GPS trackers

Best Vehicle GPS Trackers iMore 2020

GPS trackers for vehicles have been designed to keep an eye on a person, often without the knowledge of the person doing the driving. When choosing a tracker, you should find one that is relatively inexpensive, offers excellent battery life, and features a subscription plan that's easy to cancel. Our top choice is the Spytec STI which checks each of these boxes. We've included other options here that might better match your circumstances.

Best Overall: Spytec STI

SpyTech STI 2019

Perfect for tracking vehicles, people, and equipment, the Spytec STI GL300MA offers real-time tracking over the internet and through an app. With over two weeks between battery charges, this GPS tracker has been designed to be a workhorse.

Compact in size to go anywhere, the device includes Google Maps and Google Earth views for easy, accurate tracking. The one negative: The company's basic tracking plan is more expensive than others on the market. For this, you receive location updates every 60 seconds. Premium tracking plans are also available.

Pros:

  • Multi-use
  • 2 1/2 week battery life
  • Compact design; 3 inches tall, 1 inch thick

Cons:

  • Pricey monthly fee

Best Overall

Spytec STI

Versatile and compact

The product includes great features for different situations. Watch those monthly fees, however.

Runner Up: Optimus 2.0

driving

The Optimus 2.0 offers one of the lowest monthly fees available for GPS trackers, and there are no contracts or service cancellation fees. For this, you'll see status updates every 30 seconds. You can increase this to 10 seconds by paying more.

Coverage (regardless of monthly subscription) includes email and text message alerts for movement, speeding, leaving, or entering areas. There's also a low battery indicator and SOS button. During service, you have access to one year of GPS tracking historical data. Tracking is available through the web and iOS/Android-based apps.

At just over three ounces, the Optimus 2.0 is among the heavier of the trackers on the market. For most, however, the added weight shouldn't make a difference. Also, the Optimus 2.0 has less sophisticated alert options than SpyTec. Again, this might not matter to most users.

Pros:

  • Low monthly fee
  • Range of services

Cons:

  • Slightly heavier than other products
  • Alert options weaker than others

Runner Up

Optimus 2.0

Another great choice

A low monthly subscription price sets this one apart.

Best Premium: AMERICALOC GL300W

Vyncs

The Americaloc is the most expensive GPS tracker on the list. However, it includes two months of free service, which offers an excellent way of evening things out. Occasional discounts at Amazon will bring the price down further. The product provides location updates every minute through a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Unlike many of the other GPS trackers on the market, this one works in most countries.

The GL300 offers different battery modes, which you can adjust easily through the app. By playing around with the various settings, the battery life can exceed the average of two weeks between charges.

Pros:

  • Free two months of service
  • Robust modes to maximize battery life
  • Internation use

Cons:

  • Updates every minute only
  • Price

Best Premium

AMERICALOC GL300W

Don't let the higher price fool you

Here's a popular tracker that works around the world and comes with two months of free service.

Most Durable: BrickHouse Security Spark Nano

driving

Thanks to the included magnetic case, the Brickhouse Security Spark Nano is water-resistant. The case also adds extra durability. Be sure to purchase the Spark Nano bundle using the link below to receive the case too. Otherwise, you'll need to buy the case separately to gain water-resistance.

Beyond this, the product offers tools found on similar products. The Brickhouse offers real-time location viewing (in 60-second internals) through a browser or iOS/Android device. It also includes travel reports, speed alerts, geofencing capabilities, and a panic button. The reports, through a browser especially, are highly detailed.

A significant negative: If you're paying for your subscription month-to-month, the fee is higher than when you pay ahead either quarterly or yearly.

Pros:

  • Water-resistant with the included case
  • A detailed report on browser

Cons:

  • Not water-resistant by itself
  • North America only
  • Expensive month-to-month pricing

Most Durable

BrickHouse Security Spark Nano

Nice bundle

If you plan on using this tracker beyond a few months, pay ahead on a subscription to save some cash.

Best for Parents: MotoSafety GPS

driving

The MotoSafety GPS Tracker focuses on providing real-time driving activity. For this reason, we recommend this item to parents of teenage drivers. The inexpensive tracker keeps you up-to-date on location, direction, speed, traffic, device tampering, and more.

Priced much lower than other trackers, the MotoSafety GPS includes a comprehensive teen driving education course with driving report cards. Better driving habits here we come!

On the negative side, users have reported a complicated cancellation process which requires making a phone call to end support. Another issue/reminder: this product hasn't been designed to track someone without their knowledge. It connects to your vehicle through the OBDII port, which is right below the dashboard. Its use is also limited to the U.S. Canada, and Australia only.

Pros:

  • Low price, for device and subscription
  • Made to encourage healthy driving habits

Cons:

  • Difficult to cancel service
  • Not designed to hide
  • Works in three countries only.

Best for Parents

MOTOsafety GPS

Inexpensive choice

Here's a great product that will help make your teenager a better and safer driver.

Bottom line

We think the Spytec STI is the best GPS tracker for most folks. It's available at a good price and offers all the features you'd expect from a product like this, including a great battery life between charges, compact size, and service that can easily be canceled at any time. If you need to track vehicles, equipment, and yes, a person, this is the one to get.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Bryan M. Wolfe is a dad who loves technology, especially anything new from Apple. Penn State (go Nittany Lions) graduate here, also a huge fan of the New England Patriots. Thanks for reading. @bryanmwolfe

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