How to pick a car tracker app

Posted by Raven Connected on

The safety of cars, people in them and their performance has increasingly become a topic of conversation, especially as the number of distractions on the road has risen. Many insurance companies have even chimed in offering discounts to those who use tracking based systems.

Whether you're looking out of personal interest or to lower insurance premiums, car tracking apps allow you to have a better knowledge of your car's safety. With so many different features, it can be confusing to make a decision. We're here to help to break down what the car tracker industry offers to help you navigate the landscape. 

What are car tracker applications?

A car tracker app can be downloaded to your mobile device or accessible through the web. These applications are often paired with a hardware device that tracks various elements of your car. The core function of all solutions though is the GPS location. Beyond location, many offer speed, driving performance, and more. Another difference between many of these systems is the frequency in which they update the location. Some offer live tracking, some push updates on an interval basis, and others pass the information along after the fact. 

Most available applications require some external hardware (beyond your mobile phone) to pick up information. These hardware devices can include dongles that plug into your car or GPS transmitters that sit somewhere in the cabin of your car. Others offer an exclusively mobile tracking ability leveraging the internal ability of your mobile device's sensors. With an app-only solution, some accuracy and data may be lost as a mobile device's purpose is not tracking cars.

Why would I need a tracker app?

By using a tracking system in your car, you can lower insurance premiums and event protect yourself in the event of an accident. If the area you live in is often impacted by theft, a tracking system can act as an anti-theft device or even help track down a stolen vehicle. More advanced systems can even help catch a break-in suspect. 

These systems are also incredibly beneficial for small businesses that have cars on the road. Their cost is heavily outweighed by their benefit time and time again. There is major value in knowing what employees are up to and whether their driving abilities are strong.

Things to consider when choosing a car GPS tracker 


When it comes to price GPS trackers can range greatly starting for as little as $25 and increasing up to $1000. Such a large range requires you to know what features you're looking for and to set your budget. 

Beyond upfront costs of the hardware or application, you may want to consider if you're willing to commit to a monthly subscription as many products also require this to function. Be sure to also take a look at the terms of commitment for your selected solution. Some require a set term while others, operate monthly allowing users to cancel if they're no longer in need of such services. 


If the only feature you're looking for is tracking, the buying process should be pretty straightforward. If you're looking for something more substantial, many solutions can provide a broad mix of features. Some of these features include diagnostic trouble codes, driving reports, route and driving history, security alerts, video footage, navigation, and more. Chances are unless you're using the device exclusively to track where your car is being driven, you'll benefit from a more advanced solution. 

Power supply 

As we mentioned, there are three types of GPS tracking devices plugged into your car, placed in the cabin, or powered through an app on your phone. When using an app, you're reliant on the charge of your mobile device daily. It also only gathers information while you're in the car and driving.

Beyond solely app-based trackers, solutions can either be battery-powered or plugged directly into the vehicle. Some fear that a tracker would drain their car battery while others would rather not think about battery life at all. This decision ultimately comes down to preference. It's best to do your research and see what the solutions policy is.

If you are looking for a tracking solution with a few more features, check out our smart car device, Raven. It plugs directly into your car's OBDII port and offers a complete connected solution. Features include live tracking, security alerts, dual cameras, vehicle diagnostics, navigation, WiFi hotspot, driving history, and much more it's a clear stand out when it comes to any aftermarket tracking solution.

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