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The Ultimate Guide to Tracking Your Car

We all depend on our vehicles to get around whether for work, errands or holidays. Given this considerable reliance on our four wheels to get from A to B, one can only imagine the daunting and heartbreaking experience it is to have your vehicle stolen. There’s a few factors involved in this heartbreak, most notably because you’ve got to deal with the damages that may have occurred when your vehicle was on the loose, and also the fact that the cost of insurance premiums are most likely going to skyrocket even those these circumstances were beyond your control. 

Ringing up the Numbers 
Fact is that many individuals don’t take car theft seriously, that’s until they are fed some real numbers. Reports from the FBI reveal that car theft was up 1 percent from the year before, whereas crimes related to burglary and larceny were down by 10 percent and 3 percent respectively. In terms of numbers, more than an alarming 700,000 cars were stolen in 2015 in the United States, a spike from an astounding 3.1 percent the year before. 
To further break that down for you, that equates to 1 car being stolen every 45 seconds with Albuquerque, New Mexico taking home the gold with over 6,131 thefts in 2014 alone. Other metros that witnessed a considerable rise in auto theft include Bakersfield, California, Stockton, California, Modesto, California, Fresno, California, San Francisco and Seattle. Although there are several precautions you can take to keep thieves at bay such as parking your vehicle in well lit areas and installing one or more anti-theft devices, including a steering lock and car alarm, thieves in the 21st century are definitely a few steps ahead of the game. 

In fact, having any of the aforementioned anti-theft devices onboard could result in more damage given that an enthusiastic thief will have to pry open your hood to disengage the car alarm, and then tamper with the door locks to get in the driver’s seat! However, there is a solution that exists, one that works in the backdrop to keep your vehicle safe in the event it is even moved from its parked spot, and one that alerts you discreetly to its real time location so you can retrieve your vehicle and possibly apprehend the culprits as well. 

If you haven’t guessed it yet – we’re referring to GPS car trackers. These devices are extremely compact and can be tucked away in the interior or even exterior of your vehicle. But if you think car tracking is all that they do – there’s a whole lot more to them, some of these features can even result in lower insurance premiums! 

Let’s get right to them! 
GPS car trackers ring in with a plethora of features, but here are a few that make them a must have for car owners. 

Discounted Insurance Premiums – paying car insurance is something that we have to do, and what’s mind boggling is that it can be much more expensive than life insurance. Car insurance companies do reward you for good driving behavior with reduced premiums, but also throw the book at you in the event your car is stolen – a circumstance well beyond your control. But you’re not the only one who’s got to bear these punitive costs, because insurance companies incur billions of dollars in losses due to auto theft each year. 

To even out the playing field, insurance companies offer several perks for car owners willing to go the extra mile and safeguard their vehicle against theft such as installing a car alarm, an immobilizer or a GPS car tracker. Speaking of GPS car tracker insurance discounts, reduced insurance premiums aren’t just for car owners, but even for young drivers between the ages of 17 and 24, who are the ones more susceptible to pay high insurance premiums owing to their little or no driving experience. Reason being that features such as overspeed alerts allow insurance companies to assess new drivers and reward them accordingly with reduced insurance premiums. We even had one customer last week get $140 off their premium, paying for the entire cost of the tracker!

Peace of Mind 
Reduced insurance premiums aren’t the only reason GPS car trackers are an unmatched investment, it’s the peace of mind you receive knowing your car is safe that seals the deal. Vehicle tracking devices with all the bells and whistles have the ability to alert you if your doors or hood has been broken into, when your car has met with an impact, when the driver is speeding, your vehicle is being towed and can even help you locate your vehicle in a parking lot. 

Overspeed Alert – GPS vehicle trackers with this feature allow you to preset a speed limit into the device, and alert you when your vehicle crosses that preconfigured speed limit. This is a great feature for those car owners who’d like to keep their teen’s driving habits in check or looking to keep a track of novice drivers. 

Shock Sensor – While some anti-theft devices only sound an alarm when your vehicle has experienced an impact, GPS vehicle trackers render the exact location in real time regardless if your vehicle is a few yards or miles away. These alerts also prove handy when thieves forcefully try to break into your vehicle or try to pry open the hood in an effort to disable the car alarm system. 

Door Alarms – most modern vehicles are factory fitted with car alarms, but the GPS tracker door alarm feature works silently in the backdrop to alert you when your doors have been tampered with. So even if a thief manages to disable your factory alarm system, they will not be able to get away with your vehicle without you knowing. 

Live Tracking + History Log – one of the best features of GPS vehicle car trackers is that you can receive alerts for all the above features in real time. Not only can you locate your vehicle is in real time, some models even allow you to save this historical data to be viewed at a later time.

What to look for in a GPS Vehicle Car Tracker? 
When in the market for a GPS car tracker, you will come across several different choices, with the two common ones being hardwired and portable devices. Hardwired GPS vehicle car trackers just like name suggests must be connected to the vehicle’s power system with the spaghetti (wires usually provided). Contrarily, portable GPS car tracking devices are powered by an onsite battery and are a great choice if you have more than one vehicle you’d like to keep a track. Adding to this, there are no wires to deal with, making them easy to haul around and even use internationally. 

Unless you’re a pro handyman, it is highly recommended that you seek professional help for installing a hardwired tracker because it is important you get it right the first time. This however may cost more than $400, which in all honestly is a steep price to pay over and above the actual cost of the device. Due to their ease of use and widespread popularity, portable GPS vehicle trackers can be easily ordered online via several e-tailers including eBay and Amazon. And if you’ve overwhelmed during the shopping process, check out some of the models we’ve reviewed and highly recommend, for instance this hidden GPS tracker for your car.

Both types of trackers can even be purchased from manufacture websites, but most will require a monthly subscription for GPS data – another monthly bill to deal with each month! As a cost efficiently alternative, look for devices that offer SIM card connectivity, where you insert a prepaid SIM card, activate a basic data plan and you’re all set to track your vehicle. And it only gets better – tracking your vehicle is just as easy as sending an SMS command to the device, and receiving your vehicle’s location in real time via Google Maps. The best GPS portable vehicle trackers also come with their own dedicated software for you access and configure other great features of the device such as geofencing and overspeed alerts. 

Final Thoughts 
If you’re looking for superior protection against vehicle theft that works separately from your factory installed car alarm system, does not break the bank yet may very well result in reduced insurance premiums, and best of all rings in with a myriad other useful features, a GPS vehicle car tracker is an unrivaled investment.

Written by: Luca Sampson


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