Best vehicle GPS trackers
How can I track a car with my mobile phone? This is the question many people ask when they find out about tracking systems for phones and what they can do for you. A GPS tracking system will help you track the location of any car virtually anywhere it goes, check for traffic jams, know if you are following too closely or not, keep an eye on your kids or pets as they are playing in the street, etc. There are many different uses for GPS tracking that make it an essential item for anyone’s personal use.
How can I track a car with my mobile phone? This is the question many people ask when they find out about tracking systems for phones and what they can do for you. A GPS tracking system will help you track the location of any car virtually anywhere it goes, checks for traffic jams, knows if you are following too closely or not, keeps an eye on your kids or pets as they are playing in the street, etc. There are many different uses for GPS tracking that make it an essential item for anyone’s personal use.
So how do you know that tracking device you should get? First of all, you need to look for a device that offers accurate position data. Also, this data should be updated in real-time as the vehicle is moving. An ideal device will be one that you can mount inside your car without having to take it off or at least one that can be remotely mounted without disconnecting from the vehicle. You should get a device that offers real-time tracking wherever the vehicle is. The system should also be able to give you precise position data over a period of at least one month.
If you have a business where you need to know where your vehicles are at any given moment, then getting a GPS tracker for personal use is the way to go. An ideal device will give you real-time location information, track speed and fuel consumption, phone alerts when the vehicle is being followed, GPS tracking and live updates. It should also come with additional features such as steering-assistance, smart parking, voice activation, Pre-defined routing rules and detailed repair reports. In addition, a tracker should offer you a detailed year-round map of its geographical coverage. Some devices come bundled with other accessories such as auto insurance estimates, vehicle tracking, satellite navigation, etc.
You can choose a vehicle tracking unit based on your needs, cost and availability. There are basic, medium and luxury devices available in the market. For simple installation, you can go in for a standalone system or opt for a GPS system which will require you to integrate it into your car’s computer system. This type of GPS device requires that you are the actual owner of the car and you can monitor your vehicle, especially if it’s left unattended for a long period of time.
For more powerful functionality, you can look out for product lines such as radii port, eTrex port or the iCatek obdii port. If you’re planning to use a Bluetooth wireless device for your vehicle tracking needs, then the eTrex port would be best for you. For battery life trackers, the eTrex Battery Life tracker would prove to be best. For those who like to travel long distances with their devices, they can opt for the iCatek lithium battery life tracker.
If you’re wondering how can I track a car with my phone and have me go all over town, then the answer is simple. Since the GPS tracking devices now come equipped with voice recognition software, you can talk to your loved one and have them instruct you about their location through the phone. Some voice commands even have audio-visual features as well. For more advanced options, the iConect Access enables you to instruct it to do virtually everything. The aforementioned devices along with many others are compatible with all the major cell phone networks in the US.
One of the best gps trackers available today is the Omega SWF Pro. The device comes with a sturdy magnetic case that not only keeps the device safe but also provides a firm grip so that you can place it anywhere. The screen has an extremely large button located at the bottom right corner of the device. You can double tap this button to activate the device and use its voice recognition function to set your latitude and longitude for wherever you are in the world.
When it comes to choosing the best GPS trackers, you have to compare the features of each unit with the device you need to purchase. Make sure that you also consider additional functions such as a car alarm system. Most vehicle trackers come with an emergency device that sounds an alert when the car is crossed by a vehicle or object. This feature is ideal for preventing your children from running into danger on your behalf as they might be unaware that the device is already installed
Top 5 Best GPS Trackers
obd gps vehicle tracker reviews
1. Vyncs GPS Tracker: Best for long-term tracking
The Vyncs GPS tracks location, unsafe driving practices, engine diagnostics, battery life, maintenance needs, recall notices, and fuel levels. Plus, it can help you save on car insurance. Pros Engine alerts Low yearly fee Driver scoring system Mileage tracker app Roadside assistance Cons Long-term commitment Delayed location updates Activation fee
Vyncs evaluates your driving to give you a Tip Performance Index (TPI) score that can help you save money on car insurance. Its free companion app, VyncsMiles, is compatible with Amazon Alexa and can track mileage and categorize it by personal and business use.
Vyncs uses one-year plans instead of month-to-month deals. This kind of pricing can save you cash if you’re committed to tracking your vehicle’s location for awhile.
You can also check out Vync’s Basic, Premium, and Pro plans that sweeten the deal with services like roadside assistance. Vyncs also has a Fleet service for commercial customers who might want to monitor their employees during deliveries or routes.
The OBD plug-in GPS device costs around $90 and comes with a one-year basic plan subscription (and a one-time activation fee of $40). Yearly renewal costs are about $79, which works out to around $6.58 a month, making it the least expensive GPS on our list.
We don’t like that the default refresh time is three minutes—the fastest refresh time (15 seconds) is available only for an added fee. The user interface is also a little tricky to manage.
2. MOTOsafety GPS Tracker: Best for new drivers
Best for new drivers MOTTO safety GPS Tracker$69.99 + $22.99/mo VIEW ON AMAZON
With a driving education course for teens, Google Maps route replay, geofencing, and customizable location alerts, the easy-to-install and inexpensive MOTTO safety GPS Tracker earned our top spot for new teen drivers. Whether they’re out with friends or extracurriculars, having a GPS tracker like this can make it easier to enforce their curfew. Pros Google Maps route replay Geofencing Curfew Teen driving course Cons Sensitivity to acceleration Inaccurate speed limits
This tracking device costs around only $20 with a monthly fee of $19.99. You won’t have to sign a contract or pay a cancellation fee, but you will have to call the company if you want to cancel.
We like the included driver training program, with access to educational content and practice quizzes to help your teen prep for their driving test.
We also like the daily driving report card on the mobile app, but metrics can be confusing. Speed limits aren’t always accurate on Google Maps, so motto safety might say you’re speeding even when you’re not.
Likewise, normal rapid acceleration—like when you’re merging onto a busy highway—can also count against you. We recommend taking it out for a test drive and checking the sensitivity before taking away your teen’s car keys for a bad grade on their MOTOsafety driving report.
3. Bouncie: Best for vehicle maintenance
Bouncie is new to the GPS tracking game, but it has all the best parts, like smart assistant compatibility, of other popular trackers. So we expect to see it rising to the top. Pros Vehicle maintenance alerts Geofencing Mileage tracking Low monthly subscription fee Real-time vehicle operation alerts Cons Flashing light Alexa command glitches
Bouncie plugs into your car’s OBD port and offers standard geofencing and real-time alerts for speed, hard braking, and acceleration. It also helps you keep tabs on gas levels, vehicle maintenance, and routine car-related tasks, like annual emissions inspections.
We like that you can use your Amazon Echo to check the gas in your car or ask when your registration is due.
The device also tracks your mileage and stores the data, which is a great feature if you need to track mileage for business purposes.
Bouncie charges only $8 a month for its tracking services. It’s a close second to Vyncs when it comes to pricing but without the long-term commitment. If you want to track three vehicles, you’ll get a special discounted rate of $20 per month for all three.
The only downsides to this device were the green flashing light that never seems to go off (black electrical tape to the rescue) and some occasional glitches with the Alexa commands.
Read our full review
Like the sound of Bouncie? Get the full scoop in our in-depth Bouncie review.4. SpyTec STI GL300 GPS Tracker: Best portable trackerBest portable trackerSpyTec STI GL300$39.95 + $24.95/moVIEW ON AMAZON
The two-inch SpyTec STI GL300 GPS Tracker is small enough to be tucked into a pocket or attached to the undercarriage of your vehicle. Pros Small enough for pockets and bags Available with 30-day cancellation policy Able to track more than vehicles Cons Battery-powered and requires charging Not compatible with vehicle OBD port More money for faster tracking
This tracking device is battery-powered, so you’ll need to charge it periodically. The manufacturer claims a two-week battery life, but it’s more like eight to ten days.
Monitoring will cost you around $25 a month, and you’ll get location updates only every 60 seconds unless you pay more for faster tracking. There are no contracts or cancellation fees, and we like that SpyTec offers a 30-day, no-hassle cancellation policy.
5. Optimus 2.0 GPS Tracker
Honorable MentionOptimus 2.0 GPS TrackerStarting from$39.95 + $19.95/moVIEW ON AMAZON
The Optimus 2.0 GPS Tracker is a close cousin to the SpyTec. Both are small, battery-operated vehicle tracking devices, but the Optimus is slightly bigger. The Optimus has better battery life, and the monthly fees are $20 a month.Pros Can update location every 5 seconds (with upgrade)Can hide in bags or pockets of a vehicleCons Has less fluid tracking experience
We found the location tracking to be more of a connect-the-dots experience rather than the fluid turn-by-turn that you see from other apps, but it depends on the type of monthly plan you buy. Upgrading to updates every five seconds could smooth it out.
Unlike SpyTec’s website-only tracking, the Optimus uses both a website and an app.
More brands we considered
Ring Car Alarm
Autobrain is fairly new to the scene, making it a top brand to watch. It shows your vehicle’s real-time location on its mobile app thanks to powerful tracking software. But it’s much more than a real-time GPS tracking device.
Autobrain provides trip reports and maintenance alerts to keep your car healthy and safe to drive. We also like its emergency response abilities. The mobile app’s crash response feature kicks in and calls emergency contacts and responders when it senses a collision.Brand to watchRing Car AlarmVIEW ON RING
As of publishing, the Ring Car Alarm isn’t yet available. But from what we do know about it, we’re excited to give it a spin. The little that’s been released about the device makes it sound like it does much more than just track your vehicle. It can sense bumps, break-ins, collisions, and even tow-aways. If you already have a Ring system or Ring products, it could be a good companion for staying safe outside your home.
Vivint Car Guard
The Vivint Car Guard is a GPS tracker, vehicle maintenance tracker, diagnostic tool, driver performance tracker, and a security device rolled into one.
At $200, it’s an expensive upfront purchase, but you’ll have an incredible amount of data at your fingertips through the Vivint app.
You don’t have to purchase a Vivint home security system to use the Vivint car guard. But if you do have a full Vivint system, you can set up some cool home automations in which the car guard communicates with your smart garage door opener, smart lights, or smart door locks based on vehicle proximity.
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