Car Tracking: A Definitive Guide

A report from the AAA reveals that Americans spend over 17,000 minutes driving each year. That works out to 290 hours behind the wheel and roughly 10,900 miles driven annually. This proves just how much we rely on our vehicles for casual and business use, and just how detrimental it would be to our day to day lives in the event our vehicle was stolen or damaged. There’s a lot to deal with when a vehicle goes missing apart from the heartache sustained, including a steep rise in insurance premiums in the event you make a claim.


Rate of Car Theft

Most, if not all, car owners take extra precautions to protect their prized possessions against theft such as parking in well-lit areas, refraining from leaving valuables in the vehicle and installing anti-theft devices such as car alarms and steering locks. But that seems to have little or no positive effect on the rate of auto theft. In fact, a recent report from the FBI reveals that the rate of car theft surged by 1 percent in 2016, compared to burglary and larceny that were down by 10 percent and 3 percent respectively.

And to rewind to 2015, more than a mind-boggling 700,000 vehicles were stolen in the United States, which equates to 1 vehicle stolen every 45 seconds – a rise from a concerning 3.1 percent the year before. In terms of areas that were most hit by auto theft, Albuquerque, New Mexico topped the list with a whopping 6131+ thefts in 2014 alone, followed by San Francisco, Modesto, Bakersfield, Milwaukee, Stockton, Fresno. Spokane, San Jose, and Seattle.


GPS Car Trackers to the Rescue

GPS car trackers are compact devices, and apart from tracking your vehicle can serve several other purposes such as keeping a track of your kids and the elderly. And if you think this range of devices is limited to tracking your vehicle, they offer much more than that! Some of these devices, when properly installed, may even considerably lower the cost of your insurance premiums!


Advantages of GPS Car Trackers

GPS car trackers truly come with a rather extensive list of benefits, but a few that make them a must-have for car owners include:

Discounted Insurance Premiums – if you think you’ve got an unmatched deal on your car insurance, it’s probably bound to get much better with a GPS vehicle tracker installed. The fact is that car theft is something beyond your control, yet the consequences are rather harsh, starting with skyrocketing insurance premiums. But car theft hurts the bottom line of insurance companies too with over a billion dollars in losses each year.

This is possibly the biggest reason why car insurance companies offer eye-popping discounts to vehicle owners who take extra precautions in securing their vehicles, such as installing a car alarm or a steering wheel lock or both. GPS vehicle trackers, although the new kids on the block, are another way to beef up your vehicle’s security and quite possibly be entitled to reduced insurance premiums.

Some high-end models ring in with features that mat even lower insurance costs for new drivers between the ages of 17 and 24 – a group that’s most susceptible to what can be over the top insurance prices. Features such as over speed alert not only allow you to set a preconfigured speed limit and alert you if your vehicle crosses that specific speed limit, but also stores this historic data to be analyzed by you or to be assessed by your insurance company.

Peace of Mind – it’s not just reduced insurance premiums that make vehicle GPS tracking devices worth a second look, it’s truly the unmatched peace of mind they provide. Devices with all the bells and whistles still being highly affordable alert you when your car has experienced an impact if your doors have been tampered with or your vehicle is being towed away, when the driver is speeding, and even helps locate your vehicle in a parking lot.

Overspeed Alert – as mentioned earlier, this feature of GPS car trackers allows you to set a limit on the device and send you an alert if your vehicle surpasses those numbers. This is a great feature to have to curb bad driving habits for young and old and everyone in between.

Shock Sensor – this alerts you when your car has experienced an impact regardless of where it is located. There is also a set of alerts for when a thief tries to pry into your vehicle’s doors and hood in an attempt to disengage your vehicle’s car alarm.

Door Alarms – unlike traditional car alarms that are limited to just emit a loud noise in the event of an attempted break-in or break-in, vehicle GPS car tracking devices have the ability to send you SMS alerts to your cell phone regardless of where your car is located, thanks to the smart technology behind them.

Live Tracking + History Log – the best GPS car trackers not only allow you to see where your vehicle is cruising in real time but also to record this data to be viewed at a later date.


Buying a GPS Vehicle Car Tracker

Owing to their increasing popularity, GPS car trackers are easily available both online and offline. However, before you set out to buy one, it is important to know your options. GPS car tracking devices are available most commonly in a choice of two variants – hardwired and portable devices. Portable devices as you may have guessed are powered by an inbuilt battery so they do not need to be tethered to your vehicle’s power system. This makes them highly portable so they can be used in more than one vehicle both domestically and internationally.

Hardwired trackers are great too but, just as the name suggests, do need to be wired to your car’s power system to power the device. And although you can complete the installation process yourself by reading the included user guide, it is highly recommended that you seek professional help because there’s a lot more to it than just plugging in a few wires. The downsides to hardwired trackers are that professional installation could cost upwards of $400 over and above the cost of the device, and once installed cannot be removed easily to be used in another vehicle or internationally.

If you’re still not sure about which device is right for you, take a look at a few models we’ve reviewed and highly recommend, including the ever popular hidden GPS car tracker. Some GPS car tracking models are only available exclusively from manufacturer websites, but take note that these will require a monthly subscription, meaning yet another bill to deal with. Instead of being bogged down with yet another monthly contract, buy a GPS vehicle tracker with a GSM SIM slot. This allows you to plugin a prepaid SIM with an active data plan, and you’re all set to track your vehicle’s whereabouts.

And with regards to how to track your vehicle, it’s as simple as sending an SMS command to the device and receiving your vehicle’s location in real-time via Google Maps. Each device even allows you to track and configure other great features of the device via smartphone apps and web-based software such as over speed alerts and geofencing.


Final Thoughts

If you would like to keep tabs on your vehicle over and beyond what a traditional car alarm offers, and with a device that gives you a lot more than what you pay for yet is highly inexpensive, don’t think twice – buy a GPS vehicle tracker!

Also, if you already tried one or have a GPS tracker installed on your vehicle at the moment, let us know what you think about these devices in the comment sections. It really helps to know what you think… After all, we can’t know everything and one of the best source of information we have is you!

Cheers and have a nice day!


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