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Car GPS Tracker

Buying Guide Car GPS Tracker Buying Guide

Car GPS Tracker Buying Guide

Is your car in a dangerous area or has it been unobserved for a long time? Then a GPS tracker in the car is a really good solution. Some even have switchable relays with which the oil supply and thus an unauthorized start can be prevented. If the vehicle is stolen, the position data can be passed on to the police and the search for the vehicle can be made easier.

Topics in this buying guide:
  • What is a GPS Tracker?
  • Features of car GPS trackers.
  • 4 things to consider before buying car GPS trackers.

  • What is a car GPS tracker?

    A GPS car tracker is a small navigation device equipped with a GPS receiver that enables determining the position of the object the tracking unit is installed into.

    The position of the monitored object is determined with the help of reference points - the satellites that send information to the ground. Each tracking device is in charge of sending signals to satellites which then transmit the location details to a server. This makes it possible to display a specific object on a map, which can be done by any authorized person.

    GPS tracking systems generally include the following crucial components: a tracking unit, a server that receives tracking information from satellites, and a user interface that enables displaying the location of the monitored object.

    The demand for car tracker solutions has increased in recent years, primarily due to a dramatic rise of vehicle thefts in urban areas. GPS car trackers are primarily being used for security reasons - to obtain a car’s location and enable vehicle tracking in case of a theft. GPS car tracking systems also serve as a great fleet monitoring solution that facilitates vehicle tracking for any large car or truck fleet company. Moreover, car trackers can also be of great relief for parents of teenagers, especially if a car tracking solution provides reports of teens’ actions behind the wheel.

    Features of car GPS trackers.

    Realtime location
    At the time when car tracker was in development, most traditional anti-theft solutions, such as factory alarms or steering wheel locks, could not provide real-time location info. GPS tracker solutions that were able to do so were rare while the updates they provided at the time usually came with a long lag time, e.g. on a 5-minute basis or even later.

    The car tracker, however, enabled real-time notifications with a possible delay of max. 1 minute and the refresh rate of 30 minutes if the vehicle is stationary. Besides, the system also records the whole trip history, which provides access to the history of all notifications detected for any vehicle.

    Mulit-way alarms
    You can set a certain radius of at least 500 meters. If the GPS transmitter leaves this area, you will receive an alarm SMS.
    Motion alarm: If the GPS transmitter is moved, you will be informed via SMS.
    Speed alarm: If you set this alarm, you will receive an SMS if the speed you set is exceeded.
    Battery alarm: As soon as the battery level drops below 20 percent, the GPS device will send an SMS and inform you about the low battery level.
    SOS alarm: The PAJ GPS Allround Finder has an SOS button. The wearer of the device can operate this at any time. If this happens, you will receive an alarm message and can react accordingly."

    Support 12 to 24V car power
    GPS tracker offers a 12 to 24 volt connection with a cable harness. This wiring harness allows you to connect the tracker directly to the car battery. This ensures a permanent power supply. If the device is disconnected from this power supply, it sends an alarm. In addition, the GPS transmitter is equipped with a small battery. This offers a term of approximately one day.        

    4 things to consider before buying car GPS trackers.

    Accurancy of tracking results
    The accuracy of the GPS tracker is one of the most important criteriaThe manufacturers rarely give exact information about the accuracy of GPS location. Usually only excellent or exact location is mentioned. By default, GPS has a possible deviation of around eight meters, but this can be reduced using various technical methods, so that the location can be determined to within two meters. 

    Even more precise location is possible, but usually too expensive for private use. Especially with ultra-compact GPS trackers with a small antenna, the deviation can be significantly higher, according to the manufacturer, the accuracy is sometimes limited to 15 meters. Ordinary palm-sized GPS trackers promise an accuracy of around 5 meters in the absence of interference.

    Better battery life
    The most vital feature you need to have in your pet tracker is the battery life. This is vital because if your pet is lost somewhere, this feature will ensure that you have a few hours to track your furry friend. For most customers, this point is the most important criterion. Depending on the type of application, a GPS tracker must have a long battery life and, if possible, manage without charging for several days.

    Height and weight
    Depending on the application, you can get GPS trackers in different sizes and weight classes. If the GPS tracker is to be hidden in your wallet or attached to valuables, you will find suitable devices in a compact design: about five centimeters long and two centimeters thick with a weight of less than 30 grams. 

    Due to the tiny GPS module, you have to reckon with less accuracy. You can get GPS trackers for pets either as a complete collar or as a device the size of a matchbox and weighing less than 50 grams. GPS trackers for children and seniors or as a companion for hiking are the size of a hand's palm or the size of a mini smartphone. Because the larger battery also has more weight, the devices weigh 100 to 150 grams.

    Water and dust protection 

    Water protection is essential for GPS trackers for pets, but it is also practical for other models for outdoor use or theft protection. Unfortunately, many manufacturers do not provide precise information here. The ideal case is a certified water protection according to IPX8, so that the device is also protected against permanent immersion. 

    However, very few GPS trackers are so generously equipped that a sufficient protection against water jets (IPX5) or splash water (IPX4) is still common. Some GPS trackers come with a matching protective cover instead. This is enough for devices for your bag or backpack. Dust protection prevents dirt from entering the device and affecting the GPS module. IP6X, ie “dustproof”, is the ideal case here.        

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