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What to Look For When Shopping For A GPS Tracker

Updated: Aug 9, 2023


Subscription Cost: In addition to the cost of the tracker, in most instances you will need to pay a subscription fee. Most long-term users will want to consider the annual subscription options for potential big savings.

Battery Life: A GPS tracker will only report as long as there is power, so keeping an eye on your battery levels is key to consistent reporting. Battery life will vary from user to user. As a general rule of thumb, the more often the device reports, the shorter the lifespan.

All of the battery-powered trackers we tested come equipped with low-battery alerts—so we suggest setting that trigger during the installation process to save headaches later. The OBD-II and hardwiring options remove this issue entirely, using the car's battery as the source of power.

Desired Use: When purchasing a GPS tracker, it is essential to consider what you are tracking and what insight you'd like to obtain. Hardwired options are for vehicle use only; battery-powered products provide tracking solutions for all your belongings.

Some products are clearly designed with industry fleets in mind, toting impressive reporting dashboards and a steep learning curve. Others use simple, stylized interfaces and anxiety-reducing features like SOS buttons and fuel-level monitors. Consider your needs and buy accordingly.

BEST NO-SUBSCRIPTION OPTION Apple AirTag $29 AT AMAZON$29 AT ADORAMA.COM$30 AT VERIZON.COM

PROS

  • Extremely compact

  • Affordable (no subscription)

CONS

  • Limited features compared to dedicated GPS units

  • Mostly limited to iOS devices

BEST ADVANCED GPS TRACKER Spytec GL300 Now 70% Off $15 AT AMAZON$60 AT WALMART

PROS

  • Reliable notifications

  • Decent battery life

  • Option to extend battery life with case

CONS

  • Confusing notification options

  • North American coverage only

BEST OVERALL Bouncie $77 AT AMAZON

PROS

  • Setup is a breeze

  • Can monitor vehicle health

CONS

  • Does not report while ignition is off


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