GPS Car Trackers - 2016 Guide

Vans lined up

What Is A GPS Car Tracker?

Car trackers are devices that do pretty much what you would expect them to – they enable the tracking of cars. A GPS car tracker uses GPS satellite technology to pinpoint the location of the vehicle.

GPS technology is continuously advancing, so GPS car trackers have increased accuracy and can pinpoint a vehicle to within 3 metres of its live location. Modern trackers also have additional features which can be beneficial to a business, such a two way hands-free communication between driver and fleet manager.

Active And Passive GPS Car Trackers

There are two different kinds of GPS trackers for cars, those which relay the information they gather to a central database and those from which the information must be manually downloaded.

  • Active GPS Trackers - Active trackers will relay vehicle related information such as location, speed etc. to a database via GSM technology. This information can then be accessed remotely, with vehicle tracking software installed on a computer in the fleet manager’s office, for example.

    This means that vehicles can be tracked in real time, which can be especially helpful for taxi or courier services or other time sensitive driving operations. Active GPS car trackers also have benefits for haulage and HGV fleets, due to extra features such as predetermined routes and geofencing.

    Enabling features like these lets the fleet manager receive live updates and alerts if the tracked vehicle leaves its route or area.

  • Passive GPS Trackers - Passive GPS car trackers collect the same information as active trackers, but they do not relay it in real time. This means that the vehicle cannot be tracked remotely in real time and live updates and alerts are not possible.

    The advantage of passive car trackers is that the information is always available on the device, and is not impaired by connectivity problems. This makes the information more reliable for long-term overview and analysis purposes.

  • Hybrid GPS Trackers - Nowadays it is quite common for GPS trackers to be capable of both active and passive tracking. This means that live updates are enabled for the purposes of real-time vehicle tracking, but information can also be downloaded from the device in each vehicle for fleet management purposes.

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Features Of A GPS Car Tracker

The main function of a car tracker is to track the car, either actively or passively. Modern GPS car trackers will often have a whole host of additional features though. It is important to understand what you expect your vehicle tracker solution to be capable of, so you can ensure that all functionalities are covered, but that you are not paying extra for features you don’t need.

Features often included in vehicle tracking systems are:

  • Routing and Geofencing options - Set a predetermined route or area for the vehicle and receive live alerts if it moves outside of its zone or off its route.

  • Messaging options - One way or two way communication between driver and fleet manager.

  • Anti-theft features - Including covert placement, bullet- and tamper proof casing, and police collaboration for vehicle recovery.

  • Advanced alerts - Depending on your chosen model, some vehicle trackers are capable of alerting you to speeding, unauthorised driving on toll roads, unauthorised leaving of a route or area, detrimental driving behaviour such as fast accelerating or heavy breaking, and breakdowns.

Cost Savings

When calculating the cost of your GPS vehicle tracker, it is important to factor in the cost savings the car tracking equipment should generate for the business.

Areas to consider include:

  • Reduced insurance premiums
  • Reduced fuel costs
  • Shorter delivery times
  • Reduction of exposure to costs associated with speeding, and
  • Automated fleet life-cycle management.

Next Steps

If you are interested in hearing more about prices to buy or lease a car tracking system for your fleet, then fill out the form at the top of this page and a select group of excellent suppliers will get in touch with you.

Compare prices with Expert Market’s tailored quotes service for the best deals on GPS trackers.