We face many dangers every day. May it be at our house, workplace, or on the road. As drivers, we are very much concerned about our safety and that of our family. In that case, GPS trackers play an important role to ease our worries.
No, GPS trackers aren’t just implements used by spies and criminals; it also offers a level of protection for your car.
For starters, Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers are portable devices which can monitor the activities of anyone or anything that has it. GPS trackers for cars can do more by providing real-time speed and location data.
How Does a Car Tracking Device Work?
Just like a built-in navigation system or a GPS navigation app, a GPS tracker for car uses a process called trilateration to know the location of the vehicle based on its distance from three GPS satellites circling above.
However, unlike the in-car navigation system which only provides your location and driving directions, a GPS tracker for car also records your direction of travel and travel speed as well as broadcast your location in real-time to your computer or mobile phone.
This is great for tracking not just your car’s driving history, but also its current location – say, if you forgot where you parked.
Where Is the Best Place to Put a Tracking Device on a Car?
Considering that a GPS tracker for car requires satellite signal in order to do its work, you must make sure that the tiny antenna is not obstructed when choosing the best place to hide the GPS tracking device on the vehicle.
According to several experts in this field, here are 5 of the best locations to put a GPS tracker and keep them hidden in your car:
Inside the Dashboard
Upon opening the dashboard, you plenty of places that can fit your GPS tracker unobtrusively. Don’t worry, the tracking device can still transmit signals from there, unless it gets obstructed by the radio satellite. A little double-checking won’t hurt.
Inside the Back Brake Lights
If you know how to take off, insert, and replace the back brake light cover (or can ask a mechanic to do so), you can place the GPS tracker inside. There’s a slim chance that it gets discovered, unless you experience a brake failure and it needs to be repaired.
Inside a Car Seat Cushion
It’s a bit tricky as you have to make sure that the cushion won’t block the satellite signals. Once you’ve figured out that there’s no signal obstruction, you can sew the tracker in the cushion. Don’t place it in between seats because people usually look for missing items in this area, so there’s a big possibility for the tracker to be discovered.
In the Undercarriage
It is the best hiding place for magnetic tracking devices considering that they can easily stick on any metallic surface including the vehicle’s undercarriage. Simply cover it with a waterproof case so that it won’t get damaged by water, dirt, or snow. Also, stick it near the edge so the antenna can still receive a signal. In that case, it is usually positioned downward.
In the Front or Rear Plastic Bumper
One of the easiest ways to hide a GPS tracker is placing it on the plastic bumpers on either side. The bumpers are removable and a whole lot of people won’t suspect that you’ve installed a tracking device in this location. Never put the tracker on the front grill of the car bumper as the gadget may melt or dissolve due to the heat.
Is It Against the Law to Put a Tracking Device on Someone’s Car?
Of course, this question comes out when you want to place a GPS tracker on someone’s car without their consent. Well, it depends on the situation.
The general rule is if it’s your car, you have all the right to put a tracker on it, especially if it’s for anti-theft purposes. It includes your private vehicle and those owned by your company. It means that if you track your employees during work hours, it won’t land you in hot water.
The law also allows you to install a GPS tracker in your teenage son and daughter’s car to track and locate them as long as they aren’t 18 years old yet. It will help you to know their whereabouts and how fast they are driving on the road.
Police officers and licensed private investigators are somewhat exempted by the law. Before you think that your privacy is at risk, you should know that those officials still have to get a warrant prior to the tracking and they only adhere to the instructions to the owner of the car.
If you still have other concerns, you should seek the legal advice of a professional.
Is It Illegal to Track a Spouse with a GPS Car Device?
This is another good question. Some people play spy on their significant others when they are suspecting an infidelity. They might want to know where their spouse or girlfriends/boyfriends went on the weekend or if they are really in the workplace until the evening.
So is it legal to place a GPS tracker on the car of your presumably-cheating spouse?
The answer is no. It is illegal to use a GPS tracker for car to spy other people. It also violates the person’s privacy and their personal rights.
This isn’t a relationship site, but I’d suggest talking to your partner instead of spying on them. If you don’t trust your partner, invading their privacy isn’t going to help you feel better, but if your partner finds out, it will stop them from trusting you.
Now if you and your partner want to have trackers on each others cars with mutual consent, for example if one of you often drives to travel, you want to be able to check in on each other’s commute, or as a safety precaution, go right ahead. Since you’ve permitted the placement of the GPS, the law couldn’t care less.
Best GPS Trackers for Cars
If you have decided to integrate a GPS tracker for your car, you might realize that choosing the best one among a slew of tracking devices available in the market is harder than you expect. Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered! Here are 8 of the best GPS trackers for cars:
Best Overall GPS Tracker for Car: Spy Tec STI GL300 Mini Portable Vehicle GPS Tracker
The GL300 GPS Tracker from Spy Tec has the most positive reviews among all tracking devices available in Amazon. No wonder, it is considered the best-selling tracking device in the online shopping platform.
A very compact tracking device, the Spy Tec STI GL300 Mini is roughly the size of a matchbox, measuring only 1.5 x 0.9 x 2.7 inches. With the benefit of placing it anywhere inside your car, thieves will have a hard time locating this GPS tracker and won’t suspect that you have one. It also sticks to any metal surface using magnets.
The tracker connects with Google Maps to provide real-time location data over the Internet with a very high accuracy regardless of its minute size. Location updates can be provided as often as every five seconds.
Powered by AA batteries, you have to check the battery level from time to time. While Spy Tec claims a two-week battery life, some users reveal that actual battery life varies. You can opt to purchase a six-month battery to extend the tracker’s battery life.
You can buy it for $49.95 at Amazon. Once you purchase it, be willing to pay $25 a month as a subscription fee. Here’s the link to the product:
Best for Parents GPS Tracker for Car: MOTOsafety GPS Vehicle Tracker
MOTOsafety GPS tracker is recommended for the parents of teenage kids. It helps the parents to easily monitor the driving habits of their minor children by recording, not only the vehicle’s location, but also the car speed, harsh braking, and rapid acceleration.
At the end of the day, the parents are encouraged to review the teen’s “report card” generated based on his or her driving habits such as speed, braking, and acceleration. It also alerts the parent if the vehicle is still used past the curfew they have set.
MOTOsafety can be plugged directly into the diagnostic port without the use of wiring. It uses a wireless 3G network to transmit data and has a downloadable Android app for the user to track the car’s location in real-time.
For a price of $24.99 and a monthly fee of $19.99, you can now monitor your teenager’s driving habits and have it recorded for you to review. If this got you interested, you can buy the tracker via this link:
Best Battery Life GPS Tracker for Car: ABLEGRID GPS Vehicle Tracker
The GPS Vehicle Tracker from ABLEGRID was lauded as the tracking device with the longest battery life. Thanks to its 3300mAh powerhouse, the ABLEGRID GPS offers two weeks of continuous usage and 180 days of standby time before needing a recharge.
While it’s quite bigger than its rivals at 4.0 x 2.2 x 0.9 inches, the ABLEGRID GPS tracker is still compact enough to be placed in areas in the car that are difficult to detect. It can also be easily swapped between cars as there are no wires required for installation.
The tracker records the vehicle’s travel routes and accurately pinpoints its location in real-time using Google Maps. It only supports wireless 2G networks albeit it offers similar tracking ability as those devices using 3G networks.
You can purchase the tracking device on Amazon. Just follow this link:
Best Driving Habit GPS Tracker for Car: MasTrack Real Time GPS Vehicle Tracker
A premium tracking device, MasTrack offers a slew of outstanding features. Due to its internal battery backup, the GPS tracker can give you real-time updates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It has a nationwide coverage in both Canada and the US.
Among the extraordinary features MasTrack has to offer is recording the driving habits of the current driver such as harsh braking, rapid acceleration, speeding, excessive idling, voltage, and ignition status. Information will be sent to a connected computer or mobile device.
You can plug it directly into your car’s OBD port with no wiring required. Beyond installation, the GPS tracker makes it easier for parents or employers to track their children and employees respectively.
Details regarding its pricing and availability can be found on this link. Feel free to check the product at Amazon.
Best Mileage GPS Tracker for Car: Mileage Ace Car GPS Tracker
As what its name suggests, Mileage Ace GPS tracker is more focused on recording mileage logs. The recorded information is found nearly accurate with the vehicle’s odometer.
Once the engine is switched on, the Mileage Ace tracker starts to work. Each trip made by the car will have the start and end times, start and end locations, the exact miles driven, and GPS-tracked path recorded on the mileage log.
Priced at $46.89, this mileage tracker is a unique device that’s worth considering. See more of it in Amazon through this link:
Best Hidden GPS Tracker for Car: Optimus 2.0 GPS Tracker
Also a very compact tracking device, the Optimus 2.0 GPS tracker is easy to place inside the car and is difficult to find. It can be mounted through magnets so that it can stick in any metallic surface you want to put it on.
Perfect for secretly tracking a vehicle, the Optimus GPS tracker syncs with your personal account and provides a routing feature for licensed private investigators. It can send information to your computer and smartphone.
The unit costs $59.95 and requires you to shell out $19.95 every month. You can cancel the subscription anytime you want and has no hidden fees aside from those stated.
Best New GPS Tracker for Car: AMERICALOC Mini GPS Tracker
Opposed to its name, AMERICALOC Mini GPS Tracker works in every country in the world, not only in the US. What’s interesting with this tracker is that it can provide real-time location data as well as 1 year of historical information.
You can choose to configure the gadget to transmit data every 10, 30, or 60 seconds on your computer or smartphone. It also sends alerts when the battery is getting low and information about your speed and the time when you left a certain area.
Aside from its portability, the GPS tracker boasts having a very long battery life and ability to recharge in a small period of time. You can get that and more for only $106 plus a monthly service fee of $25. You can also cancel the subscription any time.
For more information, you can check it here:
Best Cheap GPS Tracker for Car: Vyncs GPS Tracker
The Vyncs GPS tracker is a mid-range tracking device that uses either 2G or 3G network connection in transmitting data. Notifications can be sent through email or SMS.
It can provide information regarding location, fuel economy, speed, braking, acceleration, and many more. It keeps an accurate record of the user’s driving habits which can be reviewed.
The Vyncs GPS tracker will set you back at $74.98. There are no hidden costs and no monthly fee after you buy the unit. Regardless of its cheap price, it still offers a good performance.
Staying on the Right Track
Tracking devices aren’t just used to spy on someone the wrong way; it can also serve as a protection to yourself and to others under your custody against the hazards on the road.
With all the benefits mentioned above, we bet that you’re now interested to grab your own GPS tracker and start monitoring your driving habits as well as your employees’ and teenage kids’ activities so that you can give them helpful advice and instructions.
Do you still have some questions running through your mind? Do you already have a tracking device on your car? How does it work for you? What do you use it for? Share with us in the comments!