Vehicle tracker: how to choose the best in 2021?
Are you thinking about purchasing a vehicle tracker? Whether for personal or professional use, this can be a great tool for security, helping in locating stolen vehicles or under the use of third parties!
Vehicle trackers have grown a lot in the market with the new technologies available. It is now possible to choose from several configurations and usage models. This makes life much easier for those who want to have one of these equipments.
But this abundance of settings also has its downside: it makes the choice process much more complicated. Do not worry! We are here to help and in the next lines of this article we will take any questions you may have.
First, the most important
- A vehicle tracker is very important for both security reasons, helping recovery after theft, as well as owners of passenger or cargo transport fleets, monitoring the situation of each vehicle.
- There are several sub-categories of trackers. Among them, the most important are the operating signal (GPS or Radio Frequency) and visibility (hidden or exposed).
- The tracker itself, considering its frequency of use, is not an expensive device. But in the vast majority of models, it will be necessary to have a data plan hired for the operation to be perfect.
Best Vehicle Tracker Models: Our Favorites
With technology enabling a huge range of tracking possibilities, the devices also become very diverse. Therefore, we have chosen some of the best for sale today. Below, we selected some models of vehicle trackers that are certainly worth your investment:
- An excellent and easy to hide tracker
- Excellent tracker with geographic boundary
- Tracker with real-time application
- Emergency battery tracker
- The lightest vehicle tracker
Now that you know about high quality models, let’s talk more about the vehicle tracker. There is a lot to discuss about these complex little gadgets!
Do you want to have full sense of how to make your choice? So come with us.
What is a vehicle tracker and what is it for?
A vehicle tracker is a small device that is installed inside a car, motorcycle, truck or any other vehicle, and then starts to track it. It is possible to follow by applications or receiving SMS the location of the same.
The main use of the tracker, whether personal or professional, is to have easy access to the vehicle’s location in case of theft. But there are also those who buy to track family members or employees, whether for reasons of control or distrust.
It is basically mandatory to have vehicle trackers if you own a fleet of vehicles. Knowing where each one of them circulates will be essential for the success of your business.
There are two different systems that work on vehicle trackers: by GPS and by radio frequency. Later on, we will go into more detail on the differences between these types.
Always remember that a tracker is not a substitute for auto insurance. Both must be used simultaneously!
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a vehicle tracker?
The vehicle tracker allows a high recovery rate for stolen vehicles. The more features the device has, such as the possibility of cutting fuel, and the faster the tracking action is made, the greater the chances.
However, it is worth saying that it does not prevent theft, it only improves these chances of recovery.
Another issue is that it is possible to feel safer in relation to what family members, especially children, do with the home vehicle, and in the case of companies, it also allows to monitor the movement of employees.
Vehicles with trackers installed usually receive discounts from insurance companies, as they are easier to recover. The chances of a theft claim are considerably reduced.
Check out a table of advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a vehicle tracker:
- It greatly increases the chances of a stolen vehicle being recovered
- Makes car insurance cheaper
- Allows 24 hour tracking, providing security in the use of the vehicle by third parties
- Does not prevent vehicle theft
- Needs attention with the battery for perfect operation
- Eventually, it may lose the signal, making tracking difficult
Hidden or exposed tracker?
One of the ways in which we can categorize trackers is between hidden or exposed models. The former are smaller and are practically undetectable in the vehicle, while the latter are much more visible.
If you want the model to be practically imperceptible, making it difficult for thieves to find it or for other people using the vehicle to know of its existence, it is better to opt for a hidden one.
In this case, the ideal is that it is easy to install and uninstall (for example, to help when charging the battery). There are some that come in a magnet format, for example, which makes them quite useful.
The exposed ones are usually bigger and the charging is done by connection with the vehicle’s own battery. They can be left in the glove compartment or in another part of the vehicle. More experienced thieves will likely check your existence before completing the action.
The main advantage of exposed trackers is the lower value. They can be used, for example, in fleets of cars used to transport passengers. Thus, they serve as security both for the owner, as well as for drivers and people transported.
In the following table, we show differences between the two types:
GPS or Radio Frequency Tracker?
GPS trackers are much more common than radiofrequency trackers, but both types are present on the market and have advantages and disadvantages.
GPS models work from radio waves that are sent via satellite. The Global Positioning System is used. It’s like what you have on your cell phone, and it has the same features.
Its main positive points are its wide scope, reaching almost anywhere, and accuracy in the transmission of information. However, the signal is usually easily lost, especially in closed places such as tunnels or garages.
A radio frequency tracker, in turn, uses electromagnetic signals. The advantage is that the signal is not usually lost by obstacles such as those mentioned above, but the scope is much less. There is no mapping as big as that of GPS.
It is recommended to use radio frequency in large urban centers, such as São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, which are entirely mapped. In this case, the difficulty of signal loss becomes the decisive factor.
If you live in the countryside or in a not so mapped place, opt for GPS. Especially because in smaller cities there is a lower occurrence of tunnels and other places that will cause the signal to drop.
Did you know?
Many people tend to confuse the GPS system with devices or software that receive this signal. But GPS is actually an acronym for Global Positioning System, or Global Positioning System.
This system began to be developed in the 1960s by the United States Department of Defense. The idea was to spread a set of satellites across the planet that would be able to map all places and allow a sense of object positioning.
It took a long time for it to become fully functional: it only happened in 1995. With the evolution of technology, today it is accessible to everyone who owns a cell phone and also used in tracking devices.
How does tracker communication and guidance work?
The use of a vehicle tracker is not completely free. This is because it consumes internet, needing to be 100% active all the time.
Imagine that a tracker is basically a cell phone without a screen, with the GPS (or radio frequency) application turned on all the time, sending information to other authorized devices.
Therefore, for its perfect functioning it is necessary to have a functional chip from some cellular operator. The size of the plan will vary with the need of the device: those who only send SMS, for example, require less.
Once you can access the vehicle’s position on a computer or cell phone, it will be like looking at a traditional map and positioning at the moment.
It is possible to choose limits within which circulation is allowed and to configure the issuing of alerts if they are broken.
In the video below, we have an example of a vehicle tracker software interface:
We need to mention that some models are supposedly “no monthly fees”, but that just means that there are no direct payments to the company. It is still necessary to keep a cell phone chip active for the device.
How much does a tracker cost?
The style, size and functionality of the tracker are the factors that influence the value of the device. With so many categories and differences between models, it is possible to find values between approximately R $ 80 and R $ 600.
It is worth remembering that, in almost all cases, it will also be necessary to keep a cell phone chip with a data plan, since this is how the tracker works.
Some famous car security, alarm or insurance companies also offer tracker rentals. For a monthly fee, you keep the equipment in your car with employees attentive to strange movements. This service is between R $ 50 and R $ 100 monthly.
Where to buy a tracker?
The best option for purchasing a vehicle tracker is at automotive security stores. Specialized in alarms and other products that need to be installed, they will also offer a great variety of tracker models.
If your option is to buy over the internet, we recommend the Amazon. Other great choices are international Amazon. You can also search on websites of companies specializing in automotive safety.
Purchasing criteria: what to consider when choosing your vehicle tracker
In addition to the categories we explain in greater detail, there are a few more important details when choosing the ideal tracker.
We have selected five items for you to pay special attention to:
- Battery life
- Listening system
- Ease of Installation
- Additional features
Below, we’ll talk a little more about each one.
If you are in the habit of using GPS applications on your phone, you know that battery consumption is quite high. Imagine, then, on a device that uses this system in a primordial manner and for many consecutive hours.
It is important to choose a tracker with long battery life. If your choice is for an exposed model, connected directly to the electrical part of the car, this is not so important. But things change for the hidden.
There are some trackers with very powerful batteries that can go weeks without a new charge. Keep an eye!
The listening system is not a necessary function in a tracker, as it will be needed only in very specific situations. But if you want to closely monitor the use that third parties make of a particular vehicle, it becomes very important.
It can also be a differential in the case of theft, allowing you to have a better sense of what happens inside the vehicle. This is an optional feature, and whether or not it depends on what you expect from your device. Anyway, know of its existence.
A tracker is a device that is likely to spend most of its existence in a vehicle. Therefore, it must be resistant to adverse environmental situations that will exist. The main ones are dust and dirt.
But it is also an addition if it is waterproof, not being damaged for example in possible washes, or even resistant to a possible collision, facilitating the location in these conditions.
Do not keep an appliance that is not resistant to these situations. Opt for the best durability!
Ease of Installation
We have already explained here that models that are connected to the vehicle’s electrical part must be installed by professionals. Failure to follow this guidance can damage the tracker, as well as the car, motorcycle or truck.
However, for those who are hidden, it is important to choose an easy to install. Prefer, for example, what are magnets to those that need to be screwed. The headache when charging the battery (or needing to be removed, in general) will be much less.
There are some additional features that are not mandatory for the tracker to work, but are welcome. Among them, we highlight the possibility of cutting fuel, speed alert and triggering monthly reports.
The first helps a lot in the event of theft: it becomes very easy to stop the vehicle from operating with suspicion of suspicious activity. The rest are good for fleet owners, allowing for a better analysis of performance and respect for drivers’ traffic.
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