The 7 Best Car GPS Trackers to Buy in 2018

Keep track of where your kids are or your vehicle if it gets stolen

While we always hope for the best in life, sometimes bad things happen. Having your car stolen will leave you frustrated, upset and, in many cases, lacking options. Fortunately, a GPS vehicle tracker is an inexpensive solution that can easily make the difference between a car lost forever and a quick recovery. Used by parents, businesses and everyday drivers alike, a dedicated car GPS tracker can do everything from providing pinpoint location assistance to monitoring speed and engine condition. There's no shortage of options available, so we've taken the liberty of selecting some of the best car GPS trackers to buy today.

Best Overall: Spy Tech STI GL300 Mini Portable Vehicle GPS Tracker

One of the most popular vehicle GPS trackers on the market, the Spy Tech STI GL300 is a standout solution that offers near exact 100 percent vehicle location, thanks to real-time GPS tracking. The addition of a three-axis acceleration meter makes for an even higher pinpoint detection of a car's location (and updates can be provided as often as every five seconds).

Setting up geographic fencing or boundaries is easy if you want to get real-time notifications of a car leaving a specific zone. Measuring 1.5 x 0.9 x 2.7 inches in size, the STI easily tucks away anywhere inside a vehicle and, with motion activation battery life, can last two weeks or longer before requiring a recharge.

Tracking reports are available on both desktop and mobile devices, and you can even receive text or e-mail alerts when a car leaves a geo-fencing zone. Data is stored for more than 365 days on every device with subscriptions starting around $25 per month.

Best Splurge: Automatic Pro Car GPS Tracker

Plugging directly into your car, the Automatic Pro provides unlimited monitoring of your vehicle 24 hours a day, seven days a week without any fees. Capable of tracking real-time vehicle location over wireless 3G networks, the Automatic adds five years of unlimited 3G services at no charge.

Tracking the vehicle is easy, thanks to real-time location data via the downloadable smartphone app, and it can even notify authorities if an accident is detected and send out emergency services if needed. Logging trips via Google Sheets, the smartphone app works with the IFTTT platform to provide "smart" services, including turning the lights on inside your home when the Automatic detects you are nearby. Additionally, the Automatic can work with Amazon's Alexa platform to identify and verbally provide a car's location when you ask "Alexa, where's my car?".

Best for Parents: MOTOsafety GPS Vehicle Tracker

Plugging directly into your car's ODB outlet without any wiring, the MOTOsafety GPS vehicle tracker is another hugely popular option that receives rave user reviews. Offering a slew of services for a monthly subscription, the MOTOsafety piggybacks on wireless 3G networks for peace of mind. The downloadable Android and iOS smartphone apps allow users to track device location, set geofences around a school or home for teens, as well as receive a daily driver's report card for seeing how your teen handled the vehicle that day.

Users will also find the route replay worthwhile, which allows parents to review teen driving routes for excessive speeding and harsh braking. With ODB support available, the MOTOsafety can easily be moved from vehicle to vehicle for a family to track different vehicles during the course of a week.

Best Battery Life: ABLEGRID GPS Vehicle Tracker

With a powerful 3300mAh battery inside, the ABLEGRID GPS tracker offers 180 days of standby time and operate continuously for two weeks before requiring a recharge. Measuring 4 x 2.2 x .9 inches in size, the ABLEGRID is slightly larger than the competition, but its compact size allows it to easily be tucked away inside a glove compartment, trunk or other vehicle storage area for difficult detection.

The portable design also allows the ABLEGRID to be swapped quickly between cars since there aren't any wires required for installation. Beyond installation, GPS detection is easily pinpointed in real-time on Google Maps, and it even adds historical vehicle tracking data for detecting travel routes.

Working on wireless 2G networks, the ABLEGRID offers similar GPS tracking as those on 3G networks but with less wireless carrier availability due to a scale back of 2G networks in the U.S.

Best Driving Behavior: MasTrack Real Time GPS Vehicle Tracker

The MasTrack offers outstanding user feedback and a bevy of features. With an internal battery backup, the MasTrack can provide location assistance with real-time GPS updates at one-minute internals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Nationwide coverage is available in both the USA and Canada with a paid monthly subscription.

Plugging directly into your vehicles OBD-II port with no wiring required, the MasTrack can provide information about your vehicle, including maintenance reminders, check engine alerts and ignition status. For parents, the MasTrack GPS tracker can deliver information via unlimited text or e-mail on harsh braking and speeding, as well as geofence zone alerts when a car leaves a preset location.

Best Mileage: Mileage Ace Car GPS Tracker

While most GPS trackers are used for security or theft protection, a product like the Mileage Ace car GPS tracker is an accounting and logistics department dream. Measuring 4.5 x 5 x 1.5 inches in size, the Ace tracker is ideal for creating custom mileage logs that are considered 99 percent accurate to your odometer. When installed, the Ace tracker takes over once the car engine is turned on and easily uploads its data through a Wi-Fi connection directly to its custom online software that automatically builds mileage logs for every user.

Each trip includes start/end date times, as well as start/end addresses, exact miles driven and the GPS-tracked path to ensure there's no wasted time on any trips. Free for 30 days, the Ace then incurs a monthly fee protects and secures your logs in the cloud for future use.

Best Hidden: Optimus 2.0 GPS Tracker

Measuring only 1 x 1.5 x 3 inches in size, the Optimus 2.0 vehicle GPS tracker is a truly portable option that can easily switch between cars on a moment's notice. Its diminutive size allows to easily hide underneath a seat, in a glove box or any other storage area inside a vehicle.

The paid monthly service plan allows users to cancel anytime but comes with a host of handy features via the downloadable iPhone and Android app. It can provide e-mail and text message alerts for movement, geofencing, speeding and low battery. There's also an SOS button for emergency services. The internal battery can last anywhere from one to two weeks before recharging depending on usage. GPS data is also readily available on Google Maps for simplified navigation.

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