Best Hidden Car GPS Trackers For 2024 – Forbes Home

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Tracking a vehicle’s location by GPS may seem like something suited more for spy movies than the family car, but there are good reasons you might want to consider investing in one. Nomor Pelacakan Pos Pos

For families with young drivers, a GPS tracker can track the location of their vehicle and teen driver for peace of mind and safety, and make it easy to react quickly in an emergency or even something as simple as running out of gas. For business owners, being able to know where their vehicles and employees are can help with efficient scheduling and productivity. And while a GPS tracker can’t do much about the recent rise in car theft, it can help with vehicle recovery.

Compact, easy to install and affordable, GPS trackers can address all of those concerns and more. Most either plug into your vehicle’s OBD-ll diagnostic port, are self contained using battery power or connect directly to the vehicle’s battery.

Popularity of these devices has soared in recent years, resulting in a variety of consumer benefits including reduced cost and more choices and features available to suit a variety of needs. Many trackers can be easily installed and set up in minutes, and are either powered by batteries or your car’s electrical system. But because these all use data networks to transmit information, a monthly subscription fee is required.

We’ve taken an extensive look at a wide variety of devices available, to determine which ones offer the best features and value. So whether this is your first GPS tracker or your fifth, one of these should be right for you.

Portable, Waterproof, Magnetic GPS tracker

Lifetime, including lost or damaged device

Yes, with 4G LTE +extra triband

MAC, PC, iPhone, and Android devices

4G satellite technology, water resistant, weather proof, and dirt proof

1" thick with 7-10 days of battery life

Best Bang For The Buck

Best Bang For The Buck

The Tracki GPS tracker is hands down one of the best buys for the money simply for the fact that it’s less than $20. But don’t let its affordable price turn you away. With compatibility to work with all the major cellular data networks (4G LTE, 3G and 2G) both in the U.S. and abroad, the Tracki GPS provides all the essential tracking capabilities one needs. And it’s all packaged into the smallest and lightest form factor on the market at 1.8 inches long and 1.5 inches wide, weighing only just 1.26 ounces. Did we also mention it’s waterproof and damage resistant? The internal battery isn’t removable, but Tracki claims up to five full days of battery life with real-time tracking, and up to a month if the refresh rate intervals are set every one to 5 minutes. An optional auxiliary 3,500 mAh battery is available as an accessory, which can extend the recharge period up to three to four weeks and a monthly subscription of $19.95 is required, though the price reduces if the subscription is paid for in advance.

The GL300 is a popular and solid tracker known for accurate location accuracy and fast refresh rate for real-time location tracking. While very similar to the Tracki, it does command a slightly higher asking price, but that’s because of its extra features. Unlike the Tracki, the Spytec can store previous trip data like an airplane’s black box. Notifications for erratic driver behavior alerts, such as excessive speed alerts, and for when cars leave a specified geofence area are also standard. With Spytec’s “Basic” subscription plan of $25 per month, the tracker updates its data every 60 seconds, with up to a 20-day battery life. You can increase its updates to every 30 seconds for $10 more per month.

At $40, it should but doesn’t include a magnetic case, which you’ll need if you want the mounting magnet and waterproof protection—an otherwise $20 extra cost.

The LandAirSea 54 is one of the more affordable trackers we’ve seen from a reputable company that doesn’t skimp on features, but it’s still not as feature rich as some of the more premium offerings. Like the Tracki, the LandAirSea 54 sports a durable and waterproof case with an internal magnet. With integration into Google Maps, geofencing and adjustable refresh rates, it’s as good as GPS trackers get. Though unlike some of the competition, the 54 features a tiered subscription service. Basic coverage starts at $20 per month, or even less at $9.95 if you prepay for a long-term two-year plan. But its refresh rate is limited to once every 3 minutes. If you want the unit to update—up to every 3 seconds—you’ll need to upgrade to a more expensive monthly plan.

Brickhouse Livewire Volt GPS Tracking Device

If your needs include tracking driver behavior and not having to worry about the hassle of recharging worn-out batteries, the Brickhouse Livewire is your best bet. Because it is hard wired to your car’s electrical system, you never need to worry about running out of power. Family and fleet-friendly features include geofencing to keep a vehicle from straying too far, along with safety alerts for excessive speed. The Brickhouse also includes extras like maintenance alerts and offers a wide variety of customizable alerts and notifications. Subscription plans start at $17.99 per month.

Best For Versatility And Features

Best For Versatility And Features

Packed with features and a cinch to install and use, the Bouncie is a versatile and user-friendly choice for a variety of uses. Just plug it into your car’s OBD port and you’re good to go. Because it’s powered by your car, there’s no need to worry about battery life. A wealth of features include alerts for speed, hard acceleration and braking, geofencing or a crash. The Bouncie can also provide practical information, such as fuel economy, fuel level and maintenance needs. Bouncie can even send roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown. Subscription plans start at $9 per month.

Concealable GPS tracking units, like their counterparts that plug into a car’s onboard diagnostics computer or OBD-II port, can help keep tabs on a driver or vehicle’s location and even relay telemetric information about how a vehicle is being used in a stealthy way. Our guidelines for evaluating concealable GPS trackers are similar to the conventional plug-in units since the only difference between the two is that concealable ones are more portable and battery powered, which we take into account over the standard plug-in trackers.

In our research and evaluations, we consider unit size, usability, frequency and accuracy of updates, the ease of accessing GPS data (usually via mobile app or web interface), battery life (if they have a battery), price and the cost of any potential subscription or data fees. We also considered whether these units offer additional services like crash detection or roadside assistance, but weigh them less heavily on this list than for GPS trackers in general.

We evaluate all hidden GPS trackers based on these weighted metrics:

When looking for a location to conceal a GPS tracker, the goal should be to find a spot that is out of the way, inconspicuous and that won’t damage the GPS unit. Inside the engine bay, for example, would certainly be inconspicuous, but if the GPS tracker were to come loose, not only could it potentially be destroyed by the many moving parts under the hood, but it could actually damage the engine itself.

With these thoughts in mind, here are 10 places to hide a GPS tracker:

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Most devices use current cellular data networks and the preexisting global positioning system to communicate information to the corresponding servers and apps. Because of this, updates may sometimes be delayed if the tracked vehicle enters a signal dead zone. Devices intended for use in the U.S., Canada and Mexico typically use the 4G LTE network, although devices in other countries may require different cellular bands.

For most models, when used with their default settings, the battery lasts for up to 14 days when the location refresh rates, or update intervals, are at their lowest frequency of once every 60 seconds. This means that there’s more resting time for the battery. If you require faster updates or real-time tracking, that will significantly reduce battery charge longevity since faster updates and real-time tracking require more power. Thus it’s important to consider units that send low-battery notifications to the smartphone app or web interface so that you can make sure it never runs out of juice. In some trackers, you can purchase additional auxiliary batteries as an accessory for extra-long battery life.

A tracker’s “refresh rate” or “sample rate” is how often the device receives new information from its transmitter and may vary depending on the model. While most trackers refresh every 30 to 60 seconds, parents or family members tracking an inexperienced teen or vulnerable senior driver may want a speedier unit or one that provides updates in real time. So, it’s important to research the refresh rate of the trackers if that’s a priority.

Geofences are preselectable areas or customizable zones on a digitized map—such as Google Maps or any map app—that can be designated at the touch of a finger. These zones act as a “perimeter fence,” which alerts users if a vehicle leaves a designated area. Almost all the apps included with GPS trackers allow for the use of geofences. While most apps only let you configure circular zones, which have rough boundaries, some let you configure any shape for more precise area designation.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), several states prohibit installing a tracker in a car without the consent of the vehicle owner. Others generally prohibit tracking without the consent of the person being tracked. Exceptions do exist, particularly for parental or guardian purposes with minors. Though in general, most states allow the use of these GPS trackers. Ultimately however, laws vary by state, so it’s always good to check local regulations.

Rik is equal parts geek, gearhead, and driving enthusiast. He’s been reviewing cars, auto electronics, and car accessories for over 25 years, and he’s held staff positions with Motor Trend, Consumer Reports’ autos team, and Wirecutter, the NY Times Company’s product-review website. Rik has also written DIY auto-repair manuals for Haynes. And he likes nothing better than to be exploring new places in a great vehicle.

Engine Starter 12v Jim Travers is a lifelong gearhead, and a freelance writer, editor, and photographer. A classic car enthusiast, collector, and a regular judge on the car show circuit, Jim is the author of the Smithsonian Institute’s Extreme Cars. He has also written for Automobile, Autoblog, BBC Autos, Car and Driver, Consumer Reports, Hagerty, US News, and others. He lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts, a town known for both its beach and its dump. On weekends, Jim is a regular at both.