The Best GPS Tracker for Cars and Vehicles
When making the decision to invest in a vehicle tracker, you want to know that you are getting the best on the market. Finding a car tracking device that will meet all of your requirements can be a difficult process but to make this easier and save you time, our experts have reviewed the top vehicle trackers. Global Positioning Specialists can also source free tailor-made vehicle tracker quotes based on your requirements.
How to Pick the Best Car Tracker / Vehicle Tracking Device?
Choosing the right vehicle GPS tracker for your requirements will require you identifying what you are looking for in the device. If you simply want to track a vehicle’s location a basic vehicle tracker will be suitable. However, if operate a fleet of vehicles and fuel is a major cost area then reducing this through having valuable insights into fuel management, speeding, idling, and routing will be essential. If your focus is more on staff security in remote locations then alarms, man-down, and immobilisation options will be critical to ensure vehicle security. If you’re looking to protect assets in remote field locations then you’ll be looking for something weatherproof and reliable with a good backup battery.
If you require a comprehensive vehicle tracking system it will be beneficial to search for a fleet management system.
Contents of page below:
- What is a car tracker?
- Why invest in a vehicle tracker?
- Different types of GPS vehicle trackers
- How do vehicle tracking devices work?
- Uses of trackers
- Benefits of trackers
- Vehicle tracker costs
- Installation guide
- Reviews of the best vehicle trackes
What is a Car Tracker?
In brief, car GPS trackers provide you with access to vehicle tracking software that will enable you to locate your vehicles in real time.
As well as tracking location in real time, car GPS trackers record various other vehicle and driver activities, all of which help to improve the efficiency of fleet operated businesses. The list of activities recorded by car GPS trackers is extensive, ranging from route optimisation tracking to sending alerts when one of your cars travels out of a specific geofence.
Why Invest in a GPS Car Tracking Device?
When managing a owning one or a fleet of cars there is an extensive list of factors that you need to consider, ranging from fuel and driver monitoring to car immobilisation in the scenario of car theft. In particular, one of the most important things to consider is the safety of your vehicles and if applicable employees, especially against potential car theft.
141 Vehicle Thefts per Day in Australia
Last year, an average of 141 vehicles were stolen each day; a total of 51,394 motor vehicle thefts, of which only 67% were recovered.
More worryingly, since 2011 the number of vehicles that have been stolen from businesses, commercial and government services has risen from 10.7% to 11.1%.
With the rising theft rate the impact of vehicle theft can have damaging effects on business profits. As a result, car GPS trackers are vital to mitigating risk, recovering stolen cars and avoiding purchasing replacement cars. Should any of your vehicles travel out of a specific area without your consent and you receive an geofence breach alert you will be able to locate your car through the GPS vehicle tracker, report its whereabouts to the authorities and retrieve your stolen vehicle without the unwanted expense.
In fact, some sophisticated GPS vehicle tracking devices come with the added functionality to immobilise car engines, meaning you can remotely deactivate your vehicle and prevent thieves from getting away.
Different Types of Vehicle Trackers
When it comes to vehicle trackers there is no “one size fits all” approach. There are a myriad of different vehicle tracking devices available on the Australian market. GPS vehicle trackers can range from a simple panic button system, to complex hardware devices that relay data to a cloud-based user interface suitable for large, fleet-based businesses. Vehicle GPS tracking is a big market on Australian home turf.
There are some fundamental differences to look for when assessing the different types of vehicle tracking devices. What works for you will depend on a number of factors, ranging from whether you’re looking for a single car, van tracker, or fleet tracking device to the type of functionality needed.
Plug and Go, or Hardwired
The first difference you are likely to come across is ease of installation. Typically, a plug-and-go option (which is simply inserted in to the vehicle’s OBD II port) will offer a more basic functionality, but is a cheaper and easier option for smaller fleets, or those who need to have the option to move the tracker between vehicles. On the other hand, hardwired devices tend to offer greater functionality but come at a greater cost. These devices are invaluable for larger fleet-based businesses where you need to maximise efficiency across a large number of vehicles, and where both vehicles and drivers are your major assets.
The Type of Plan
It can be tricky to compare different vehicle tracking devices on a like-for-like basis as rarely are any two the same. However, the pricing plan can help you gain an insight in to which vehicle GPS tracking option would best suit your business. Are you looking to make a one-off purchase, or would you prefer to lease the device and pay a monthly subscription? Do you need to scale it or is your fleet size predictable? Generally you’re looking at either a one-off cost with further costs being limited to data usage, or a monthly or annual subscription.
Real-Time Reporting and Functionality
Identifying the reporting and functionality capabilities of a tracker in line with your personal tracking requirements is key to deciding on the best vehicle tracker to purchase. Reporting functionality, and their ability to be customised, varies enormously. And the term ‘real-time’ can mean anything from a few seconds to several minutes.
How Do Vehicle Tracking Devices Work?
The vast majority of vehicle tracking devices work in a similar way utilising GPS technology. A GPS device is located within the vehicle or asset. This then transmits and receives location data from a satellite network which is then reported back to the owner via a software interface, usually available via mobile phone, tablet or PC. How frequently the data is sent and received varies. Additionally, some vehicle trackers may utilise mobile technology where GSM signals are received and relayed via the Australian mobile network. Some advanced vehicle tracking devices will use both GPS satellite and mobile networks to ensure reliable tracking in areas where either signal may be weaker.
Fundamentally, all vehicle GPS trackers enable you to keep an eye on a vehicle and know what it is doing and where it has been in a specific time window. Beyond this functionality, vehicle trackers will vary with some offering additional benefits such as driver behaviour management (such as speeding or unnecessary idling) or FBT reporting among many other features. which are invaluable for the Australian fleet manager.
The Uses of Vehicle Tracking Devices
Vehicle trackers aren’t just for one type of user. Vehicle tracking devices have a wide range of applications, from the service-based fleet who need to improve their routing efficiency and customer service, to the long-haul truckers who need to get fuel costs under control. A vehicle tracking device can be used in a single car, a fleet of coaches, a network of trucks, on motorbikes, boats, and even people.
The primary premise of using a vehicle GPS tracking system is two-fold: to increase security and to reduce costs. A vehicle tracking device enables you to gain valuable insight into your fleet and make operational changes accordingly. This might involve driver training and management, more efficient routing and job dispatch, or an improved safety level. Most users find a vehicle tracker gives them a wide range of benefits for optimising costs.
Benefits and Features of GPS Car Trackers
- Real time tracking and reporting
- Dispatch management
- Driver management
- Fuel management
- Route optimisation
- Vehicle maintenance tracking
- Increased efficiency and productivity
- Fleet safety
- Improved customer service
- Dashboard reporting – highlight areas where costs can be reduced
How Much Do Vehicle Tracking Devices Cost?
|Purchase Type (Per Tracker)||Upfront Tracker Cost||On-Going Tracking Costs|
|Lease Cost||Free (Dependent on supplier)||From $22/Month|
|Outright Cost||$50 - $500||From $5/Month|
GPS vehicle trackers vary enormously both in terms of functionality and therefore cost. When considering cost it is important to identify what functionality you are looking for, as well as ensuring you’re not paying for services you don’t actually need. For some, this may mean opting for a scalable option.
Typically you will either be paying a large upfront cost per device in order to own it and utilise it. These devices retail for anything from $50 to $500 per vehicle depending on functionality. You will also then have regular costs associated with the data usage.
Other vehicle trackers work on a subscription basis. Again, the subscription costs depend on functionality. Typically with a subscription based package you benefit from reduced upfront costs as well as benefiting from ongoing support and no surprise costs down the line. Vehicle trackers that offer greater functionality and come with detailed web-interfaces are typically available on a subscription basis. Most tracker device manufacturers and businesses offer different plans according to need.
Whichever vehicle tracker device you choose, and whatever the cost, you can be sure that you will see an excellent return on your investment. Because GPS vehicle trackers function to eliminate waste and reduce costs, especially in fuel-thirsty fleet-based businesses. Once you have the technology on board you are quickly able to make cost savings in terms of monitoring out-of-hours use, reducing mileage, reducing insurance premiums, and making changes to poor driver behaviour such as excess idling, as well as more efficient routing.
GPS Tracker For Car Installation
The installation process is incredibly easy. The car tracking device is simply installed on or in the required vehicle (cars, vans, trucks or lorries) and within a matter of minutes the vehicle tracking software will be able to relay information about the vehicle in question. The best Australian vehicle tracking companies will fit and set up both the tracker and software for you.
The installation of GPS trackers for cars often falls within two options:
- Installing a plug and go battery powered car tracking device
- Installing a vehicle tracker that needs to be hardwired to the car battery
Plug and Go GPS Car Tracker Installation
Often, battery powered car trackers are used by individuals wanting to track a private vehicle.
Many devices are plug-and-go options which are easy to install yourself into the vehicle’s OBDII port – much like plugging in any other piece of hardware. These are the simplest to install but hardest to conceal, and don’t always have the same functionality as a hardwired system.
Hardwired Car GPS Tracker Installation
Because of the lack of battery power with plug and go vehicle trackers, businesses that run fleets of vehicles install GPS car trackers by connecting the devices to the vehicle’s battery for more reliable tracking. This method of installation is more complex than the first option but is usually installed by Australian fleet tracking suppliers as part of the service.
However, if you wish to install the hardwired vehicle tracker yourself you should consider that hardwired systems can vary in complexity. Some are relatively simple to self-install with no more skills required than completing any other auto-task such as changing a headlight bulb. However, for those who aren’t confident, or who have a more complex system to install, then there are auto-electricians across the country who are able to install the vehicle tracking devices.
Where Should the Car Tracking Device Be Installed?
Fitting a car tracking device in a suitable place is essential, especially in regards to the security of your cars or vehicles. Ideally, the car tracker device should be installed in an area of the car which is hidden to ensure the device is covert to prevent it from being detected by potential thieves. Generally, there are a number of different locations that the car tracker should be installed within, however these will differ based on the type of vehicle. Some examples include:
- Inside the dashboard
- Concealed within internal panels
- The vehicle’s chassis
Australia’s Best Vehicle Tracking Devices
To help you further decide what type of GPS vehicle tracking device you need we have compiled in-depth reviews of ten of the best car trackers on the market.
Our experts have gathered together and reviewed a range of vehicle tracking devices to suit everyone’s needs, whether you are an individual wanting to track one vehicle or you are business wanting to track a large fleet of vehicles.
GPS Tracker for Car Reviews
Read about each of the best vehicle tracking devices in greater depth below. Compare features, customer support and much more to find the best vehicle tracker for your needs.
The following vehicle tracking devices are the best on the Australian market and cover a wide range of functionality:
The Tramigo T23 Fleet tracker is an excellent tracker for larger complex fleets, or those in the service-based industries. Real-time reporting is sent directly via excellent software to your phone or PC, enabling you to see your fleet wherever they are – it includes TLD landmark data for when mapping isn’t available. With this system you get valuable reports such as speeding and idling, as well as two-way communications for managing driver behaviour and working within routes and geo-fencing. There are no monthly or annual fees with the Tramigo T23 Fleet. You fully own the device, you simply pay for the operator fees and data.
The My Cars Gen 3 device is an Intellitrac offering, an Australian business selling Australia’s best-selling trackers. The Intellitrac My Cars Gen 3 is suitable for range of 12/24v vehicles including cars, vans and trucks. Tracking is provided in 60-second real-time, and users benefit from the smartphone interfaces and customised reporting functions. Additionally, the My Cars Gen 3 can be used to monitor driver behaviour, track routes, assess fuel tank levels and to provide man-down security. It is possible to have extras included on this device such as driver fatigue management and diagnostics. This tracker needs to be hardwired and professionally installed.
The TomTom Link 530 is TomTom’s most advanced vehicle tracker which works in conjunction with the user web platform Webfleet. Simple to install, you receive the benefits of a real-time tracker with the core functionality of the Webfleet tracking software. The tracker benefits from being fully customiseable with a diverse range of add-ons stretching from fuel tracking to dispatch management, as well as in-depth reporting across both PC dashboard and mobile applications. This tracker is best suited for fleet operated businesses wanting to maximise efficiency and reduce costs.
Safety and reliability are key with the Australian-engineered Ez-273h tracker from Ezy2c. This is a hybrid GPS tracker which is hardwired, and will use either mobile or satellite technology depending on where the vehicle is. You can opt to combine the Ez-273h with other Ezy2c offerings to enhance functionality although by itself this is an incredibly powerful tool which will realise return on investment swiftly. The system works in conjunction with Google Maps, and you receive both alerts and reporting focused on safety and efficiency, which can be customised to suit your business.
TrackPod is a cheap and simple to install vehicle tracker. This tracker is ideal for individuals wanting to track private vehicles or businesses with small fleets. TrackPod offers basic tracking functionalities that can be customised to any business requirement, however if you are a fleet operated business looking to maximise the cost saving benefits of vehicle tracking devices then a more sophisticated tracker is recommended. With a payment scheme of no upfront cost and just $1 per tracker per day this vehicle tracker is an extremely cost-effective options, especially for businesses considering the money that can be saved through fuel, reduced insurance premiums and so on.
A leader on the Australian market, this GPS tracking device offers excellent and diverse functionality with the backing of a big name. The device can easily be installed, either in to the vehicle’s OBD port, or hardwired, and can be easily scaled making it valuable for differing fleets. Functionality is key with pin-point accuracy and sophisticated technology making use of the Australian Telstra Next G and Iridium Satellite Networks. Central to the Securatrak Geotab G07 is the link to the MyGeotab portal which has a user-friendly interface allowing you to both track and analyse real-time and recorded data for both driver and vehicle performance.
7) Austracker Versatile Tracker
The Versatile Series from Austracker is a valuable vehicle tracker offering a high level of functionality. The device needs professional installation but in return offers security and valuable fleet business insights. You receive reports and alerts combined with live vehicle tracking. Also included are job dispatch functions and route planning capacities. You are able to set geo-fence areas and look in detail at incidents, there is also an inbuilt panic button for driver safety. The reports are valuable covering driver behaviour and compliance, timesheet recording, FBT and proof of service.
8) Track My Ride GPS Security Tracker
Another distinctly Australian offering is the Track My Ride GPS Security Tracker. This is a hardwired device, but although you could choose to use an auto-electrician, fitting is relatively simple. Real-time data is uploaded every 10-30 seconds depending on your chosen plan, and you’ll be given valuable insights to the behaviour of both vehicles and drivers. The system come with auto-alert functionality via text or email, as well as both PC and smartphone access. A back-up battery is integral to the device, and mapping and street view functionalities are high quality. There are seven available reporting functions including ATO logbook and Audit Logs.
The Telemax 3G Plug and Play Tracker is available on three different plans ranging from $24.95 – $35.95 per vehicle per month. These trackers are easy to install, plugging in to the vehicle’s OBD port, but for larger fleets you can opt for a hardwired option. The biggest difference between the plans is the real-time updates. The cheaper plans only gives you insight to 30 minute intervals, whereas the most expensive gives you 15 second reporting. A back-up battery is integral making this device great for in the field. You can monitor driver behaviour as well as analyse fuel and servicing requirements.
This tracker is great in a wide range of applications on the Australian market as it is suitable for pretty much any vehicle from cars, to buses, to trucks, and even sports and recreational vehicles including boats. It is recommended the device is installed by a professional auto-electrician, but once up and running you get valuable live (1-3 minute) web tracking, which is combined with SMS alerts. You even get less frequent updates when the vehicle is not moving. Security is a key feature for Fleetminder and the device enables remote immobilisation and alarm activation. A backup battery is included, and you can opt for additional extras such as fuel level sensor monitoring.