The Best Vehicle Trackers

If you are on this page, you will probably have arrived here wondering what the best solution is to track your vehicle or asset whatever that may be…

The market for Stolen vehicle GPS based trackers is large and varied in the UK. If you have a knowledge of trackers and the information they can provide, then, with the correct research you’ll find the right unit for you, crucially at the right price… However this doesn’t apply to everyone, and as such there are several things to look for in a tracker. There are quite specialised trackers that suit different types of vehicles, from standalone battery powered trackers for trailers without a power source, up to S5 and Cat5 trackers to suit higher value assets with a power source, and a requirement from the insurance company to have the best thatcham rating…

GPS Technology is always evolving. New ways are discovered to enhance the GPS effectiveness and technology behind it is always updated, to mee the growing demands for GPS’s. The future of GPS with all of the supporting smart technology including Telematics systems is looking particularly interesting with a lot of new developments in the pipeline

The first decision to make when trying to work out what is the best tracker for you, is to ascertain the usage, what asset or vehicle is it going into? Then look into the features you will need from a tracker, and finally the budget you have.

The benefits of a tracker on a personal vehicle:

  • Real time location of the vehicle.
  • Improved vehicle recovery.
  • Improved pro active security measures depending on the model you opt for.

Trackers have been around since the early 2000’s. Sadly because of the demand to track stolen vehicles, devices based on GPS Location technology, have had to improve year on year. As a result there are now hundreds of battery powered and hard wired options to choose from.

Depending on the model chosen, by installing a tracker in your vehicle which could be the size of a match box or marginally bigger, you can locate the tracker and subsequently the asset anywhere in the world, by simply using a smart phone or web based app on a table or computer.

So, what are the ideal features to look for in a tracker…

  • On-demand Real-time tracking
  • Location update intervals
  • Monitoring capabilities and Mobile APP
  • International use
  • Battery back up, (very important to ensure that if the wires are cut by a thief then it can still be located)
  • Geo fence alerts
  • Battery cut off alerts
  • Costs & Support

At VTA Security, we have spent a lot of time looking for the best trackers available, and try to test everything we sell. Through this we have established that its not worth spending over the odds on a tracker that has a lot of functionality that will never be used. So aim to get what you really need rather than going all out for the most expensive unit available. Trackers range from £50 to £1500 including all the subscriptions. Don’t go and pay more for a tracker that won’t be fully utilized, but crucially never buy one cheaper that won’t cover your needs. As a result we have put together a package of trackers that cover most needs and when advising on whats required we try to ascertain your usage where possible, to be able to advise on the best options. For example a horse trailer wont be capable of supporting a full cat 5 tracking system, likewise its not worth spending £50 on a tracker for a £80 000 Audi. Insurance companies can also stipulate what level of tracker is fitted, and on high theft rate vehicles, they will specify a Cat5. So its important to give them a call if you have just purchased the vehicle to ensure they are happy with the level of tracker that you finally opt for.

So the list below is what we feel is important when looking for a tracker…

  1. Design

A vehicle tracker must be of a sturdy design to withstand all that can be thrown at it… key highlights are that it should have the following:

  • Sturdy desgin, and be water resistant or waterproof.
  • Must have a well placed GPS and GSM antennae, to be able to receive GPS signals, and subsequently transmit the location via GSM
  • Recent trackers should have the GNSS Module fitted to enable tracking over multiple satelite systems, by definition, GNSS provides global coverage, using GALILEO, NAVSTAR, GLONASS, and GPS systems

Make sure you are purchasing a vehicle tracker that’s GNSS compatible and has a rugged design to withstand the test of time.

  1. Real time tracking

This is obviously the most important feature! however you may be surprised to hear that some trackers on the market dont even use GPS. they will use the location to be stored and monitored at a later stage. Always ensure you choose the best tracker system capable of transmitting the live location of an asset in real time.

  1. Location update intervals

Location update inervals, are the length of time between each location ‘Ping’. on some units this can be adjusted others are pre set. Aim for the smallest interval between tracking locations. The lower the interval, the better the accuracy, but in the case of a battery tracker, the shorter the battery life. The higher the interval the worse the accuracy, but of course battery life can be vastly improved…

  1. Web and APP based monitoring

this is crucial, that you as the end user can get hold of an app that is intuitive and easy to use in order to track your vehicle. The GPS is hidden in the asset, and therefore will probably not be seen by you, but what you will see day to day is the app. The most important thing will be that you have a tracker that has an app on your smart device, as that will generally be the item that is taken with you day to day… This will also be the device you can use to change settings like geofences. and also monitor alerts, like battery cut off for example…

The following are nice things to also have in the functionality of a tracker

Ignition on/off alert

Route history log

Geo-fence zones

Smartphone notifications

Different map views

  1. International usability

The majority of stolen vehicle trackers have functionality worldwide, but advise that the best coverage is in Europe. If you need tracking in a foreign country, for example you travel into Europe, ensure you choose a tracker that has roaming capability…

  1. Costs & Support

A vehicle GPS tracker is your last line of defence when it comes to securing your vehicle, so make sure to buy a tracker that’s backed by capable customer support. Try to look for manufacturers that offer at least a direct phone contact in case you need help with the tracker. Make sure the tracker comes with at least one year warranty.

Conclusion

It’s always a good idea to do a thorough research before purchasing an electronic device, so you don’t end up regretting your decision. The peace of mind of having a vehicle tracker makes it a necessity for personal use. For the most part, vehicle trackers operate smoothly and do not require any maintenance. Make sure you purchase a tracker that fits your needs, comes with software and a mobile app, offers international coverage and make sure it doesn’t require an expensive monthly subscription.