GPS Car Tracker Buyer’s Guide (2017)

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A Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker is a device that is most often carried either by a moving car or person. It uses GPS to track and locate the car or person’s precise location at intervals.

It can also store the recorded location data within the tracking unit or transmit it to a central location database or a computer that is connected to the Internet, that is, using a phone (SMS or GPRS), satellite modem or radio.
car gps tracker

Fleet operators commonly use GPS car trackers for fleet management functions such as routing, fleet tracking, on-board information, security, and dispatching. Urban transit agencies also use such technology, along with commercial fleet operators, for purposes that include triggering changes in a destination for a bus, monitoring schedule adherence of buses in service, and prompting pre-recorded announcements for passengers.

However, nowadays, it is not just companies using this device. Even individuals who want to further monitor their own vehicles can readily experience the wonders of this device. For them, it is about getting alerts in cases of possible car theft, actual car theft, and for parents, it is to check on their kids about how well or bad they use and drive the car.

How do you choose the best GPS car tracker?

The most important question you need to answer in choosing the best GPS car tracker is whether you want people to know you are using a GPS car tracking device. Law enforcement and private investigators commonly use covert devices. But now, even parents and employers use covert GPS car trackers to monitor their children and employees.


You also need to determine your reporting needs, such as how often you want to receive notifications about the location of your vehicle. There are intervals you can choose, from every few hours or minutes to instant and real time updates. But keep in mind that more frequent reporting costs more.

The type of GPS tracking software you want should also influence how you choose the best GPS vehicle tracker. It can be a very simple application, to a high-tech, real-time application that may even be programmed with customized satellite mapping.

And of course, your budget is an important factor too since this tells how much you can afford. Additional features and the number of GPS car trackers you wish to purchase may entail much greater costs. Most importantly, find a reliable and reputable dealer of GPS car trackers to assist with the setup, help with the maintenance, and answer any question you may have.

What to look for in a good GPS car tracker

What you need to look for in a good GPS car tracker is the alert system which enables notifications to be sent to you through text and email messages when something is not right with your car or driver.

You must be able to set alerts for certain instances like if the driver has gone off-course or is doing dangerous driving activities. Also, you need to consider the ease of use. Many would prefer a simple dashboard rather than very complicated software.

A good signal is also something you must look for. Make sure your GPS car tracker does not lose connectivity outside your city or in places such as parking garages or tunnels.

Another thing is the mobile access in which you have to check that your chosen device has a mobile app or mobile web version since not all GPS tracking device comes with it. Confirm that it is cloud-based or the app is available for the phone you are using.

Real-time tracking is also a feature essential in any good GPS car tracker because it uses a real-time wireless network that allows you to process information through visual representation.

Vyncs No Monthly Fee Connected Car OBD Link, 3G Car GPS Tracker

A GPS tracking system is a device that can give both real-time and historical navigation data.  If you are looking for a device that can track your vehicle in real time, or maintain a record of your vehicle’s activity, the Vyncs Connected Car OBD Link is a great product to check out.

Features

  • No monthly, activation and automated fees, plus free shipping
  • Vehicle OBD diagnostics, recall and maintenance, as well as fuel economy
  • 3G wireless connectivity in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and Canada
  • Comes with a SIM card and one-year data plan that requires the same amount per year for renewing after the first year
  • Includes zone notification and other driver alerts through trip history, driving score or SMS/email
  • Optional roadside assistance

Pros

The Vyncs Connected Car OBD Link is powered by Agnik’s original connected car technology. It offers a one-year and 24/7 service together with a 3G data plan all over Canada and the USA. Pay the same amount for renewal as well after first-year of use. Also, this product has automatic GPS tracking updates every three minutes, but, you can choose other update rates at different price rates.

What’s more is that it comes with a saved one-year history, zone departure, arrival notifications and optional roadside assistance such as free towing in the USA. Using this product is easy as well. Simply plug the 3G wireless Vyncs Link into the OBD-II port of your car and create an account. Then, you are good to go!

Cons

Since this GPS car tracker needs personal information to activate an account so you can use it, some customers decided to not proceed with the product because they are not comfortable sharing their private information. This means lost profit.

Verdict

The Vyncs Connected Car OBD Link is recommendable, given that a lot of award-giving bodies have recognized its good performance. It won the 2016 Fleet Logistics Tech Outlook Top 10 Fleet Management Solution Provider award. Another achievement is being in CIO Review’s 2015 20 Most Promising Automotive Technology Solution Providers.

Not only that, it bagged the 2010 Frost and Sullivan Enabling Technology of the Year Award regarding Commercial Vehicle Telematics. Surely, this product would not have received such awards if it does not perform well. Thumbs-up as well for its assistance in recovering stolen vehicles and in OBD diagnostics, like a check engine light, battery health, and fault code.


 

VTPlug 3G Real Time Online GPS OBD II Vehicle Tracker Car Doctor Accutracking TK373

A GPS tracking unit is a device that is typically carried by a moving person or car, utilizing the Global Positioning System in tracking and determining exact locations. Very helpful in many situations, right? Well, that and more is what the AccuTracking VTPlug 3G GPS OBD II Vehicle Tracker promises to offer!

Features

  • Is a 3G OBD tracker that is also backward compatible with 2G
  • Comes with a roaming SIM card to achieve the best coverage, plus data plan and vehicle diagnostic data
  • Works well with Alexa (Echo Dot/Amazon Echo)
  • No auto billing, cancellation fees, contract, or hidden charges
  • Provides real-time online 24/7 GPS tracking
  • Lifetime warranty and offers great reception with its built-in GSM and GPS antenna

Pros

The VTPlug 3G GPS OBD II Vehicle Tracker from AccuTracking alerts you via SMS, email or online regarding almost everything about your car, whether it is the speed, fence duration, low battery or Geofence. You may also be notified about car inactivity, device unplugging, harsh behavior with ignition/ACC, and checking engine with DTC.

Additionally, this product lets you configure the alert notification time and keep a 30-day history. It has four packages on how fast your GPS updates, at different price schedules.

Installing it is also hassle-free; just plug it into the vehicle’s OBD-II port, and you are good to go! You can easily switch between cars as well since this product is compatible with most cars (except with Mitsubishi).

Cons

There were compatibility issues raised since aside from Mitsubishi as other cars seemed incompatible too. Honda Ridgeline owners, for instance, claimed the product was not working and updating. Also, they experienced some interference.  Signal loss issues were present as well. And, users wished it followed Google Maps streets more accurately.

Verdict

The AccuTracking VTPlug 3G GPS OBD II Vehicle Tracker is an acclaimed product. For one, you get to enjoy real-time online tracking with traffic and car diagnostics data. Other things you can monitor as well are temperature, power load, trouble codes, battery voltage, power load and engine load.

Follow your car’s route when someone else drives it, know exactly where it is headed, and receive alerts if your car does aggressive acts or if there are unusual behaviors done to your car.


 

Mobile Asset Solutions MT-OBD Live GPS Vehicle Tracker with Engine Diagnostics

Owning a GPS fleet vehicle tracker helps you monitor your vehicles and their drivers. Maximize your assets, as well, and improve maintenance practices. But even without owning a company, you can enjoy similar benefits, especially with the MT-OBD Live GPS Vehicle Tracker!

Features

  • Updates real time GPS every minute and covers USA-nationwide coverage
  • Requires monthly subscription
  • Works on vehicles manufactured since 1996
  • Provides unlimited email and text message alerts for speeding, Geofence, tampering, etc.
  • Allows access from any Internet-enabled device and is available for Android and iOS apps

Pros

The MT-OBD Live GPS Vehicle Tracker records every single time the ignition of your car is switched on and off. Set up unlimited text messages and email alerts as well. Another thing is that you can easily use live GPS tracking since it automatically begins reporting when the car is turned on.

Further, this product continues to report based on the service plan you chose, and you can change plans or cancel anytime as well.

To add, you can designate any place on this tracking device to trigger an alert. This means you are notified via text or email when your car goes in or out of your designated area. Moreover, you can designate as many areas as you wish.

Moreover, this tracker simplifies maintenance, using engine code monitoring in alerting you when the check engine light is turned on. Set up reminders for normal tasks such as inspections and oil changes, and track how many miles you have driven for each trip, day, week, etc.

Cons

Some customers complained that the product did not work in a different city or state, which is in contrast with the product’s description of covering USA-nationwide areas. Others then raised the concern about how service plan updates do not follow how many seconds they are supposed to update.

Verdict

The MT-OBD Live GPS Vehicle Tracker is still recommendable because of its many benefits. You easily get alerts through text or email when your driver or teenager goes beyond the speed limit you have set. You are also notified when the car performs sudden accelerations or forceful brakes, as this may mean careless driving.

You would even know if this GPS car tracker has been removed from your car and placed in a different automobile. This product serves as your “eyes” the moment you are away from your car.


 

Carlock Anti-Theft Device – Advanced Real Time Car Tracker & Alert System

A car tracker normally combines GPS tracking technology with flexible, advanced mapping, as well as reporting software. It collects and transmits tracking data through a cellular or satellite network. If you want to know more about how the whole thing works, check out the CarLock Anti-Theft Device!

Features

  • Monitors and alerts you via your phone when your car is moved if unusual vibration is detected when the engine starts
  • Detects harsh acceleration, hard braking, and sharp cornering
  • Actively checks the health of your vehicle and notifies you in advance if the car battery is draining or running dangerously low
  • Includes detailed trip tracking that allows you to monitor where your vehicle has been

Pros

The CarLock Anti-Theft Device helps with a lot of things, starting with monitoring carjacking awareness in real time. You will also receive notifications when the car engine starts without you if this device has been removed from your vehicle if there are strange vibrations such as power tools or prying, or even when the car is moved or towed away.

And thanks to its small size, you can easily install it by connecting it to the OBD port. Do not worry if you do not have one because you most probably do since OBD ports are present in all cars manufactured after 1996.

Other information you can be informed about with this product are sharp turns and cornering (stunt driving), fast acceleration (drag racing) and hard and sudden braking (inattentive driving), and other monitoring.

Cons

Concerns about delayed notifications surfaced, as some experienced receiving late-night alerts, even if there wasn’t anything wrong with their car. The vibration sensor is said to not be sensitive enough, since slamming a car door did not get any vibration alert.

Verdict

The CarLock Anti-Theft Device is tagged as a highly acclaimed product. Not only does it track your mileage for a month, but it also alerts you of the exact time you leave and arrive from one place to the next. It’s required app can also be accessed on both Android and iOS, so it is user-friendly.

The package also includes monitoring potential theft, the way your teenager drives, checking for aggressive driving behaviors, and knowing when someone else starts your engine. If your battery is draining or running low, you will also be notified.


 

Anysun Vehicle Car GPS Tracker Tk103b with Remote Control

Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking determines exactly where something is. And this is what the Car GPS Tracker TK103B utilizes to offer the best car monitoring services,

Features

  • Has web- and PC-based software by SMS GPRS
  • Is Geofence supported and provided real-time longitude and latitude, as well as speed and time
  • Its GPS device supports phone tracking and eight languages for website tracking: English, Chinese, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, and Thai
  • Tracks speeding, movement alert, Geofence and low battery
  • Supports 4G SD card and TCP and UDP protocol

Pros

The Car GPS Tracker TK103B notifies you of both simple and suspicious activities. If someone opens your door, moves your car, turns the key on, or tries to open your car forcefully, you will know through a text message. Thus, you also easily figure out if your car is being stolen.

This product locates places, update positions of a car automatically, continuously auto tracks and provides an exact street address. All this information is then sent to you through SMS.

No worries as well if there is no GSM network service because the alarms will still function. Checking the status of your car and its alarms is easy, as you get a text notification. Most of all, you can shut off your vehicle no matter where you are if it does get stolen.

Cons

A SIM card is not included in the package, so it is still the customer’s concern to get one. Many customers also expressed dismay with the product’s help support since it can’t be easily reached; it does not respond quickly to concerns as well.

Verdict

The Car GPS Tracker TK103B remains recommendable by customers. Parents are grateful for being notified when the car sudden hits the brakes, performs sharp turns or cornering or was speeding. Potential theft is also something you are alerted about such as someone trying to open your door forcefully, if the GPS tracker is removed, or when the engine is brought to life.

And what makes it stand out is that it is much more affordable than similar products. It is indeed a win-win situation for customers to experience the wonders of a GPS tracking device while saving money. And its installation? Easy as pie, even your limited knowledge about wiring is enough to get you by this first step.