There is an amazing array of GPS car tracker units being sold today. What was once something out of a James Bond movie is now affordable technology used by many families and businesses. This means finding a GPS tracker is easier than ever. It also makes finding the right vehicle tracking device harder because there are so many options. Whether you are trying to track a fleet of work trucks or a single sixteen year old with a new driver’s license, there are a few things everyone should consider before buying a car tracker.
Overall Cost Of The GPS Car Tracker
Cost is always a factor when making a purchase. When buying a GPS car tracking system, the real question is what you are paying for, not how much are you paying. Does your GPS car tracker have an upfront cost for each unit? Is there a monthly service charge and, if there is, what is the best way for you to pay? After all, many companies will offer discounted pricing for purchasing year of service instead of monthly service. If you are not paying for a monthly service you may want to investigate how the tracker works. It is free to use the GPS signals but the tracker needs to send its information to monitoring software. This is usually done using a cellular data service which requires a subscription.
If there is no monthly cost it may mean that you are paying for a certain period of service up front. If so, what will the service cost after that time period is up? It could also mean that your GPS tracker only communicates through a more limited system (such as Bluetooth or wi-fi). If this is the case you may not be able to track the unit from a long distance or in real time.
Car Tracker Software Features
Most of the best GPS car trackers send their information through the Internet so they can be monitored. In many ways, the monitoring software is the product you are really using. Once the vehicle tracking device is installed, you never really touch it again. The software is how you interact with the trackers so it must be right for your needs.
Ask a few questions about the software and how you plan to use it. How exactly will you access this data? Is it only available online through a website? Will it work with your current operating system or preferred browser? Can you monitor your tracker from your phone? Will the system work with your brand of cellular phone? Also, business owners need to know how many GPS car tracker units they are able to monitor simultaneously to be sure they cover their entire fleet.
After establishing how you can access your tracking information, find out how can you use it. Every GPS vehicle tracking system should report its location and speed. Can you customize the reports? Are you able to set “work hours” for vehicles to get alerts if they are operated at times they should not be used? Can you get alerts at all or do you have to actively keep an eye on the system? If you can get alerts, are they text or email based? Are you able to define specific locations (usually called geofences) that trigger alerts? Find out all you can about your GPS car tracker software to decide if it has the features you need and want.
GPS Car Tracker Installation And Features
When it comes to the actual tracker unit, its most important feature may be its ease of installation. After all, once the GPS car tracker is installed you might not ever touch it again. Remember, your interaction with the unit will be through the software. This makes ease of installation the primary physical feature to consider. Does the tracker simply plug into the OBD II port or will it need to be wired into the vehicle? If it must be wired, how many connections must be made? If a GPS car tracker does not simply plug in it may mean additional installation costs. Wired GPS trackers have their advantages, such as covert installations and compatibility with diesel vehicles. This makes them a popular option for business applications.
Besides installation, other physical features to consider include how the unit is powered. Plug in and hardwired GPS trackers are powered by the vehicle itself. A GPS unit for a trailer or cargo container, for example, may need to be battery powered instead. If you are using a tracker powered by the car, does the unit have a back up battery? You may also want to find out if the GPS tracker unit you are considering can be transferred to another car or truck.
There are a few factors to consider before buying a GPS car tracker. Be sure to consider installation and monthly service when evaluating a system’s costs. Remember, you are going to really be using the tracker’s software. Make sure that it works with your phone and computer before making any decisions. Learn more about GoTrack’s apps at the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store. See the GoTrack GPS car trackers on our Product Page or download this convenient PDF.