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Now that we live in a connected world, tracking your car’s location has never been easier. Using GPS technology, affordable trackers are available in today’s market, allowing you to know where your car is at all times. In addition, many of these GPS trackers have additional features that can monitor driving habits, which is great for keeping an eye on a teenage driver.
GPS trackers aren’t very complex devices. Most of these can just be placed inside your vehicle once you’ve setup the app on your phone. Some of our recommendations are specifically designed to be used on vehicles by plugging into your car’s OBD2 port. Those devices have additional features, such as monitoring your car’s health and getting vehicle data such as speed, acceleration, braking, and more. They’re similar to devices used by insurance companies that offer discounted monthly premiums if you allow them to track your driving habits.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 10 best GPS trackers for cars, as well as explain what they are and how you should go about picking the right one for you. For more information on GPS trackers, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Pick: Spytec GL300 GPS Tracker
- 2. LandAirSea 54 Waterproof Magnet Mount GPS Tracker
- 3. Vyncs GPS Tracker
- 4. MOTOsafety GPS Tracker
- 5. PRIMETRACKING Personal GPS Tracker
- 6. Tracki Mini GPS Tracker
- 7. CarLock Car Tracker & Alert System
- 8. Trak-4 GPS Tracker
- 9. Optimus Tracker GPS Tracker with Twin Magnet Case
- 10. Bouncie GPS Tracker
- What is a GPS Tracker?
- How to Choose the Right GPS Tracker
1. Editor's Pick: Spytec GL300 GPS Tracker
SpyTecGPS is one of the leading manufacturers within the GPS industry and the GL300 is our top pick for the category. This GPS tracker offers near-perfect 4G LTE coverage with an impressive 2.5-week battery life. It’s fairly compact as well, measuring 3″ tall by 0.38″ thick, allowing you to easily conceal the device within your car.
The GL300 is compatible with any smartphone, tablet, computer, and network provider. Using satellite technology, this GPS tracker boasts unlimited tracking range, so you don’t have to be anywhere near it to get a precise location. With your smart device, you can setup notification preferences and receive alerts if the tracker leaves or arrives a specific location—great for tracking cars, especially if your child is driving. You’re able to store up to a year’s worth of activity and can setup reports that summarize the tracker’s historical data.
This GPS tracker is also a bit future-proof since new features are added monthly as the company’s development team uses machine learning and other advanced tools to increase tracking accuracy and boost platform intelligence.
A data plan is required to use this device (and all other GPS trackers), which starts at $24.95 a month, but you can cancel at anytime and there are no cancellation fees.
- Reputable manufacturer
- Uses 4G LTE connectivity
- 2.5-week battery life
- 3″ tall by 0.38″ thick
- Compatible with any smart device
- Uses satellite technology
- Unlimited tracking range
- Setup notification preferences based on location
- New features added monthly
- Costs $24.95 a month
2. LandAirSea 54 Waterproof Magnet Mount GPS Tracker
If you want a waterproof device, LandAirSea’s 54 GPS tracker is 100% waterproof and uses a built-in magnet for easy installation. Since the device itself is waterproof, you don’t have to purchase a separate case for it. Featuring an ultra-compact design (about the size of a small roll of Scotch tape), this GPS tracker is powered by a rechargeable battery that can last 1 to 2 weeks on a single charge, depending on use.
Monitoring this device can be done through the LandAirSea mobile app, which is available for both Android and iOS devices, or you can use the web-based SilverCloud software. Features include historical playback, geofence and address proximity alerts, arrival and departure notifications, alerts via SMS or email, ShareSpot (shareable link to the live GPS location), InstaFence (creates an instant geofence around the target), and unlimited printable reports.
This GPS tracker uses 4G LTE connectivity and includes an AT&T SIM with unlimited data and unlimited access to LandAirSea’s tracking servers. It costs $24.95 a month for 60-second tracking updates, and the company does offer faster rates. Please note that the tracker in the link below is for U.S. use only. Do a quick search if you need it for another country.
- 100% waterproof
- Built-in magnet
- Ultra-compact design
- Rechargeable battery lasts 1 to 2 weeks on a single charge
- Access data through mobile app or web-based software
- Historical playback, geofence and address proximity alerts, arrival and departure notifications, SMS or email alerts, ShareSpot, InstaFence, unlimited printable reports
- 4G LTE connectivity via AT&T
- Costs $24.95 a month for 60-second tracking updates
- Link below is U.S. only!
3. Vyncs GPS Tracker
Unlike the other GPS trackers we’ve mentioned so far, Vyncs’ product plugs into your OBD2 port, which means it doesn’t require charging or a battery to use. And since this device plugs into your OBD2 port, it offers several other features including vehicle diagnostic trouble codes (DTC), fuel economy, fuel level (if available), true idling, engine RPM, vehicle speed, manufacturer recall information, and even vehicle maintenance updates.
Vyncs’ GPS tracker collects data every second, analyzes it, and then sends an update to the server every 3 minutes. Upgrades are available for 60/30/15-second updates. The device does go to sleep when your car’s ignition is turned off, but it will automatically wake up once every hour to update its location—something to keep in mind if you need real time location data while your car is turned off.
Other features include geofence zones, driver speeding/braking/rapid acceleration alerts by push notification via email or SMS, unlimited trip history, and optional 24/7 roadside assistance.
The company’s pricing plan is also a bit different than the typical monthly subscriptions. This GPS tracker doesn’t have a monthly fee, but it does have a one-time activation fee of $29.99, which is refunded if the product is returned within 30 days. A full year of service is included with that activation fee, but renewal costs $78.93 for the second year. It does however, work in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and over 220 other countries since an international SIM is included.
- Plugs into car’s OBD2 port—doesn’t require charging or a battery to use
- Expanded features include vehicle DTC, fuel economy, fuel level (if available), true idling, engine RPM, vehicle speed, manufacturer recalls, and vehicle maintenance
- Basic plan sends an update to the server every 3 minutes
- Device does go to sleep, but will update its location every hour while the car is turned off
- Geofence zones, driver speed/braking/rapid acceleration alerts (via email or SMS), unlimited trip history, optional 24/7 roadside assistance
- $29.99 one-time activation fee, includes 1-year of service
- Costs $78.93 for subsequent years
- Works in over 220 countries
4. MOTOsafety GPS Tracker
Another tracker that plugs into your car’s OBD2 port comes from MOTOsafety. This product currently works in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and operates off a cellular network to report data every 60 seconds. Mainly designed to be a driving coach for a teenage child, this tracker delivers a daily report card that scores and summarizes the driving done for the day. MOTOsafety says that some customers have even received up to a 30% discount on their insurance premiums by sharing these report cards with their insurance companies.
In addition to the end-of-day report card, you also can review the route driven during that day, with highlights on where unsafe driving occurred. Geofence capability, which is fairly standard on these GPS trackers, will alert you when the vehicle enters or exits specified locations. Naturally, the device can also be used to locate your vehicle at anytime. This device can send real time alerts for speeding, idling, off-hour use, and more.
MOTOsafety’s GPS tracker costs $22.99 per month with no activation or cancellation fees.
- Plugs into car’s OBD2 port
- Currently works in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico
- Reports data every 60 seconds
- Sends a daily report card and route replay data
- Geofence, real time alerts for speeding, idling, off-hour use
- Costs $22.99 per month (no activation or cancellation fees)
5. PRIMETRACKING Personal GPS Tracker
If you need something extremely compact, this GPS tracker is one of the smallest units available. From PRIMETRACKING, this product measures just 3″ by 1.5″, so you can easily conceal it inside your vehicle or use it to track anything else. The device can be used in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, working on multiple networks wherever there is cellular service. Using 4G LTE connectivity, updates occur every 10 seconds for near real time data using Google Maps.
Although it’s small in size, the tracker still boasts a 2-week battery life. Features include location change alerts, detailed activity location, route history, and geofence. And like other GPS trackers, it has unlimited range so you don’t have to even have to be in the same country to monitor your car’s location.
Subscription fees for this device is $25 per month, or save a bit by doing 6 months at $20 per month. You can cancel at anytime and there are no activation fees.
- Extremely compact—measures 3″ by 1.5″
- Can be used in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico
- 4G LTE connectivity
- Updates occur every 10 seconds
- 2-week battery life
- Location change alerts, detailed activity location, route history, geofence
- Unlimited range
- Costs $25 per month or $20 per month for 6 months
- Cancel anytime, no activation fees
6. Tracki Mini GPS Tracker
Another extremely compact GPS tracker is offered by Tracki. This device comes with an international SIM, which means it works in over 185 countries, including the U.S. and Canada. Measuring 1.8″ by 1.6″ by 0.7″ and weighing just 1.7 ounces, this compact tracker also comes in handy for other uses besides tracking your car.
The company offers a lifetime warranty with its product and even provides a free tracker replacement if you lose your original unit. It also uses a replaceable battery, although its standard battery life isn’t as great as other products. If you need updates every 1 to 5 minutes, the battery will last 2 to 3 days. If you only need updates 4 times per day, the battery will last up to 30 days on a single charge. A larger battery is offered separately that puts it in line with other devices, offering 2-weeks battery life with real time updates or up to 6 months if you’re getting updates 4 times per day.
You can setup geofence zones with this device and receive alerts for various things including speed alerts, and movement notifications via SMS or email. It saves up to 5 years of history with route, speed, and time stamps.
The Tracki GPS tracker ships with a magnet, Velcro, and belt clip, allowing easy installation for however you want to use it.
Pricing for Tracki’s Mini GPS Tracker is $19.95 per month, or as low as $9.95 per month if you do a long term plan.
- Extremely compact—measures 1.8″ by 1.6″ by 0.7″
- Weighs just 1.7 ounces
- Includes international SIM so it works in over 185 countries (including U.S. and Canada)
- Replaceable battery
- 2-3 day battery life with real time updates (1 to 5 minutes) / 30-day battery life with 4 updates per day
- Larger battery offered as an option (sold separately)
- Geofence, speed alerts, movement notifications via SMS or email
- Up to 5 years of history
- Includes magnet, Velcro, and belt clip for easy install
- Costs $19.95 per month or as little as $9.95 per month on a long term plan
- Lifetime warranty with free tracker replacement
7. CarLock Car Tracker & Alert System
Another OBD2 device, CarLock’s GPS tracker monitors your car in real time, alerting you when your vehicle is moved, when the engine starts, if unusual vibration is detected, or if the device itself is removed from your car. Since this device connects to your car’s OBD2 port, it can also monitor other factors such as fast acceleration, hard and sudden braking, and even sharp and sudden turns. Each month, it’ll report a driver safety score, which is a great feature for monitoring young drivers. In addition, the device can let you know if your car’s battery is running dangerously low or if it’s experiencing high battery drain.
As a tracker, it’ll also record route history for you to review or export to a spreadsheet in .xls or .csv format.
This device works in the following countries: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, France Caraibe, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Reunion, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vietnam.
CarLock has one of the more affordable plans, costing $9.60 per month. You also get the first month free.
- Plugs into your car’s OBD2 port
- International support in over 50 countries, including U.S. and Canada
- Monitors fast acceleration, hard and sudden braking, or sharp turns/corners
- Monthly driver score report
- Monitors car’s battery health
- Route history that can be exported to a spreadsheet
- Costs $9.60 per month—first month free
8. Trak-4 GPS Tracker
Another affordable option is Trak-4’s GPS tracker. Featuring a rechargeable internal battery that lasts 12 to 18 months on a single charge with daily reporting, this device is designed more for commercial use with its rugged housing. This tracker only works within the U.S. and will check-in daily even if it’s not moving. You can choose in-motion ping rates from 1 minute to 1 hour, but battery life suffers if you’re requesting more frequent updates.
Map history is provided with this tracker, along with geofence zones that support email or SMS alerts. This is a great option for companies, since it uses REST API for GPS reports. It’s very developer-friendly with full source code examples and documentation available. More importantly, if there is no GPS signal available, the Trak-4 uses cell-trilateration to give an approximate location.
Trak-4’s monthly subscription costs start at $6.99 per month when prepaid annually, or $12.99 per month if you’re paying monthly. That’s for hourly updates—if you want 10 minutes or 1-minute updates, you’ll have to pay more. No contract, activation, or cancellation fees and a SIM is included with the device.
- Battery lasts 12 to 18 months with daily reporting (once per day)
- Rugged housing is designed for commercial use
- Only works within the U.S.
- Configure updates from 1 minute to 1 hour
- Map history
- Geofence zones with email or SMS alerts
- REST API
- Uses cell-trilateration for approximate location when GPS isn’t available
- Costs $6.99 per month when paid annually / $12.99 per month on a monthly basis
- No contract, activation, or cancellation fees
- Includes SIM card
9. Optimus Tracker GPS Tracker with Twin Magnet Case
This bundle from Optimus Tracker includes the Optimus 2.0 GPS tracker with 4G LTE connectivity and a twin magnet case. The case features watertight and water-resistant construction, and the Neodymium magnets are the strongest type of permanent magnets available commercially. Create alerts, geofences, and driving reports from within the app, which is available for Android and iOS devices. Configurable notifications include when the tracker starts moving, when a vehicle is speeding, if the device has low battery, if the SOS button is triggered, or when the vehicle enters or exits the geofence zones. Those alerts can be sent via email or SMS.
One full charge of the battery should last 1 to 2 weeks, with it ranging on how often you’re reporting data.
The Optimus 2.0 costs $19.95 per month with no contract or hidden fees and you can cancel anytime. Customize the report frequency from 30 seconds while moving or 10 seconds. Coverage is only available in the U.S.
- Bundle includes Optimus 2.0 tracker and a twin Neodymium magnet case
- 4G LTE connectivity
- Case is watertight and water-resistant
- Create alerts, geofences, and driving reports
- Get notifications via email or SMS for tracker movement, vehicle speeding, low battery alerts, and more
- Full charge last 1 to 2 weeks
- Customizable report frequency
- Costs $19.95 per month
10. Bouncie GPS Tracker
Our final recommendation comes from Bouncie, with its OBD2 GPS tracker. This unit will report data every 15 seconds while driving, providing near real time data. You can use geo-circles, which is basically geofence zones, to send notifications when a vehicle enters or exits a particular area. Since it plugs into your OBD2 port, it can monitor your vehicle’s health, including diagnostic trouble codes. The company also offers roadside assistance with its device.
Trip events are summarized for easy reporting, while colored speed bands make it easy to see driving habits on a particular route. Notifications can be sent for speed, acceleration, hard braking, and more—great for monitoring teenage drivers.
There are no activation fees, hidden fees, or return fees with this device—you can cancel anytime. Bouncie charges $8 per month in the U.S. and $11 per month in Canada. The included roadside assistance is only available in the U.S.
- Plugs into your car’s OBD2 port
- Reports data every 15 seconds
- Geo-circles make it easy to setup geofence zones
- Monitors vehicle’s health, DTC
- Includes roadside assistance in the U.S.
- Trip summaries and colored speed bands for easy reporting
- Setup notifications for speed, acceleration, hard braking, and more
- No activation, hidden, or return fees—cancel anytime
- Costs $8 per month in the U.S. / $11 per month in Canada
What is a GPS Tracker?
A GPS tracker is a fairly simple device that uses GPS technology to send location data to a cloud-based server, which you can then retrieve on your smart device or computer. All of these devices use cellular network technology (3G/4G LTE) to send information to the cloud, which you can access from anywhere around the world. Do keep in mind however, that some trackers will only send tracking data in specific countries since they use cellular data. If you need a device that works internationally, make sure you get a tracker with an international SIM.
Many of these devices now use apps that you can install on your Android or iOS smart phones. Some also offer a web-based option for tracking data, so you can check it out from any computer.
How to Choose the Right GPS Tracker
If you want a versatile GPS tracker that can also be used to track items other than your vehicle, you’ll want one that doesn’t plug into a car’s OBD2 port. The options on our list that specify they plug into an OBD2 port can only be used on a vehicle. When choosing the right GPS tracker, you’ll want to look at the monthly subscription fees, since they all use a data connection to send information. Many of these fees range, depending on how frequently you need data reporting. If accuracy and near real time information is important, chances are you’ll end up having to pay more. But if you don’t need up-to-the-minute updates on your vehicle, you can save some money on cheaper monthly subscriptions that don’t report as often.
Along the same lines, battery life may be important to you. If you’re only tracking your vehicle, we recommend purchasing an OBD2 option since you never have to worry about taking out the device and charging it. You’ll also get the added benefit of vehicle monitoring, such as your car’s battery health.
If your concern is theft, you may want a more discreet and compact option that can be hidden inside your vehicle. Savvy thieves may know to check the OBD2 port for a GPS tracker prior to running off with your car. If that’s your main priority, get one of our smaller recommendations that can be hidden underneath a floor mat or in the trunk.
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