems may not even need a SIM card all.
Using Your SIM Card
Devices can differ in terms of accepting micro or nano SIM cards, which might require an adapter in some cases. It’s crucial to keep an eye on your data usage in order to keep costs low.
For OBD II Trackers – These trackers can only be placed in the OBD II port located beneath your dashboard. Make sure you check the surrounding space as some trackers might be bulky.
Hardwired Trackers – These trackers can be placed near your fuse box, battery or any power source available. The location can be adjusted based on the length of provided leads.
Battery Powered Trackers – You can place these trackers in your vehicle as long as there is enough space. Common locations include under seats, carpets, behind trims or in the trunk. If you’re thinking of placing it in the engine bay make sure to check if the device is resistant to moisture, heat and vibrations.
Criteria for Testing
There’s a difference in quality between the lower quality car trackers available. During our testing process we paid attention to how easy they were to set up and use. This involved focusing on the installation process. How well they connected with their companion app. We also evaluated the apps themselves for their user interface and registration process. To gauge performance we looked at how quickly and accurately the tracker registered its position on a map. We also considered any delay between driving positions. Reported positions during tests as well as how responsive they were in updating locations after parking. While hardwired trackers are considered secure we also took into account those that use the OBDII port due to their user friendliness for individuals, with varying knowledge.