Autocar product test: What GPS tracker is best?

3 GPS Trackers header

Your car is a hugely valuable asset, so which tracker device offers it the best protection?

GPS trackers are a great way to bring added security to a valuable vehicle, but it’s a minefield of different devices, from OBD trackers to keyring trackers. So which one offers the most comprehensive protection for your cherished pride and joy?

Buying a tracker can be tricky, because there are so many out there offering many different features, ranging from fairly basic to very comprehensive historic and live tracking data. There’s differing hardware to consider, too, with magnetic devices, some that fit to an OBD port and some that are connected to your battery.  

We’ve picked a cross-section of trackers and tested how easy they are to fit, as well as assessing the app or device functionality and interface. Purchase price and monthly subscription costs are naturally also a consideration.  So, which ones did we try and how do we rate them?  

Best buy – TruTrak FMT100 

Price: £34.99

Buy from: Amazon

Min monthly payment: £4.72

3 Product tests 1600x1066

The TruTrak is a doddle to fit to a 12V battery and also really easy to set up – not least because there’s a direct phone number to a real person who can set it up for you remotely within a few minutes. It doesn’t need charging, of course, because it runs on the 12V – and that also means that you can pretty much forget about it and know that it’s always doing the job. You don’t need to buy a separate SIM card and the phone app shows live location, detailed tracking history and various alerts that you can configure, including if the car is being driven erratically or has left set areas. You can also run multiple devices on one app if you have a fleet to worry about. It’s super-effective yet simple and well priced and therefore is our winner.

Autocar says: 5 stars

Recommended – iTrack FS100 

Price: £65

Buy from: Amazon

Min monthly payment: £4.79

3 Product tests 1600x1066 2

The iTrack is the same hardware as the TruTrak, and the compact device takes up very little space and will fit a 12V battery even if it’s in a really awkward place in the car. It offers a comprehensive app with full tracking information, geofencing features, speed alerts and more. We found the set-up and customer support were very good, too. Only the purchase price lets it down.

Autocar says: 4 stars

Best budget buy – Shield GPS  

Price: £28.99

Buy from: Amazon

Min monthly payment: £4.99

Shield gps

The Shield GPS is an OBD device that requires a separate SIM card, but it’s easy to activate when the SIM is installed. The phone app has journey tracking and live location, plus speed alerts and geofencing so that it sends an alert if the tracker goes outside of your chosen area. It’s a good price, and the monthly fee is reasonable, too. However, none of our OBD devices will be good for older cars that may not have the necessary port, which is a chief reason why we favour those that fit directly to the battery.

Autocar says: 4 stars

Amatrac AM-T22

Price: £49.99

Buy from: Amazon

Min monthly payment: £2.50 (SIM card only)

Amatrac 2

The Amatrac plugs into your car’s OBD port, so it doesn’t need charging at all. It took us a while to set up the tracker, which you can do only after you’ve purchased a SIM card. There’s no subscription, but you have to keep the account topped up to keep the tracker live. Once working, it offers live tracking, historic data and various alerts; but while the features are comprehensive, the app itself is more complicated to figure out than some others. 

Autocar says: 4 stars

Carlock Advanced Real-Time Tracker

Price: £39.90

Buy from: Amazon

Min monthly payment: £6.95

Carlock 2

This tracker fits into your car’s OBD port. It’s easy to activate and use, but it’s a chunky device and can be hard to hide back behind your dashboard or interior trim. You may need the extra £9 extension cable to make it fit. It will alert you when the car is started or exceeds a pre-set speed limit and offers accurate location and journey tracking. The phone app is the best here for ease of use and functionality. 

Autocar says: 4 stars

Rewire 104 Pro

Price: £79.99

Buy from: Amazon

Min monthly payment: £5

Rewire 2

This magnetic, waterproof tracker is seriously chunky and can be attached to the underside of your vehicle (which is good, as it’s so big that it will take up most of your glovebox). The app shows journey history, an instant walking route back to the tracker and a live location. It needs to be recharged every 90 days, though, or much more often than that if you use the live tracking mode, which uses the battery more quickly than the low-energy mode that records the location every minute or two.

Autocar says: 3 stars

Streetwize GPS tracker

Price: £48.55

Buy from: Amazon

Min monthly payment: £10 every 120 days

Streetwize 2

The Streetwize is a basic tracker that gives a live location via text message rather than offering full map tracking as you get with most alternatives, although you can pay for extra functions. The SIM card is pre-installed, making it easy to activate and get it working, and there’s no monthly contract. It does have to be topped up with at least £10 every 120 days to keep the account active, though. You can attach it to your 12V battery with the supplied cables, which is our preferred method of powering a tracker; otherwise you’ll have to charge it every month or so. 

Autocar says: 3 stars

Vodafone Curve

Price: £49.95

Buy from: Amazon

Min monthly payment: £3

Vodafone curve 2

The Curve is an slick-looking, dinky tracker that has its own app and keyring attachment. It doesn’t show journey history or speed data, though; it only beams the live location to the phone app. More annoying is that it has to be charged every week, which makes it next to useless if you want a security device that’s permanently alert and guarding your vehicle. It’s worth considering for a pet or even a free-range teenager, but it’s just not suitable as a vehicle tracker.

Autocar says: 2 stars

How we test products

Disclaimer: The products or services referenced in this story have been reviewed independently by our experts. When you buy using the links on our site, we may earn a commission, but this will never influence our opinion or ratings.

Source: Autocar

Leave a Reply