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What Is the Best Car Tracking Device?

Whether you’re managing a small fleet, are an owner-operator, or run a company with one van for commercial deliveries, keeping track of vehicles is a necessary part of your business. In recent years, trackers for cars have been implemented for personal and business needs, which is why is important to find the best car tracking device.

GPS trackers have become standard for most companies due to the features and benefits they offer. Also, GPS trackers often result in more efficient driving practices and overall vehicle maintenance. Let’s look at some of the best trackers for cars so you can choose the right one for you! 

Quicklook: Best Car Tracking Devices

  • Best For Concerned Children: Bouncie
  • Best For Small Fleet Managers: Matrack 
  • Best For Worried Parents: MOTOsafety
  • Best For Large Fleets: Vyncs 
  • Best For Law Enforcement and Private Investigators: LandAirSea 54 
  • Best For Families: Family1st 

6 Best Car Tracking Device Options

Let’s take a closer look at the 6 best car tracking device options on the market. 

Bouncie

bouncie

If you are a concerned child who wants to ensure your elderly parent is safe when driving, this is the vehicle tracker for you. The accuracy it provides lets you monitor your parent’s activities as they go about their daily routine, allowing you to know exactly where they are if they ever need your help. Low monthly fees and simple installation are just two reasons this vehicle tracker is one of the best. 

Best For: Monitoring Seniors

Update Speed: Every 15 seconds

Device Type: Plugin

Driving Score: No

Maintenance Reminder: Yes

Equipment Price: $67

Monthly Fee: $8

Special Features

  • Automatic impact notifications 
  • Tamper detection feature
  • Roadside assistance 
  • Diagnostic trouble alerts

Benefits: 

  • Low monthly fee
  • Connects to OBD port  
  • Mobile app 
  • No activation or hidden fees

Disadvantages: 

  • 3G connectivity 
  • Notification delays
  • Must unplug to turn off tracking 

Matrack

matrack gps

As a fleet owner or manager, keeping track of your vehicles will only enhance your business operations. Not only will you be able to educate your employees all about dangerous driving behaviors, but the GPS tracker will also give you real-time personalized notifications via its easy-to-use and DOT-compliant app. 

Best For: Fleet Managers

Update Speed: Every 5 seconds

Device Type: Plugin and battery-operated options

Driving Score: No

Maintenance Reminder: Yes

Equipment Price: $85

Monthly Fee: $12.95

Special Features

  • Water and weatherproof
  • Real-time location tracking 
  • Theft and accident tracking mode 
  • 4G connectivity

Benefits: 

  • User-friendly app 
  • 24/7 customer service  
  • IFTA reporting 
  • Lifetime warranty

Disadvantages: 

  • Feature-heavy and not easy to navigate
  • No annual subscription savings
  • Month-to-month subscription only

MOTOsafety

motosafety

The MOTOsafety GPS tracker is perfect for parents to ensure their newly licensed teens are driving responsibly. Parents can now confidently toss their keys to their teenagers for the night, knowing that the app will notify them of any issues. 

This GPS tracker allows you to schedule select times for driving and will alert you if the car is used outside of those hours. You can even set custom alerts to individual drivers to make sure they make it in before curfew.

Best For: Worried Parents

Update Speed: Every 60 seconds

Device Type: Plugin and battery-operated options

Driving Score: Yes

Maintenance Reminder: Yes

Equipment Price: $69.99

Monthly Fee: $19.50

Special Features

  • Geofencing 
  • Key driving activities alerts 
  • Real-time coaching 
  • Daily driver’s report card

Benefits: 

  • Works with iOS and Android platforms 
  • Create geofences of any shape 
  • Customizable alerts 
  • Real-time reports

Disadvantages: 

  • Speed limits sometimes off 
  • Interface confusing 
  • High monthly fee 
  • No impact detection

Vyncs

vyncs

While this GPS tracker is one of the pricier options, it provides an abundance of data. There are four annual packages to choose from, and each comes with its own special features. Vyncs is a great option for larger fleets who frequently cross the borders into Canada, where roadside assistance is offered. 

Best For: Large Fleets

Update Speed: Every 15 seconds

Device Type: Plugin

Driving Score: Yes

Maintenance Reminder: Yes

Equipment Price: $80

Monthly Fee: 

  • Starting at $99.99 per year
  • No monthly options

Special Features

  • International functionality
  • Lifetime warranty with uninterrupted subscription
  • 24/7 roadside assistance  
  • 30-day no-risk trial

Benefits: 

  • Cloud storage 
  • Device tamper alerts
  • Recall notifications from car manufacturer 
  • Fuel reports

Disadvantages: 

  • One-time $39.99 activation fee 
  • No impact detection 
  • Expensive upfront and monthly costs 

LandAirSea 54

landairsea

This basic GPS tracker is just right for those in law enforcement or hired to conduct an investigation for an insurer or other entity. It doesn’t have vehicle maintenance alerts or other fancy or driver performance reports, but it does track the location and speed of vehicles. 

The magnetic mount makes it easy to place on metal surfaces without the driver’s knowledge, allowing easy surveillance. Once the device is retrieved, the data can be downloaded and stored as evidence.  

Best For: Law Enforcement, Private Investigators

Update Speed: 

  • Every 3 seconds at a minimum
  • Every 3 minutes at a maximum
  • All depends on the plan

Device Type: Battery-operated

Driving Score: No

Maintenance Reminder: No

Equipment Price: $29.95

Monthly Fee: 

  • Depends
  • Between $19.95 and $49.95 per month

Special Features

  • Real-time tracking through SilverCloud app 
  • Global sim card for international use
  • Magnetic mount
  • Waterproof

Benefits: 

  • Text and email alerts 
  • Inexpensive  
  • Inconspicuous 
  • Works in the rain and snow

Disadvantages: 

  • Cannot read engine trouble codes 
  • Driver performance not monitored 
  • Provides only speeding and destination arrival and departure alerts 

Family1st 

familyfirst

If your family has multiple cars, keeping up with everyone when they’re out can be challenging. The Family1st GPS tracker simplifies that process by allowing you to add multiple drivers and devices to your plan. 

You can then monitor all of them from the app and even ask Alexa to find them for you. Not only does this vehicle tracker keep your family safe, but it also gives you the peace of mind to carry on worry-free and complete your daily tasks. 

Best For: Families

Update Speed: Every 60 seconds

Device Type: Plugin and battery-operated options

Driving Score: No

Maintenance Reminder: Yes

Equipment Price

  • Depends
  • Between $24.95 and $40 

Monthly Fee: $19.95

Special Features

  • Alexa integration 
  • Ignition on/off alerts 
  • Tracking remote areas
  • Discounted roadside assistance

Benefits: 

  • Create up to 10 geofence alerts 
  • Saves 24-hour location history  
  • 4G connectivity 
  • Long battery life

Disadvantages:

  • Cloud storage is only for 1 year 
  • Device exclusive to assigned vehicle 
  • Inexpensive plastic build 

What Is a Car Tracking Device?

A global positioning system (GPS) or electronic logging device (ELD) is a portable device that allows the owner of a vehicle to monitor and track its movements. Real-time GPS trackers deliver the vehicle’s speed and location, while the other options record the data for later use. 

How Does a Car Tracking Device Work?

Much like the technology used in-car navigation systems, GPS trackers rely on trilateration from satellites to determine the car’s location. Navigation systems provide your location and driving directions, but trackers for cars keep records of your driving habits, and most broadcast the vehicle’s location in real-time. 

What To Consider With Car Tracking Devices

Finding the best car tracking device means researching which vehicle tracker best fits your needs. To ensure you purchase the right one, there are a few things you should look for when researching a GPS tracker, and they’re outlined below. 

Monthly Fee

The same technology you use to make calls or connect to the internet with your cellphone is the same technology used for a tracking device. So, it’s no surprise that many trackers for cars require you to pay a monthly subscription fee.

Some devices don’t charge monthly fees, but the functionality of the vehicle tracker is very limited in comparison to subscription-based models. Some companies only ask for a one-time fee to be paid, and others market themselves as having no fees at all. Beware of these products and read the fine print. 

Instead of giving real-time updates, they create location mapping reports that can be downloaded once the GPS tracker is connected to a computer. Many trackers that claim to have no subscription fee only provide a month of free service before requiring you to pay to continue using the tracking device. 

Your best bet is to find a GPS tracker that offers all the features you need at a reasonable monthly price. The most popular features are real-time location data, maintenance scheduling, customizable alerts, and measuring vehicle utilization. The monthly fee should align with the benefits and features offered by the service, and it should be clear what you are paying for.

Device Type

Today, there are two main types of vehicle trackers: battery-operated devices and onboard diagnostic (OBD) plugin trackers for cars. Each offers different features, so it’s important to understand what they are to make an informed decision.

A battery-operated vehicle tracker is usually hardwired into the car and is difficult to install since it needs to stay connected to the vehicle’s power line. There are also portable battery-operated devices that magnetically attach to the car’s underside or other metal surfaces. Because they are small, they can also be stored in the console or kept on your person. 

These trackers allow you to see its location, review trip histories, and receive a notification when it arrives or leaves a designated zone. This geofencing feature is great for parents who want to keep an eye on their teens, and the size of the GPS tracker makes it inconspicuous. Just like any battery-operated device, the tracker must be charged every couple of weeks. 

An OBD tracking device plugs right into the same port mechanics use to run diagnostic tests on your car. This easy installation adds to the appeal of the OBD GPS tracker. Because it plugs into the OBD port, you can receive important data regarding the vehicle’s subsystems. 

One of the OBD GPS benefits is the additional security layer it provides. Notifications from these trackers can be sent directly to your phone and alert you when something is happening to the car. If it’s being moved or towed, you’ll know right away and be able to take swift action. 

An OBD tracking device will also have a backup battery that keeps it operable even though it’s not hooked up to the car battery. Because of their simple installation, OBDs can easily be moved from one vehicle to another.

One of the factors for selecting the right GPS tracker is the distance being driven. If you like taking long road trips, an OBD device will notify you of any problems occurring with the car’s subsystems. 

If you’re just looking to track the car’s whereabouts during the day, then a battery-operated vehicle tracker would be a great option. Examine your reasons for wanting a GPS tracker to help you decide which will be best for you.

Maintenance Reminders

Keeping up with oil changes, warranty expirations, tire rotations, license and registration renewals, and preventative maintenance care for your vehicle can be a hassle. A tracking device can save you time and energy as you’re able to plug in service schedules according to dates, mileage, or hours of usage. All of this information is stored in one central location, your GPS tracker.

The tracker will send you reminders for upcoming service events, so you don’t drive down fuel efficiency or increase the operational costs by missing appointments for maintenance or repairs. Make sure you schedule vehicle inspections to avoid unexpected failures that can cause downtime. 

Not only will you lose money if deliveries aren’t made, but the cost of repairs can quickly add up. Keeping a regular maintenance schedule lets you create a proper budget, which is another way to save money over time.

A tracking device eliminates needless fuel expenses by reducing idle time, correcting speeding habits, and taking miles off by optimizing your driving route. Oil changes, clean filters, and reliable tires maximize the miles per gallon. Trackers help you get the most out of your vehicle by extending its life cycle, and in turn, you’re able to keep up with business demands.

Features 

Each tracking device offers its own set of features, so be sure to thoroughly read any information about the GPS tracker before you buy it. If you need real-time notifications and monitoring, make sure that is part of the package. 

Not all trackers for cars give you maintenance updates as they may only be designed to track mileage for bookkeeping purposes. If you’re managing a small fleet and need all of the bells and whistles, find a provider that offers a wide range of features. 

Driver dispatching, landmark, and geofence features will all help your fleet run smoothly. Seat belt usage and the engagement of hydraulic lifts and other power take-off (PTO) events can also be included in the subscription package. 

Analytic reports will improve your fleet’s performance. Field service management tools for collecting payments or keeping customer records on hand can be integrated if needed. It’s very important to be sure the provider you choose meets all of your needs. 

Driving Score

A driving score is calculated using the data collected by the tracking device. This data includes the odometer reading, speed, acceleration, and braking behaviors of the driver and ranks them on a scale from 0 to 100. 

Hard accelerations and braking lead to serious wear and tear that can shorten the vehicle’s lifespan. More fuel is burned during hard acceleration, releasing carbon and other pollutants that damage the environment.

Passengers are also at risk of falling out of their seats when riding with a hard accelerator. If you’re a parent who often picks up your kid’s friends for playdates, you should have a GPS tracker to remind you to take off slowly. 

For commercial drivers, hard acceleration and braking can cause loads to shift and damage goods that cost the company money. Another problem with braking harder is that it can overheat the brakes and lead to expensive repairs. 

A tracking device gives you a report of the driver’s performance and scores them based on their behaviors. Driving scores clearly identify bad driving habits that need to be corrected to keep everyone safe.

GPS Trackers Can Improve Driving and Vehicle Performance 

Using the right GPS tracker will keep you and your employees safe when on the road. Monitoring driving habits will enable you to immediately coach any potentially dangerous behaviors that put you and other drivers at risk. 

Hard stopping and speeding are just two actions that can easily be corrected. A vehicle tracker also allows you to keep up with vehicle maintenance so you can schedule appointments to avoid major and minor issues that may end up costing a lot of money if left unattended. 

Improve your overall driving performance by purchasing a tracking device for your vehicles.

FAQ

What Is the Best Tracking Device for a Car?

The best car tracking device is one that has all of the features you need for business or personal reasons at an inexpensive monthly rate.

What Should I Look For in a GPS Tracker?

Look for a GPS tracker that’s simple to navigate and whose features are easily understood so you can reap all of the benefits a tracking device offers.

Is It Worth Buying a Car Tracker?

A GPS tracker is money well spent to keep you, your family, or your fleet safe. It also will save money in the long run by keeping up with scheduled maintenance appointments. 

Advanced GPS fleet tracking software

Get a near real-time, 360-degree view of your fleet’s daily operations, so you can help reduce costs, increase productivity, stay on top of vehicle maintenance, and make the most of every business day.

Advanced GPS fleet tracking software

Get a near real-time, 360-degree view of your fleet’s daily operations, so you can help reduce costs, increase productivity, stay on top of vehicle maintenance, and make the most of every business day.