Getting your vehicle stolen isn’t the kind of thing you probably think much — until it happens. Then it’s likely to be the only thing on your mind. The most recent data from the California Highway Patrol estimates that the rate of theft in 2017 was one vehicle every three minutes. And that’s just in California. Older cars are more likely to be stolen than new ones. It may seem surprising that an older car would be more desirable to thieves, but older cars have less advanced anti-theft systems, and thieves are often just looking to sell off parts.
There are some obvious things you can do to keep your car safe — not keeping the keys in the car is one of them. But if your vehicle does get stolen anyway, having a GPS device can make recovery a lot easier. The best car tracking devices are very compact; roughly the size of a pack of gum. That makes them easy to hide in the car without worrying about a thief finding it and removing it. Whether your car is new or old, these car tracking devices make it easier for the police to recover your stolen vehicle.
The compact size of the best GPS tracking devices makes them easy to use in places other than a car. We’ve rounded up a couple micro GPS devices that can be used for a variety of purposes, including protecting young children, vehicles, heavy equipment, or any valuable tools. Plus, if you’re looking to protect your two-wheeler, this list includes a disc lock for bikes, scooters, and motorcycles as well.
1. Trak-4 GPS Tracker for Tracking Assets, Equipment and Vehicles
GPS systems generally depend on plans, and Trak-4 makes it easy to determine which plan is best for you with a number of options that feature tracking and assistance. As for the device itself, the battery can last up to 12-18 months depending on how many alerts you set. The unit has screw holes and a weatherproof casing for attaching it outside.
Pros: If GPS signal is blocked, the device triangulates based on cell towers. Rechargeable battery.
Cons: No light indicator to tell if the device is charged, battery life not as long if alerts are set to every 15 minutes.
2. PRIMETRACKING Personal GPS Tracker
This pocket-sized GPS tracker offers real-time alerts, and it features an SOS button. That makes it a good option for looking after young children. The location can be updated every 10 seconds. The free app for iPhones and Androids makes it convenient to check-in on whatever you’re tracking.
Pros: SOS button and real-time location updates make it a good option for taking care of young children or vulnerable people, in addition to vehicles.
Cons: Battery life could be longer
3. YOHOOLYO Disc Lock Alarm Motorcycle Alarm Padlock
If you have a motorcycle, moped, or bicycle that you want to protect, this compact lock attaches to the disk of the wheel. It’s easy to lock, but hard to tamper with. The YOHOOLYO emits a 110db alarm in the event that someone tries to open it, which should be an effective deterrent for even the most brazen of thieves.
Pros: Good for a variety of two-wheel vehicles, has a very loud 110db alarm in the event of attempted theft.
Cons: Alarm is very sensitive, and can go off on its own in the rain.
4. Vyncs GPS Tracker for Vehicles
Travel the world and keep your vehicle safe at the same time with the Vyncs GPS Tracker for Vehicles. Real-time tracking in the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and 220 other countries makes this one of the most global trackers available. The tracker can be installed and powered through the OBD-II port of a vehicle or hidden inside the vehicle by using Vyncs OBD Extension Cable. No battery is needed thanks to the OBD recharge. Data is collected every second and updates are sent every minute to the server. The tracker goes into sleep mode when the car is turned off but wakes up hourly to send updates. Tracking can also go beyond the car by using the Vyncs app, which can track a loved one’s phone in real-time.
Pros: Vyncs features a 30-day free trial and a one-time activation fee of $39.99 that includes a global SIM card and one year of data plan and service.
Cons: The Vyncs has a big price tag and the second year of use includes a $79 renewal fee.
5. Tracki 2020 Model Mini Real time GPS Tracker
For a tracker that you can place just about anywhere, we recommend the Tracki 2020 Model Mini Real-time GPS Tracker. The small tracker measures only 1.5 inches by 1.8 inches and weighs 1.26 ounces. With coverage in the US, Canada and 185 countries, the Tracki can be used to keep vehicles, as well as children and adults safe. An international SIM card is included and users have access to unlimited distance tracking and indoor tracking when using WiFi or Bluetooth. An SOS, two alert buttons and a beeper to help locate the tracker can all be accessed remotely. Activation is instant and set up is easy. The Tracki’s app works with iPhones, Androids and through the web.
Pros: The Tracki includes a magnet, clip, lanyard, keychain and Velcro attachments.
Cons: Monthly fees range from $10 to $20. Real-time tracking every one to five minutes has a battery life of only three days before needing a recharge. For updates four times per day, the battery can last 30 days before needing a recharge.
6. MOTOsafety Car Tracker
Keep an eye on your drivers with the MOTOsafety Car Tracker. Designed for parents who want to know their teen’s driving habits and routes, the MOTOsafety provides updates every minute on speed, distance traveled and location. Get alerts sent straight to your phone through the MOTOsafety app and easily install the tracker through the vehicle’s OBD port.
Pros: Driving reports, including acceleration and braking, are included in the app features. Users can also set geofences to notify them when the tracker has entered or exited a designated zone.
Cons: The MOTOsafety has a monthly fee of $23 and it only works in the US.
7. Spytec GL300 GPS Tracker for Vehicle
Track cars and people in just about any location using the Spytec GL300 GPS Tracker for Vehicle. The tracker’s massive range uses 4G satellites to provide real-time updates, regardless of whether the tracker is in a dense urban area or a remote setting. The discrete mini tracker is only one inch thick and can be placed anywhere in the car or on a person. Using the Spytec app, customers will receive updates on speed, distance and location. Monitoring can be done from a phone or computer and users can set their notification preferences for specific locations. Up to one year of activity can be stored on the tracker.
Pros: The Spytec has a battery life of 2.5 weeks and users will receive alerts to their app when it’s time to charge the battery. Extended battery packs can be purchased and provide up to six months of use before requiring a recharge.
Cons: The locations provided are a radius and not an exact point.