There are so many different options for car trackers that it’s hard to obtain a complete picture of the technology and application. Some of them are useful, others might be charitably described as not fit for purpose. The smarter companies have decided to niche down to one market segment so they could better represent what they do for their customers.
Potential Purposes for Vehicle Tracking:
Why might you need a tracker? Well there are several reasons…
Assuring that a vehicle doesn’t get stolen.
- The first thing that leaps to mind on the topic of car tracking, perhaps due to early offerings in the field like Lo-Jack.
Check that a troublesome teen is driving within the law.
- Monitoring your teen sometimes means knowing where they are, but it can also mean monitoring how they’re driving. It’s possible to verify that your teen is driving within designated speed limits or using their vehicle within times you’ve allowed—like only during daylight on a school night. Teen
To keep tabs on an older relative.
- Hopefully if your aging parents and grandparents aren’t able to safely operate a vehicle you or their doctor have already helped them stop driving. However, there are a number of seniors who can drive safely with a few accommodations. It could give you peace of mind to have a GPS tracking on their car so if they breakdown they can call you with their location. It’s possible that that they could suffer a heart attack or other life-threatening issue and not be able to tell you where they are. This service started with companies like OnStar, but have mostly transitioned to personal car tracking so that consumers don’t have to combine the expense of monitoring with the expense of roadside assistance.
Possibly it is used as a business investment.
- Knowing what your employees are doing when they are out “in the field” or on delivery has become a standard. Some systems even monitor how you drive—like the ones for parents of teenagers. This is far superior to the old system of installing a governor to prevent workers from speeding in you moving van. It also lets you know if they’re actually going about the delivery rout you hired them to.
- It’s not just about how they drive or do their job though. These monitoring systems keep track of the locations of major assets your company owns. This could be reflected in a discount on your insurance bill.
Tracking your Spouse.
- Then there are people who wish to spy on a partner who may be having an affair or secretly taking drugs or gambling. It’s a personal choice and a tough issue to even address in a post like this, but it’s one way in which people use the technology and therefore some companies market to that purpose.
Desirable qualities in a Tracker:
Many of these systems do have some tethering, or connectivity problems. A 24 hour helpline is vital in order to deal with any difficulties – but these are common problems when you purchase a new device these days. When checking reviews, listen to what other people stay about helplines. How hard was it to get through to a person? Do they have limited hours as in they’re out of office whenever you need to locate your teen at a party they were grounded from?
In choosing a tracker look for ones who work with programs such as Google Maps, so you have a clear view where each vehicle is, from any google enabled device.
If you fear your car will be stolen and the license plate changed, opt for global coverage, in case the car gets shipped abroad.
Another feature to look for is whether you must check it or if it gives you push notifications. Spy Tec. For example, can be programmed to send you periodic updates and can be placed anywhere in the car. Marketing from the company states that the strong battery can last up to four weeks, which to be honest is a big consideration if you’re not wiring into the cars power system.
The MotoSafety Teen GPS, and Spy Tec for that matter, require a monthly subscription. If you research you maybe able to find ones that don’t have further payments once they’re installed.
The Drawback to tracking?
Using a tracker does indicate a lack of trust though. If your relative/employee/whoever needs to be tracked in this complicated way is it time to just have a tough conversation.
It’s also less expensive to do your own detective work if we are talking about a relative or a partner. In these days of mobile phone it’s getting exceedingly harder to keep things private, you might do a bit of snooping and learn the same information.
Monitoring your partner’s movements probably shouldn’t be a way of life, only a way to eliminate concerns. In a similar way, your teen is likely to move on from borrowing your car to driving their own vehicles so…do you really want to invest in buying and installing a tracker.
The most lucrative market for trackers must surely be commercial fleets. To think of it, it would be hard to run a cab business or any enterprise involving delivery vehicles without a number of tracking devices.
If you have a fear that your car will be stolen then a tracker is definitely for you but ultimately it’s all dependent on the car you drive—frankly you can just buy a car that’s less likely to be stollen.
The other difficulty with a tracker is that many you have to pay to install. Although many try a tracking device on the cheap, the easier it is to find the easier is it to dismantle.
Still it’s a developing market and if you feel your vehicle or group of vehicles need it, go for it!