What is GPS Tracking Device for Cars?

I recently came across with the situation when a person does not have any understanding what is a GPS tracking device for cars.

Try This One 4.7 Out of 5 Stars

My car insurance company offered me free of charge OBD (ON-BOARD DIAGNOSTICS) security lock with the arrangement that the next three years will stick with given BALTA insurance company.

I heard a conversation with a beautiful lady sitting next to me with another SIA Autonams car security company agent.

She said that has heard that you can find your car anytime in any place just did not has a clue how it works.

Company employee tried to explain to her but in a manner confusing even me. So I decided to make an insight into the topic How GPS tracker device for cars works. Let’s say How it works for Dummies.

What is GPS tracker?

Wikipedia about GPS Tracking Unit-

„A GPS tracking unit is a device, normally carried by a moving vehicle or person, that uses GPS stands for Global Positioning System to determine and track its precise location, and hence that of its carrier, at intervals.“

In other words, a car, boat, dog, people, drone, plane or any other movable object is equipped with the device which can be traced with the help of GPS signals.

Regardless of the trackable object, the principle of GPS tracker is the same.

GPS or other satellite navigation system like GLONASS or Galileo continuously broadcasts the signal which is received by any GPS receiver a tracker including.

By receiving at least three satellites messages, a GPS unit calculates geographic coordinates. For navigation purposes, it is enough, and you can use it for turn by turn navigation for cars or use it for marine navigation.

When it comes to GPS tracking then in many cases we want to know and track the object in real time though for so-called Data Loggers type (logs merely the position of the device at regular intervals in its internal memory) of GPS tracker it would be sufficient without transmitting collected position data.

Data logger type actually was the first GPS tracking solution mainly used for data collection and analysis for commercial trucks. Still in use for the same purposes as it running cost nothing except the price of unit and storage solution.

Another more common type is Data pushers.

Also known as a GPS beacon, this kind of device sends the position of the device as well as other information like speed or altitude at regular intervals, to a determined server or directly to the cell phone or computer that can store and instantly analyze the data.

To answer the question What is GPS tracking device

for cars and knowing I wrote above the only missing link in the chain which needs to be clarified is- How to deliver data from the tracker to the end user.

The most common way is by using the cellular network.

On-demand or by set intervals a GPS tracker device

for cars or any other assets sends messages of selected data. Security company or owner of the vehicle constantly can check the vehicle position. In the situation of unauthorized movement, the alarm is triggered. For example, GPS tracker is set for geofence (geographical borders), and as soon as the border is violated, you are warned about it.

Many security and other companies around are offering GPS tracking service, but I do not see the reason to spend the extra money on this. Only you need to buy one GPS tracking device for cars on  Amazon, hide it in your car. Then get one most covered GSM  operator SIM card, load it with about $20-$50, activate it and you are set to protect your property.

You can use it not just as security tool but even control your kids for speeding and other limits set by you.

So, once again GPS car tracking steps for Dummies.

Purchase GPS tracker unit, find a place to hide the device, insert charged GSM SIM card, download the free app for given device when it is needed (in some cases you even do not need any application as a GPS tracker device send you a link for position on Google map). Then read simple step by step inserted instruction how to set up alarm mode and other features. A budget will depend on your wishes mainly of the frequency of messages sent by GPS tracking device for the car to the user.

For those who wanted more flexibility and some other opportunities offered by GPS tracker producers can use paid tracking plans. Just in case here is one I would prefer in the present time.

NEW VERSION GL300 W Mini Portable Real Time GPS Tracker. Vehicle / Personal / Asset Tracking. Americaloc tracking.


I hardly found any drawbacks for this device just a couple of battery issues. My vision about a battery is that for car use needs to find a hidden way to connect to the car battery. I guess that it is not a brainer.

Here is the Amazon Verified Purchase customer review

„Unit worked as advertised. You can set up email alerts and then have emails converted to Text messages giving very close to real time alerts. We got reliable movement alerts, and were able to follow the thief’s route, while notifying the police. Tracked the thief all the way to his destination and police were summoned to arrest with goods still in possession. The free first two months of cell service was an added bonus. This unit works, and works reliably. The battery life is good, it was still 80% charged (yes it tells you state of charge) after over a week out in the field. Easy to set up, and customer service is awesome, responding to, even encouraging future inquires, almost immediately. They tweaked the tracking settings for me, and were right on top of it all the way. There are lots of units out there, but this one is a sure bet, at least it was for me.“

Is it the best choice?

I do not think so as you can find cheaper or more durable GPS tracking unit. I purchased China made for $17 just to experiment. It works as I described just battery is dead, and even after connecting with car battery the tracker functionality interrupts due to vibration. But I have experience and confidence how the tracker works.

Our topic is What is GPS tracker device for cars so for boats or planes, and in some situation, even for ground vehicles, another solution must be used. It is because of remote areas non-covered by the GSM network.

There are some other GPS tracking solutions for this mainly by means of satellite communication like Iridium or Inmarsat.

You can find some information in my previous posts about DeLorme InReach SE GPS Tracker

DeLorme InReach SE GPS Tracker is Independent of the Cellular Network

or very innovative and the perspective Internet of Things solution HidnSeek GPS Tracker.

HidnSeek GPS Tracker Innovative Solution.

So it is my short introduction of What is GPS tracking device for cars. You are very welcome to comment or say your vision of the topic.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


  1. Douglas

    I have a GPS, “maps” to find a location that I am traveling to or looking for. The GPS tracker allows the owner of the device to be in control of the whereabouts of the vehicle if stolen. If I lived in a high crime area that would certainly be a part of my vehicle protection package.
    If I have read this correctly then, if my vehicle was stolen and I had the GPS Tracker installed in the car with the tracking package, that I could alert the police and they could arrive at the area the vehicle stopped at. Then the police or law officials could at this destination pick up and deliver the thieves to jail.I could see that system installed would lower car insurance rates? I liked the information supplied. Thought your site very informative. I will be back.

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi, Douglas and thanks for the comment. I guess that the main purpose of any GPS tracker for car, boat or any other movable object is finding it after the unauthorized disappearance. Mainly it is a job of the police or security company just local laws could differ regarding actions against offenders.

  2. Doug

    I have a GPS “maps” to find the location of destination only. I have never thought about the GPS tracker system, only because of where we live is quiet so far as I speak. The cost is very reasonable for the device, then just picking the tracking package of preference. I can see the great advantage of owning a GPS tracker would be if one’s car was stolen and I think I got this right that the police could be alerted to the site the vehicle has stopped at. Then the police or law inforcement people would be ready for pick up and delivery to overnight accommodations (jail). I am thinking that the car insurance premium may go down on vehicles with the GPS tracker installed? I enjoyed the GPS tracker section of your web page, I will need to come back to track through the rest of your site. Lots of great information.

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks Doug for stopping by. I can not say about your insurance details it could differ but in my company when GPS tracker for car is installed in authorized security company then it definitely is the great advantage in case of car stolen. More advanced thieves use GPS jammers but it is a solution against this also.

  3. Stephen

    Hello Andrejs,

    Thanks so much for talking about my interest. It is interesting that many are not aware of what GPS is and even just how it works. And so I know very well that this post will help them.

    I well remember that my first company I worked with after completing my IT course was into installing GPS car tracking device, I loved the work so much that if not for some reasons I would never had stopped working for that company.

    We were installing a GPS device called Teltonika from Lithuania, I quite remember how this tiny device was working wonders. It was capable of doing immobilizing, geofencing, tracking engine hours for which reason some companies even demanded that we install it in their excavators, Ac Cranes, and many heavy duty machines, the device could even track fuel consumption.

    In fact that little device was wonderful. Even now I still have love for my first work, that of installing GPS Car Tracking Device. When I saw your post I was so amazed and happy to hear that you were talking about GPS Tracking device and so I decided to add my comment.

    But my question is which GPS device will you recommend for anyone who wants to install one in his or her car?

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi, Stephen. It looks like only a few people know that such an option for car safety as GPS tracker device for cars exists. You are among one of the few who knows. Which one is the best? Not so easy question. It depends on local situation What is your insurance company policy, how smart are thieves around your area, what is your driving habits, I mean how far off-road you used to drive where GSM network still is accessible. I guess that better start with cheap one like TK102 Mini Spy . In fact, it works the same way as more advanced devices just some features like battery life, durability and so on can differ. More powerful and with real strong battery life is Long-Term GPS Tracker.
      One more tip for GPS tracker for cars users. Thieves use GPS jammers but generally jamming effect longs only for a short period. After, they leave the stolen car and wait some time to check out the reaction of owner or police.  GPS jammers are expensive and not always works for every GPS tracker. Well, I think that I need to write another post about the topic of GPS jammers.

  4. Ed

    Hi Andrejs,
    Wow, didn’t know there was so much GPS equipment available to the public, including mobile trackers that can do so much. My knowledge is limited to the navigation systems installed or plugged into cars for map and direction information.
    Thanks to you I now know that devices can be installed that can be used to tell me where my car is, in case it is stolen. I have two valuable classic cars that are restored or are in the process. They are old cars so don’t have modern locking mechanisms or security devices of any kind so I wondered how to protect them. These GPS trackers sound like just what I need.
    Thanks for the information and great reviews,

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thank You, Ed, for stopping by.

      You are absolutely right regarding classic cars. I do not know about the statistics of the theft of old cars, but GPS tracker, hidden in the car is really good idea. I had never thought about this topic need to dig deeper and look details of classic cars protection theme.

  5. Vlad

    Hey great article, I`m learning something new everyday!
    This is a perfect device for people to have you could almost refer to it as an essential.

    I hate how phone gps loses reception when your network isn’t running and this is the perfect way to be able to bypass that problem

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks Vlad for stopping by.

      You are right, and that’s annoying when GSM reception is lost, or the signal is weak. In remote areas as high mountains or high seas, the DeLorme InReach SE GPS Tracker is a smart alternative.

  6. Kelli

    I lose my car in the parking lot ALL the time, and I have nightmares about my car just being towed when I park in the city and not knowing what to do so this is definitely something I’m interested in. So if I lost my car, does it connect with google maps so it can see where I am and how to get to my car?

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi, Kelli and thanks for the idea for the future post.

      I never thought about GPS tracker from this point of view. Definitely, you can find your car when it is towed from the parking place. You can set a geofence, and you’ll be warned in a case of breaking the limits. It means that you immediately receive a message with exact position link on a map.

  7. Del

    I’ve had one car stolen in the past, thankfully it was an older one when I was in my cash-strapped early 20’s, but it was still a gut-wrenching experience – made all the worse by the fact that I had just spent the full day fitting new brake discs and pads to it! I’d be totally gutted if the same thing happened to my current car and I’d definitely be interested in getting something like this fitted 🙂

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      You are right Del. I had the similar experience. My car was stolen by youngsters just for fun. It was found in the bush after a couple of days, not by police but accidentally passerby. Windows were left open, and the car was full of rain water.  If the car were equipped with a GPS tracker then it might not have happened.

  8. Lucas

    So this GPS is different from the Google Maps GPS we use to help navigate our way somewhere right?

    From your explanation this GPS tracks our cars movement. I suppose this is useful for car robberies or any disappearences right? 

    I wonder if most new car models would have a GPS installed by default because it seems like a very useful feature.

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Lucas. Thanks for stopping by. 

      The GPS stands for Global Positioning System provided by the US satellite constellation formerly just for military use. Similar GLONASS is Russian, GALILEO European Union and some local Chinese and India. 

      Satellite receiver in any GPS device receives signals from three and more satellites and calculate your position on the Earth. GPS tracker transmits this signal usually through a cellular network to the end user. 

      You are absolutely right as a tracker in the car is mainly to find a vehicle. Another option is to track the movement to control trucks to use them at work and so on optimally. 

      Car makers do not install tracker as it is somewhat private and only you know the location of the tracker and some other legal issues.

  9. John

    This post includes some great information about GPS tracking devices.  I can understand the need nowadays as particular cars are getting targeted by thieves, this way they wouldn’t know it was tracked and you can pass it onto the police.

    A couple of questions?

    Where would you recommend hiding in the car, you want it to accessible in case you buy a new car and want to move it?

    How much data does your suggestion use and would you need to top it up very often?

    Thanks again for sharing


    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks, John for the comment and right questions.

       Where to hide a tracker? 

      It depends on the tracker itself. I prefer a durable waterproof device likeTrak4. It could be hidden anywhere even under the hood or trunk. 

       How many data does it use?

       It depends, but nowadays it is a tiny amount of MB and $ as well. I think that the more important is a battery. For example, Trak4 battery life is unbelievable; it is a year with a single charge.

  10. Amer Azmi

    I don’t have a car so I don’t really care much on GPS in car. But a few years ago, my brand new motor got stolen in housing area. From then, people keep telling me to buy GPS tracking devices so that next time I can find my motorcycle. But, till now, I didn’t buy any yet. hahaha. Thanks for this article, I think I need to buy 1. Stealing rate increasing every year at my place.

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi! Sad to hear about your stolen motorcycle.

       GPS trackers become a smarter year after year. Today you can buy for about $50 a device which can operate a whole year with a single charge.

       Protect your property, and for movable belongings, a GPS tracker is one of the good solutions.

  11. Padedayo

    I have not used a gps tracking device because I always feel they are complicated and since vehicles have immobilisers installed you don’t required GPS tracking devices.

    The article make me understand what I am looking for in a GPS tracker and how it is beneficial.

    How does the installation assist with insurance premiuims?

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi and thanks for the comment. 

      Many car owners think the same way until his car is stolen. Techy thefts know how to override the immobilization devices. Even though GPS tracker device for car is not a wonder wand, there is much more probability that your car will be found. 

      When it comes to insurance, it depends on the insurance company and some of them even advise GPS trackers.

  12. Mat A.

    Hello Andreajs,

    Great article on what is a gps tracker for cars along with some suggestions.  I find it close to shocking that the lady didn’t really know what a gps tracker was for the car.  I don’t know how long they’ve been around but it sure seems like it’s at least a decade.  

    When I moved to the city I live in there was a company called Garmin that was just exploding with growth.  Their main business was gps technology.  They have devices for cars, people, plans, boats, etc.  The company’s growth has since slowed down but they are still one of the premier GPS companies.  

    I remember renting cars about 10 years ago when I went on business trips.  GPS was really exploding then.  The cars I would rent always had the option of adding a GPS for about $10 per day more.  Of course I used it!  They’ve come a long ways since then.  Great article,

    Mat A.  

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Mat and thanks for commenting. 

      You are right of everything you wrote. Just to confirm that Garmin is still in leading positions for public GPS navigation devices for cars and GPS for boats as well. 

      I remember my holiday trip to Spain about twelve years ago. I rent a car in the Madrid airport to travel around Andalusia wonders, and I very much regret that I did not agree to spend an extra 100 EUR for a GPS navigator. I guess that spent even more as missed the right rout many times.

       Today the situation is much better as every smartphone has at least Google maps or you can upload free navigation apps like Waze or Maps.Me.

  13. Theresa

    Isn’t it amazing what technology has given us today? I am one of those people who are always standing in the parking lot trying to remember where I parked, so I’m intrigued by the option of having a tracker that is always ready to answer that question for me. Your experience with your car insurance reminded me of the tracking devices that allow the company to monitor your speed, sudden stops and other signs of dangerous driving. You can earn money with those, but one little mistake could give them a reason to increase your rate. I always wondered how this technology works, so thank you for giving some insight into it.

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Theresa and thanks for commenting.

       Actually, I wrote about it as GPS trackers work but if in two words then so.

       Satellites transmitting signals continuously, GPS tracker device receives them, tracker calculates position by at least three different satellite’s data and transmitting to end user. Usually through the GSM network and you can see tracker device position on desktop, laptop or smartphone on the go.

  14. Robin Fernandez

    Hello, is this the same as a “low jack”?   I always wondered what a low jack was, I would hear it on tv shows and commercials all the time.  I think the older generation has a more difficult time understanding what GPS is, but it’s definitely become a more common place household word.   Just curious, do you know how long this technology has been around?

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Robin and thanks for the comment and interesting question. 

      I guess that you mean LoJack, not ”low jack”. It’s Okay. Just it is not the same. LoJack is a radio transmitter and nothing common with satellite receiver like GPS. I even do not know if it is used for today as it was created and invented back in 1979. Although the principle is about the same, to transmit a car’s position to the owner or the police.

  15. Wei

    GPS tracking, use it every day but never understand how the magic works. Love your explanation for dummies. 

    That monthly plan for car tracking is way too expensive if you ask me. As long as you have GSM coverage, there are much better options just like you explained. I do love to see a list of car insurance companies that can offer tracking for my car. Since you probably need to pay for insurance anyway, that just seem the most logical way to me.

    Thanks for sharing. Learned a lot here.

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Wei and thanks for the real interest of GPS tracking device advantages in terms of car insurance costs. 

      Check those Insurance companies;
      State Farm
      Liberty Mutual and Safeco

      Some ask for OBD II tracking devices but some GPS tracking modules.

       I hope I helped you a bit.

  16. Parmi

    I used to have a GPS in my car a few years ago, but I don’t anymore. Because of how complex the Google Maps is in my phone, I find that I don’t need anything else besides it. Although the device here looks quite good, do you find that having a free app that gives you what you need already, will make people shy away from buying the device? I personally think that I wouldn’t buy it as I can get it for free already. 

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Parmi. It is great that you are satisfied with navigation and unknown address finding with the help of default Google Maps. Why not although there are many other much better and more convenient apps and software for safe driving or even hiking.

       This post is about GPS tracking feature; it is how you can use a benefit of satellite navigation to find your stolen car or even check driving habits of your kids.

  17. Jurgen

    GPS tracking systems are being used by a lot of companies that need to know where there vehicles are located. For example, that they can always send the vehicle closest to a location where it is needed.

    I think for personal use this is also a good idea, just in case your car gets stolen. I woul be cool if our insurance would give us a discount if we installed such tracker. What do you think?

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks, Jurgen for stopping by.

       You are right that many cargo transport companies using GPS trackers to check and manage their vehicles. Actually, it was pioneers in this market.

       Today you can buy different GPS tracking devices for cars in retailing shops or online. Some insurance companies give you discounts when your vehicle has properly installed tracker.

  18. Niley

    Cant a GPS trucking device be removed by anyone who wishes to steal the car after all it is installed by a human being and the same human beings can still get access to it.  What are the chances of recovering a car once it is stolen and it was installed with a GPS trucking device?  I think people should install these gadgets irrespective because it can save you the headache of going to police without any information.

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Niley and thanks for questions regarding GPS tracking devices for cars.

       You are right that tracker could be removed by thieves. Even more, it is a way to jam a GPS signal, but it is quite an expensive way. Nothing is perfect.

       Anyway, not every burglar are so smart and having the GPS tracker hidden only you known place you can track the car position online. Inform the Police or not it depends on the situation and trust in the police at all.

  19. Shannon

    I was actually shocked that not every one knows what a GPS tracking device does, but on second thought why would this be universal information? Was the insurance company offering this device for a discount on your premiums? If so that’s a great deal , and I would have jumped at that.

    Tracking devices are a great way to stay proactive in an event of theft takes place as it is better to be steps ahead than behind.  

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks, Shannon for stopping by. When it comes to my car’s OBD security lock then, yes, Insurance Company installed it for free provided that I will be a customer for the next three years. GPS tracker for car installed in behalf of given Insurance Company reduces insurance costs.

  20. julienne murekatete

    Thank you for posting such an interesting topic.I am like that lady because i know nothing about GPS tracking device . I am happy that i learn something new today. Most of the time i watch movies where they track people through their phones,cars and they say there is GPS tracking advice in their phone ,cars that’s why they were found and it is like magic to me but now i understand how GPS works.

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks Juliene for your comment. A GPS tracking device for cars is a smart investment for your good sleep.

  21. Evald

    Hey Andrej,

    Thanks for very detailed and helpful article regarding GPS tracking device, great job! I have learned a lot of new things today. It was really interesting to discover how exactly this device works and operates, what kind of types there are and how to use it to maximisize its pottential as well as what kind of strategies and ways there are to use it in general. I think  this kind of device would also be greatly beneficial in scenarios such as travelling abroad and parking Your car in a very crowdy place with lots of other cars in a, lets say in a heart of city. And of course on top of this, being abroad makes it way more difficult to find the exact place where You parked Your car, so therefore GSP tracking device would come in very handy! 

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks for your comment. 

      GPS tracking device for cars is a useful addition to your car’s safety. Just do not forget that using it abroad could lead to additional roaming costs as a tracker transmits a position through GSM network. 

      Thankfully in the European Union recently not extra charge for mobile calls and SMS.

  22. Fleur Allen

    Andrejs you are so right many use the terminology GPS but perhaps have no clear understanding of what it all means and is capable of. Perhaps we all need to say the full terminology ‘Global Positioning System’ when we say the acronym occasionally to remind ourselves what we are actually talking about. I think of GPS tracking commonly for mobile devices but to be honest haven’t thought about it for my car. In fact this would be very helpful because I drive a Mini, it is so small that I often can’t see it in carparks amongst the sea of larger cars so I will bookmark your page and return to review the details.

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      You are right when talking about GPS stands for Global Positioning System is just one of satellite navigation systems along with Russian GLONASS (Globalnaya Navigacionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema), European Galileo and local Indian IRNSS (The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) and Chinese BeiDou. 

  23. Paul

    Hello Andrejs, 

    Interesting post regarding GPS Tracking. I have used GPS quite extensively in my life and found it to be a very reliable partner, particularly when hiking and other outdoor pursuits.

    However, I have a question regarding privacy. Recently we had a legislation introduced in Europe regarding data protection and privacy of individuals. I would concerned that with this system built into my car that my privacy would be compromised.

    What would be your opinion on this?

    Best regards,


    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hello Paul and thanks for the interesting question regarding privacy and satellite navigation system. 

      In general, GPS and other satnav systems cannot affect our privacy in any way. Our GPS devices only receive signals from satellites and until there is any transmission function, no one can control your device. 

      Traditional GPS tracking device for car theoretically can be tracked by the third party, not TomTom or Garmin GPS device for car.

  24. Jay

    GPs trackers are very important for many and different reasons especially for cars. I can tell you that it is one thing that a lot of people neglect. There are a lot of stories about how people are able to find their stolen cars because of the gps present in their cars.

    Now adays technology has made it to become so simplified that you can even monitor it from your phones. Even though there are still a lot of car thefts but the presence of the gps system has made car recoveries easier. It is important though that your gps tracker is not in places that can be easily seen or accessed by people so they don’t remove it.

    It is a very wise investment to make as it would make you have a lot of rest or peace of mind. Thanks for the review because it just reminded me to cherish the importance of gps tracker.

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Jay and thanks for commenting. You are right that thieves are becoming more smarter either. Some of the even have tools to jam GPS signal but such equipment is very expensive, and it cannot be used for a long time. So, if you have GPS tracker properly hidden someplace in your car, it is a higher possibility to find it. 

  25. Nadia

    This is so cool, I always thought I’d have to pay a tracking company to provide this service which is costly! I never really even thought to look if a person could purchase a device like this to track your own vehicle. I love technology, thanks for sharing this Andrejs – I have something awesome to go share with my brother now who is a mechanic by trade and loves his gadgets!

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hello Nadia and thanks for stopping by. I like girls who love technology. Actually, there are some other cool tracking gadgets around, e.g., goTenna Mesh. You can take a look and read my post about it. 

      1. Nadia

        Thanks a million, I’ll check it out!

  26. Michelle

    Hello Andrejs, 

    Very interesting information.

    I did not know that insurance companies offered this option. I am quite familiar with the basic functions of a GPS system…my husband loves his toy Garmin…I guess it’s this thing about ‘boys and their toys’.

    Now as to the need to use a GPS tracker system, I gotta tell yah, it reminded me of the movies – James Bond oo7, if you will indulge me for a second.

    I guess your could compare this to a ‘lojack car system’? You know the one that ‘finds your car’ if stolen? The system that a lot of police officers use. I guess it is somewhat the same.

    I think it would be a great investment if you travel a lot and probably leave your car often, but for me, I don’t see the need.

    Great article though, and thanks for the suggestions on where to purchase.


    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks, Michelle for the great comment. Need you a GPS tracker for your car or don’t, it is just up to you. Why worry about the safety of your car if you have good insurance? In the end, you can even be in the winners if your car is stolen. But, if you own an expensive or some kind of antique car, then an investment of a hundred bucks is not so bad to sleep calm.

  27. Paul

    Dear Andrejs,

    Thanks for the detailed and thorough information on GPS Tracking Device for Cars.

    I got great insights from your post and GPS is an awesome gift of the advancement in the technology. After reading your post I realized its importance and its a must have device.

    Thanks for the different types of suggestions which makes our job very easy and saving our time. GPS Tracking Device gives a great security and safety. Its a great news that by just spending $50 we can protect our car for one whole year.

    Thanks a lot for sharing and wishing you great success!


  28. cjciganotto

    Hi Andrejs,

    After reading your article, I would love to have a GPS tracking device in my vehicles.

    I am a person that through my work I travel different routes in the country frequently. 

    Therefore, I would like to have these devices that would provide greater security and control.

    Please explain what model you recommend, for my case.

    Thank you


    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks, Claudio for stopping by. 

      Actually, there are many choices but I suggest that Spy Tec STI GL300 Mini Portable Real-Time Personal and Vehicle GPS Tracker is one of the optimal solutions. You can use it not just for car tracking but it is perfect for tracking teens, spouses, elderly persons or assets as well.

       I recommend that you also buy waterproof Optimus Twin Magnet GPS Tracker Case for about $20.

  29. Kent

    I park my car on the surface parking lot where I work and we get a lot of theft incidents, smashed car windows and sometimes cars get stolen as well. I never had anything happen to my car but it sounds like I should invest in a GPS tracking device just in case.

    I’ve heard about them before but for some reason I thought it was complicated to install so I never bothered. Sounds like it’s just something you can hide in your vehicle easily. How big are these things? Is it small enough so I can hide it on my motor bike as well?

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Kent, thanks for the question. When it comes to the size of the GPS tracker, then you can find as small as a dime. My advice is not to look towards small sizes as battery usually not for long use. Here is a list of GPS trackers for any sizes and power options.

  30. Brenda

    Very useful post. Didn’t know there were so many GPS systems available for cars. I’m familiar with google. This is interesting, all the security features and basically being able to monitor the speed of your car. Amazing stuff! Person with no clue about GPS with definitely appreciate this post. Personally it has been informative and I will revisiting your site.

    Thanks for sharing.

  31. Henry

    Hi! I really enjoyed reading this post because the principle of GPS traking is laid very easy to understand. I must admit I have heard very complicated explanations, but for the average person, those excessive details don’t seem to be needed. I’ll bookmark this very useful post.

    Without entering into these technical details I’ve just mentioned, I’d just like to share a simple way to distinguish GPS (Global Positioning System) from GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) because we may often find both terms. GPS (USA) is an independent system, so as GLONASS (Russia) is, and also will be GALILEO (Europe) and BeiDou-2 (China) in the future. GNSS groups in one system these independent constellations providing slightly better results (in very specific circumstances) that using them separately.

    I have really enjoyed your site, and I’ll frequently continue visiting! Keep well!

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks, Henry for stopping by. All satellite navigation systems are fully independent form each other. Some devices has additional  GSNNS receiver chips and therrefore can obtain more accuracy. The most common is GPS in combination with GLONASS like latest iPhones and Garmin GPS navigators.

  32. Chris

    I live in a very rural area in South Wales, UK, and we often get problems with all sorts of signals (GPS and mobile phone devices included). 

    I’m wondering why this is? After all GPS is near enough a satellite signal isn’t it? We frequently lose then regain signal in open areas on country roads driving. I was wondering why this is and if it happens to all GPS devices?

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hello Chris and will go for another valuable comment.

       If honestly, the loss of the GPS signal in an open space in Britain seems unusual to me. Does this happen with dual receiver devices, GPS and Russian GLONASS, as well? All iPhones beginning with 4S are equipped with GLONASS either. I don’t even remember missing a satellite signal except in tunnels or high-rise buildings.

  33. JohnB

    It is laughable to see that people do not actually know what a GPS device does and how it functions basically. A GPS device for your car is especially useful but as you said you can get away with much cheaper devices without a subscription model. With our mobile phones nowadays we can use the GPS any time we want and it is pretty straightforward for navigational purposes. 

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks for the comment. You’re right that cellphone navigation apps are a great helper driving along known and unknown roads.
      It’s a little different if we’re talking about GPS tracking.
      In this case, however, standalone GPS tracker is a more useful solution.

  34. Dany


    We bought an RV in spring, and we were thinking to rent it out when we are not using it. As you rent the car based on a contract, you hope that all will be alright, but my husband’s conscience has a different opinion, and he was thinking how to track it. The GPS solution seems to be the best solution, but he didn’t know where to find a good source of information. 

    I glad I found your article, I wish I have stumbled on it before summer, but I’ll keep it for the next summer.

    We didn’t rent it out this summer as it was a long and warm summer. Thank you for an informative article.

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Danny and thanks for stopping by.

      It’s a very wise idea to equip your caravan with a GPS tracker. Additional costs will be low, but you will be able to verify users’ fairness for sure.

  35. Olonisakin Kehinde

    Douglas,  good review you have out up here.  For sure GPS  is a good system for tracking.  I once used it to track my stolen mobile phone.  It’s not a technology that is so sophisticated and it’s quite a useful tech. it is good to opt in for a subscription into GPS security especially for cars. It will be good for areas with high theft vulnerability 

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks for the comment. 

      Definitely, GPS trackers are one way to protect their moving property. It should be said that thieves also use high technologies, for example, it is possible to temporarily suppress the signal of GPS satellites. Such technologies are commonly used by military needs. But it’s a very expensive pleasure and it’s practically difficult to do it on a long-term basis.

      These thieves often overestimate the effect of GPS jamming and fall into it.

  36. Stella


    SatNavs or in other words GPS system are really useful and more easy to use than road maps.  I do not own a car yet,

    but will definitely buy one as it saves a lot of time.  Only thing I don’t like is that sometimes it can give strange instructions depending on the model.

    All in all a great review.  I enjoyed reading it!

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Stella and thanks for the comment. I think you will quickly learn the practical application of GPS navigation. It’s no more complicated than using an iPhone or MacBook.

  37. Katya

    Hi, I have a question about tracking your vehicle if you don’t have cellular network. More specific, say you equip your car with a regular GPS, the one that works on cellular coverage. You go on a road trip in the middle of nowhereb ut beforehand your let your family know, you’re going for a long, remote road trip where you will have no cell service, you should contact them in 7 days time, let say… and then in the middle of nowhere, your car brakes down. No cellular network, no civilisation for hundreds of miles, we’re talking Australian outback deserted places.

    Then your family raise an alarm because they haven’t heard from you. 

    My question is: can rescue team find you based on your GPS? Or should I get a GPS that works regardless of cell coverage?

    I am planning to have that kind of road trip very soon (hopefully without breakdown) and it would help me tremendously if you could point me in the right direction.



    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Katya. Great comment and practical issues. I’ll start with GPS navigation. Clearly, navigation will work anywhere, regardless of the GSM network. GPS satellites only send signals, and if you’re not deep in caves, gorge, or the North Pole itself, or the South Pole, then you’ll be OK.
      Somewhat different is the use of a GPS tracking device. In the standard, you need a cellular network to work correctly.
      But everything isn’t so hopeless. The use of Satellite Communications is possible. Read more about DeLorme InReach SE GPS Tracker. Your relatives will not only be able to see where you are in Australia’s nowhere but also to call or send a text message.

       I hope it got a little clearer? If anything, you know, I’ll try to help. I hope everything will be good on your desert trip!

  38. Strahinja

    Hello and thank you for this informative article. I had an amazing time reading it. I am really surprised that there is someone today who actually does not know what GPS Tracking Device is. But, I guess there is always that one person who just is not as informed as most are.

    You explained everything good and I loved that you also quoted Wikipedia. Everything is clear. I use GPS device because I travel a lot and I find it useful whenever I go.

    Also, this Americaloc pricing looks quite decent. I will make sure I check it up.


    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks for stopping by. I am sure that AMERICALOC GL300W Mini Portable Real Time GPS Tracker is a good choice. I don’t think there’s any need to buy the service there at any additional price. I think it’s smarter to simply buy a SIM card from an independent mobile service company and use it when and how actively you want.

  39. ArtianB

    This is a great post that includes some great information about GPS tracking devices. The satellite receiver on each GPS device receives signals from three satellites and more and calculates your position on Earth. I understand the need nowadays, as special machines are being targeted by thieves, so putting a GPS device is a necessity.Thank you ANDREJS


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