Basics of Car GPS Tracking Devices – Here’s What You Should Know

GPS innovations are now playing an important role in the way we go about our daily lives. Whether it on your smartphone, built into your vehicle, or a portable navigation device, you never should worry about getting lost anymore. With a GPS device, you will now be able to choose routing preferences, as well as get real-time traffic information.

In this article, we are going to talk about the basics of car GPS tracking devices. We will be discussing some of the benefits of having one installed in your car, some of its types, as well as how to choose the right that suits your needs. Read on if you want to know more about these important and handy devices.

Car GPS Tracking Devices

Benefits of a Car GPS

Getting from point A to point B has never been easier, as car GPS tracking devices provide extra convenience to anyone who uses it. If you are thinking of buying a car GPS system, you might want to know all the benefits you will be getting from it. Here are some of the reasons why you should get one installed in your vehicle:

1. Compact Size and Ease of Use

Having a car GPS tracking device is beneficial for you, as this small unit can easily be attached to your windshield or dashboard. If you can see it within eye level, following directions of a GPS system will be easy. You only need to input your desired location and the system will do the rest.

Nowadays, you might notice that rental agencies are now installing GPS systems in their vehicles to help their businesses. In addition, if the rental car gets stolen, the tracking device will be able to easily find it with ease.

2. Safety and Protection

You never know when the time comes that you become a victim of crimes such as car theft. When thieves are aware that your vehicle has a GPS tracking device, it will make you less susceptible to this crime. If you have your car stolen, this device will be able to help the police in finding the exact location of your car in no time.

No matter what car GPS system you choose, a lot of features will come in handy to ensure your safety and protection while you are on the road. Some do enjoy the roadside assistance, access to emergency help, and monitoring services. Others, on the other hand, has the capability to automatically alert the nearest 911 operator in case an accident happened.

3. Save Money

Did you know that insurance companies are now lowering their rates for drivers who have GPS devices installed in their vehicles? To add, companies are acknowledging the consumers who purchase vehicles with built-in GPS systems. They also offer savings for after purchase services of a used or even a new car.

If you are thinking long-term, you may also save money on gas if you have a GPS tracking device installed in your car. Why? Because you will be aware of your exact positioning on the road, which ultimately means that you get to your destination a lot quicker, without wasting gas.

Types of Car GPS Tracking Devices

Not all car GPS systems are made the same way, which is why we are going to discuss its two main types. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages that will help you in determining which of the two is the right one for you.

1. Passive GPS Tracking Devices

Passive GPS tracking devices only gather information about your car’s exact position but they do not relay that information anywhere. Instead, they store this data on a memory card that you may access when you want to look at it. This type is common for fleet vehicles, as it can record where the vehicle has been and how fast the trip was, among others.

Having a passive GPS system will provide you convenience, as you can easily download the information from the device. It is also the simplest type of car GPS tracking device, which makes it very easy to learn and use. It also does not require a monthly subscription. Lastly, it is weather-proof so you can attach them outside or inside the vehicle.

However, it also has a few disadvantages such as you not getting real-time data. Since it does not maintain a link with a receiver, you will not be able to track the vehicle if ever it gets stolen. You also should disconnect this device from your vehicle to download the information. Lastly, some models are not at all compatible with modern operating systems and computers.

2. Active GPS Tracking Devices

Active GPS tracking devices, also known as “real-time” tracking devices, has the capability to send information to your smartphone or computer, allowing you to check on the vehicle at any time. This type will be beneficial for people who want to track new drivers and know their whereabouts. To add, you will be able to see the vehicle’s exact location, as well as its speed.

You will be able to see the vehicle’s exact location at the moment and it is very convenient to use, as you no longer have to remove the device to plug it into your computer. You can also use the internet to download information and updates. Lastly, the police use this type of GPS system to locate a stolen car.

As with passive GPS systems, active GPS systems also have disadvantages. You might need to subscribe to a monthly service, ranging from $15 to $60 a month. Unless the device also has a passive technology, you will not be able to track where the vehicle has been.

Essential Factors to Consider when Buying Car GPS

In this section, we are going to discuss some of the factors that you need to consider when choosing a car GPS tracking device. Not all of them has the same features, which is why knowing what to look for would be an advantage especially if you are not sure what to choose.

1. Price

Whether you are on a budget or not, it is always smart to start off by setting a price range. Determining the price will be a lot easier if you relate it to the features of the GPS device you are going to purchase, to see if it is your money’s worth.

2. Features

There are several features that you should watch out for regardless of your price range. Some of them include screen size and resolution, audible directions, automatic routing, and type of receiver, among others. You might also want to consider buying a car GPS tracking devices that have traffic information, lane assist, voice input, a 3D map view, and points of interest.

3. Map Availability

When choosing a car GPS tracking device, you should also watch out for the availability, as well as the timeliness of the map updates. This would come in handy, as older GPS system models have outdated maps and navigation routes.

4. Ease of use

While complicated car GPS tracking devices are very annoying to use, they can also be dangerous to use especially when driving. When choosing a GPS system, make sure that you can use it comfortably and easily while you are on the road.

5. Quick and Accurate Navigation

This might be self-explanatory but your GPS tracking device having quick and accurate navigation qualities can save you a lot of time and gas money. After all, fancy features do not really count if your car GPS tracking device cannot give you accurate directions.


Choosing a car GPS tracking device might confuse you at first but we trust that with this guide, you will be able to do it wisely and easily. We have provided you the advantages of having one installed in your car, two of its basic types: active and passive; as well as some of the factors that you need to look out for when choosing the right car GPS tracking device for you.



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