There are several reasons you might want to know the exact whereabouts and traveling conditions of your vehicle. Maybe you’re keeping very tidy maintenance records and you want to be able to reference the performance history.
If you live in an area where car theft is high, you might install one on the off chance your car is stolen, so you can track it to its exact location. Perhaps you manage a small fleet of vehicles as a landscaper, for example. If you’re a driver for Uber or Lyft, maybe you want to keep your own records of your fares.
Far and away the most popular reason for investing in a GPS car tracking device is that you are the parent of a freshly-minted driver. Teenagers, as new drivers, might report that they’re being safe at all times in your (or even their own) car, but we’ve all been that age once and we know it isn’t true.
I know I was very unkind to my first car and I’m sure my mother would be horrified to know the details. I survived without any major incidents, but that doesn’t make it okay. The modules can give you piece of mind when your child is driving without you.
These devices either attach somewhere in the car or connect to the sixteen-pin, OBDII diagnostic port we discussed in our post on car code readers. In one form or another, all require a monthly subscription to support the cellular network data that beams vital statistics to your smartphone, tablet, or computer so you have real-time data on where your car is being driven and how. Some feature maintenance reminders and engine trouble code readers, as well, expanding their use.
The point of these really isn’t to spy on your teenaged driver, but to help train them to be the best operators they can. Valuable insight can be gained from how they drove on a certain stretch of road that will make them into more aware, better prepared drivers, which will help them avoid accidents in the future. For fleet maintenance, this kind of logistics detail can mean big savings in terms of route planning, vehicle upkeep, and overall strategy. They can also be helpful in the event of a crash as proof of speed, among other things.
If you’re looking to record the exact whereabouts and condition of your car at all times, consider our list of the top ten best GPS trackers for cars.