There are many situations in life when you might wish you had a GPS tracker. You could be the parent of a young driver who wants to keep track of their teenagers and ensure they’re safe as they first get behind the wheel, someone who runs a truck company and needs to ensure that all of their fleet cars are on the route, or simply someone who just wants to make sure that their vehicle is safe. Regardless of your experience or circumstances, GPS trackers can be a useful addition to our daily lives.
- Features to Consider in Good Car GPS Trackers
- Top 10 Best Car GPS Tracker 2020
- 1. Best Overall Car GPS Tracker: LandAirSea 54
- 2. Best Premium Pick: AMERICALOC GL300W
- 3. Best 4G Car GPS Tracker: PRIMETRACKING
- 4. Best for Elderly Drivers: Tracki 2020 Model
- 5. Best Hidden Car GPS Tracker: Spytec GL300
- 6. Best Budget Car GPS Tracker: Bouncie
- 7. Best User-Friendly Car GPS Tracker: Trak-4
- 8. Best Contract-Free Car GPS Tracker: Optimus Tracker 2.0
- 9. Best No-Fee GPS Tracker: Vyncs
- 10. Best GPS Tracker for Parents: MotoSafety
- Guide to Buying the Best Car GPS Tracker
- Final Words
Features to Consider in Good Car GPS Trackers
Before we dive into the best GPS trackers for your car, we would like to discuss some of the essential features to look for while choosing a GPS tracker:
If you have a GPS tracking device, you probably want to know where your vehicle is right now, not where it was 10 minutes ago. So, having a GPS tracker that can trace the location of your car in real-time is important. This feature is essential in the case of car theft, or if you need to know the exact location of your vehicle is at any given time for any other reason. Also, some GPS trackers come with the ability to locate the car on Google Maps, which provides even more accuracy and convenience!
When you buy a GPS tracker, you have two options: a battery-operated tracker or a tracker that plugs into the car. One of the reasons you might want to go with a battery-operated model is because you can more easily hide it in or on a vehicle. Generally speaking, the battery of GPS trackers usually lasts 1 to 2 weeks before they need to be recharged, but don’t forget that a GPS signal drains the battery of a tracker pretty quickly. To eliminate this charging problem, you could simply decide to go with a plug-in GPS, as the tracker will receive constant power from the car. One of the advantages of this kind of GPS tracker is that they usually have a better signal and more features.
When it comes to size, most GPS trackers are relatively small and easy to hide, so that you can position them in a way that add bulky weight or look too conspicuous. However, keep in mind that with battery-operated models, the smaller the device, the smaller the battery will be.
Compatibility With Devices and Vehicles
One thing you need to check before buying a GPS tracker is if it is compatible with the vehicle and phone models you own. If your GPS tracker connects to an OBD port in your car, make sure your vehicle has one. Typically, it’s installed in all cars made after 1996. This is probably one of the most important factors to consider since you won’t be able to use the tracker at all if it’s not compatible with your vehicle
If you are planning to install your GPS tracker outside of your car, then water-resistance is an essential feature to consider. If placed outdoors, the tracker is constantly exposed to water, moisture, and dust, so a GPS tracker that is not water-proof won’t last long.
Some GPS trackers have a very informative feature that records driving statistics. It will automatically send you notifications of how the car is driven, including its speed and braking statistics. This is extremely useful in making sure your vehicle is safe and is being driven in an appropriate manner, whether by family members or employees, or even just for your own information!
Top 10 Best Car GPS Tracker 2020
1. Best Overall Car GPS Tracker: LandAirSea 54
If you’re looking for a durable GPS tracker that could be placed both inside and outside a vehicle, then this is the device for you. LandAirSea 54 has a built-in super strong magnet and can be installed on the bumper, hood, or wheels of your car without fear of being lost. You can almost forget it after you install it, as the LandAirSea 54’s built-in accelerometer turns the power on or off depending on whether the device is in motion.
To access the real-time information and location of the vehicle, you can use its super easy-to-use app or website. Through the website, you can also obtain up to six months of driving and location history. It’s extraordinarily convenient since you can easily go back to a specific day and time when needed. Overall, LandAirSea 54 GPS tracker is a reliable and durable device that will be perfect for both family and business operations.
Monthly fee: $24.95
Dimensions: 2.25 x 2.25 x 0.8 inches
- Compatible with Google Maps
- Built-in super strength magnet
- Compact design
- Tracks in real-time and sends alerts/notifications
- Intended to be used only in the U.S.
This GPS tracker is one of the most popular on the market today. It’s easy to see why: if you’re a fan of easy-to-use and efficient technology, this GPS device is perfect for you. It features the simplest interface among GPS trackers and has a very straightforward installation process.
One of the most impressive things about this GPS tracker is its battery. This long-life battery allows users to go up to 14 days without recharging it. Even though the life of the battery depends on how you drive, you definitely don’t need to worry about charging it every other day!
The tracker also provides a complete report about your vehicle, including things like time, speed, entering and exiting geo-fences, and even parking location. This is great because you’ll know the condition of your car, anywhere and at any time. However, one of the less appealing features of the AMERICALOC GL300W tracker is that it is a bit behind on cell phone GPS technology. Advertised as a real-time tracking device, updating once every 10, 30, or 60 seconds depending on the settings you chose, it could very well lag behind and not update accurately if you choose the 60-second option, which is especially problematic because more accurate 10-second updates come with an additional fee.
Monthly fee: $25
Dimensions: 2.7 x 1.5 x 0.9 inches
- Long battery life
- Real-time tracking
- Stores a year of tracking history
- Works in the US, Canada, and even Europe
- More expensive than other trackers
- A little behind on cell phone GPS technology
3. Best 4G Car GPS Tracker: PRIMETRACKING
GPS trackers need the Internet connection to function. The PRIMETRACKING GPS tracker is one of the few devices out there that’s built with a 4G LTE cellular connection. This means that this device is more reliable and accurate because it can update its information much, much faster. You will also have no problem accessing the history of past locations with this GPS. It is equipped with a battery that lasts for two weeks and reaches a full charge in only 2.5 short hours!
The PrimeTracking GPS tracker is ideal for those who take care of elderly parents or want to keep an eye on young drivers. Its app provides an update on the car’s location every 10 seconds so that you can keep close tabs on the vehicle. To provide you with even more assurance, the device allows you to set up a geo-fence function (a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area) to make sure you know when a vehicle has left a particular area. In case of emergency, this GPS tracker comes with the best feature possible: an SOS button. To activate this SOS button, all you have to do is press it, and the device will immediately make a call to emergency services.
Monthly fee: $25 per month or $20 per month for 6 months
Dimensions: 2.7 x 1.5 x 0.9 inches
- SOS button
- Real-time tracking
- Two-week battery life
- 4G LTE for fast updates
- Monthly subscription required to have access to all features
4. Best for Elderly Drivers: Tracki 2020 Model
The Tracki GPS tracker is one of the most reliable trackers out there. It is perfect for keeping an eye on elderly drivers without taking away their independence. If an emergency or any kind of dangerous situation were to occur, they can use this device send you an alert by activating the SOS button and their real-time location. Other than that, you have access to real-time location tracking that updates every 60 seconds, and you’ll receive any other notifications via a website or the fully customizable app.
The app is user-friendly and very intuitive, meaning that even if you aren’t very techy, you won’t have any problems mastering its operations. It provides history reports, maps and addresses of all locations visited, and records of speed. On top of that, automatic updates every minute allow for the intended use of a GPS tracker: a real-time view of what is going on at any given time.
Monthly fee: $19.95, $16.60, $13.95 or $9.95 depending on the package chosen
Dimensions: 1.74 x 1.5 x 0.6 inches
- The lightest GPS tracker available
- Comes with a magnet
- Lifetime warranty
- SOS button
- Worldwide coverage
- Assembly might be a bit difficult
When you purchase a GPS tracker, you want it to be something you can rely on and something that will put your mind at ease. Well, the Spytec GPS tracker is exactly that, and more. This GPS tracker is so little and so compact that you would be able to hide it anywhere in your car. But don’t let its size trick you: despite its compact design, this device is powerful, reliable, and has a battery that lasts two weeks before you need to recharge it.
With the Spytec GPS tracker, you aren’t required to have any tools, prior knowledge, or assistance for installation, making it extremely straightforward and simple to use. All you have to do is place it in your car, and you are all set and ready to use it right away! This GPS may not have as many additional features as its competitors, but all the necessary features you need to have for accurate and reliable information are there. It provides you with real-time tracking, with the option to set up a geo-fence. If a vehicle with the Spytec GL300MA tracker leaves the designated zone, you will immediately receive a notification for your peace of mind. The only downfall of this GPS tracker is that it seems to work better in areas covered by T-Mobile, and won’t do so well in areas where that carrier has poor coverage.
Monthly fee: $24.95
Dimensions: 3 x 1 x 1.5 inches
- Very compact size
- Tracks with Google Maps in real-time
- Updates every 5 seconds
- Lifetime warranty
- Works better in T-Mobile coverage areas
- Reports of cancellation issues
6. Best Budget Car GPS Tracker: Bouncie
The Bouncie GPS tracker obtains power from your car’s OBD port and conveniently doesn’t require charging the battery. This is a first-class device that offers the essential features of real-time tracking, speed alerts, and sudden braking and acceleration notifications for a very low monthly cost.
Overall, we think that this is a great GPS tracker for business purposes. If you are an owner of a business that deals with trucks and fleet vehicles, you might find this tracker to be the one for you. The Bouncie GPS won’t let you forget about vehicle maintenance and will aid in keeping tabs on gas levels and routine tasks. The Bouncie tracker also offers a mileage tracking function, a very handy feature if it’s being used for business reports. However, what truly makes this GPS tracking stand out is that Bouncie offers roadside assistance to all U.S. customers! This allows you to be sure that help is always available in case of any emergency or breakdown situations for a very reasonable price.
Monthly fee: $8
Dimensions: 1.75 x 1.87 x 1 inches
- Roadside assistance
- No battery needed
- Low monthly subscription fee
- Vehicle maintenance alerts
- Compatible with IFTTT apps and products
- Alerts could be slow
7. Best User-Friendly Car GPS Tracker: Trak-4
The Trak-4 GPS tracker is a very durable and water-proof device that could be installed either inside or outside your vehicle. If you will be placing the tracker outside of your car you won’t have to worry about it falling off, as the device comes with sturdy mounting holes on the top and the bottom. You can also permanently mount the tracker in your car for even more peace of mind.
The Trak-4 GPS might not sport any advanced functions like its main competitors, but simplicity is not necessarily a bad thing. Just like any other GPS tracker, this one still contains the essential features, including text and email alerts, geo-fencing, and driving and route history. However, if these features are not enough for your purposes, you can purchase some additional functions. For example, for an extra charge, you have the possibility to make it ping your device every 1 or 10 minutes, or provide hourly reports.
Monthly fee: $6.99 a month if prepaid annually, or $12.99 a month if paid monthly
Dimensions: 4.1 x 2.2 x 1.1 inches
- Comes with mounting holes for more security
- Beginner-friendly and simple to use and install
- Long battery life
- Very basic features
8. Best Contract-Free Car GPS Tracker: Optimus Tracker 2.0
The biggest draw of the Optimus Tracker is that it doesn’t lock you into long commitments of contracts, but the device itself is solid, too. Since the device comes with the strong magnetic case upon purchase, installation on the inside or outside of the vehicle couldn’t be easier. This GPS tracker comes with its own dedicated app with a user-friendly interface that runs smoothly, without any glitching whatsoever! Through the app, you can access all the features, including the SOS button, geo-fencing, and driving history. One thing that makes this GPS tracker convenient for general use is the option to choose your service subscription packages. The basic one allows updates every 30 seconds, and the advanced package provides updates every 10 seconds for even more accurate locating.
The only issue with the Optimus 2.0 is that, compared to its competitors, this GPS tracker has a low battery life. In general, the battery needs to be recharged every 7 days, which is not as convenient. But don’t worry: this tiny GPS makes up for it with accuracy, reliability, and convenience.
Monthly fee: $19.95 or $25 per month, depending on your package
Dimensions: 3 x 1.5 x 1 inches
- Comes with a magnetic case
- Water-resistant design
- US-based customer support
- No contract needed
- Has been known to send false reports or lose connection
- Lower battery life
9. Best No-Fee GPS Tracker: Vyncs
The Vyncs GPs tracker is the best tracker on the market for business purposes, especially if you offer international shipping or logistic services. Since you only have to pay for the device and an activation fee, you’re set for the life of the product after a one-time expense. Its tracking system makes sure you always have access to real-time vehicle information through its app, website, or even your smartwatch!
The tracker works in more than 200 countries and features clickable GPS coordinates, making it easier for you to keep an eye on a whole fleet of vehicles. And get this: you don’t need to worry about monthly fees! This should really set your mind at ease: after all, if you are a busy manager, you want to have as little to keep track of as possible.
Monthly fee: No monthly fee. One-time activation fee of $29.99
Dimensions: 2.4 x 1.9 x 0.9 inches
- Optional 24/7 roadside assistance
- Supported in 200+ countries
- Detects trips and generates mileage logs automatically
- Provides regular maintenance reminders
- No battery
- Occasional delayed location updates
10. Best GPS Tracker for Parents: MotoSafety
If you are a parent of a teenager who recently got their driver’s license, this is the tracker you’ve been waiting for. It allows you to set up a geo-fence, curfew time, route history tracker, and lets you replay recent driving history to find out if your child was driving dangerously. Another handy feature for young drivers’ parents is the aptly-named “report card”: MotoSafety will literally send you a report card that summarizes your child’s driving performance upon request. This is one of the most amazing features of this GPS tracker allowing you to get a full comprehensive report on your driver-in-training’s habits.
Another thing that makes this tracker stand out among others is that it offers a driving coach program for teenagers to reinforce proper driving procedures. This is an extra feature that brings a unique value to this tracker and is a perfect complement to the report card feature since you can see where improvement is needed. The only downfall of MotoSafety GPS tracker is that it is pretty hard to hide. In order to work, it has to be plugged into a vehicle’s OBD outlet. While this eliminates the need to charge the battery, it is not as discrete as other GPS trackers on our list.
Monthly fee: $22.99
Dimensions: 1 x 1.75 x 2.1 inches
- Sends a daily driver's report
- Uses the 4G network
- Driving coach program
- Relatively inexpensive
- No battery required
- Hard to hide because it connects to an OBD2 port
Guide to Buying the Best Car GPS Tracker
How Can I Use a GPS Tracker?
The idea behind a GPS tracker is to let you know where exactly your car is at all times. However, there might be other reasons why you might need a GPS car tracker, including:
To find a stolen car
If your vehicle was stolen, but you had a tracker installed, you could easily find it by searching for its exact location. It would save you and the police a lot of time and stress.
To keep an eye on younger drivers
A GPS tracker can function as a discrete parenting tool. It could aid you in tracking the exact location of your teenager, as well as in keeping an eye on their driving and speed history. The idea of installing the GPS tracker in your daughter’s or son’s car is not to spy on them, but to help them to become better and safer drivers.
To manage work vehicles
If you are the own or manage any company with a fleet of vehicles, then a GPS tracker is your best friend. You can use it to keep an eye on where your vehicles are at any time, track mileage, and efficiently coordinate operations.
To help senior drivers
GPS trackers can, of course, be helpful for elderly drivers, making them an especially useful tool if they get lost or in the case of a health or roadside emergency.
How to Choose the Best GPS Tracker for Your Car
One thing you should know before choosing the right GPS tracker for your car is ease of installation. After all, you don’t want to spend hours trying to connect it, or even worse, hiring a professional to do the job. The good news is that most modern-day GPS trackers are very simple to install and take only a few minutes to begin functioning immediately. For the most part, this shouldn’t require much more than a quick review of the product’s instructions.
GPS trackers contain various features responsible for accurate tracking performance. Some of the most popular features include real-time tracking, driving history, and real-time alerts and notifications. However, there are many other additional features available that could improve the tracking performance depending on what exactly you’re using the device for, so pay attention to those characteristics when choosing a GPS tracker.
When buying technology, nobody wants something overly complicated that you can’t intuitively use right away. While every brand is different, most GPS trackers work fairly simply. Look for a device with a user-friendly interface, especially if it’s going to be used by the elderly somebody who isn’t comfortable with technology.
Where Should I Place a GPS Tracker on a Car?
Since GPS trackers are fairly small devices, it is very easy to conceal one either inside or on the outside of your car. Many people like having a GPS tracker installed in a hidden spot outside of the vehicle because in case of a car theft it is unlikely that the device will be noticed and removed. However, there are many hiding places inside of the car as well. A GPS tracker could be inserted under the dashboard or the seat, depending on your personal preference. Do note, though, that many GPS trackers will be restricted in location due to how they’re powered, so if you need a discreetly-placed tracker, pick one that runs off of batteries.
How does a car GPS tracker work?
GPS trackers use satellites to determine the exact location of a device. They use a method called trilateration to determine its physical location based on its distance from GPS satellites. Once a tracker captures the location, it sends you a notification using mobile data and puts it onto the map.
How Accurate Are GPS Trackers?
When it comes to tracking, most of the GPS tracking devices provide extremely accurate information. After all, that is their intended purpose. Generally speaking, a GPS tracker doesn’t depend on the weather. However, sometimes its accuracy might be compromised slightly in areas with no clear sight of the sky, including:
- parking garages
- under high buildings
Ultimately, most GPS trackers are accurate to within ten feet. And while environmental conditions can slightly affect the accuracy, GPS tracking technology has significantly developed over the last decade to ensure more reliable signals and greater efficiency.
Types of Tracking Systems
There are two types of GPS tracking systems: active and passive.
An active kind of GPS tracker sends data through a satellite link, meaning you always receive real-time information regarding your car’s location. It is a great system because not only does it allow you to track the precise location of your vehicle, it also provides access to driving history, and many devices can notify you when a vehicle exceeds speed limits. Although an active system is very powerful and reliable, its major downfall is that it typically requires a costly subscription to pay for the satellite network access.
A passive GPS tracking system keeps the device connected to a satellite, but doesn’t allow for data transmission. So, it will record the driving history of the vehicle, but you won’t be able to access it immediately. Instead, you would need to physically remove the device from your car and connect it to the computer. Only then can you download and access the information about your vehicle. While a passive system is usually a bit cheaper, it doesn’t provide you with real-time information. These types of devices won’t allow you to protect against car theft, and are more suited to gathering data than watching for problems as they occur on the road. Since they’re far less useful than active GPS trackers and don’t really offer any advantages, we don’t recommend purchasing a passive GPS tracker.
Are GPS Trackers Secure?
Most GPS tracking devices have different security features designed to keep your personal information secured. However, since trackers collect a lot of private information about your trips, it is crucial to check the level of security provided by the device and any associated apps.
Are GPS Trackers Legal?
While there are many different laws surrounding GPS tracking around the world, the general rule is that if it is your car, you can track it without any fear of committing a crime, whether applied to privately-owned or company-owned vehicles. If you want to keep an eye on your teenage child driving to school or keep track of your work vehicles, you’re typically safe and aren’t doing anything unlawful. However, if you are not the owner of the car, then it’s usually illegal to track it. To be safe, be sure to read this comprehensive review of the laws surrounding privately-used GPS trackers before you start.
The price of a GPS tracker may vary depending on the operating system and included features. So, it is important to set the budget you are willing to spend on the device. Keep in mind that some of the operators charge subscriptions and monthly fees for storing your GPS data and extra features, so keep the cost over time in mind just as much as the start-up cost.
GPS trackers are one of the most innovative and convenient gadgets you can use to track your car when it is out on the road for family or business use. With all their tracking features, services, and functions, the right GPS tracker for you will give you the relief that comes with a sense of security and peace of mind.