In Search of the Best Vehicle Tracking Device without a Monthly Fee
Whatever the reason might be why you wish to buy a vehicle tracker, you surely don’t want to spend too much money. Spending thousands of dollars on such a device would be ridiculous even if you need it to increase the security of your luxury car. It’s because you can find some really good trackers at really affordable prices.
Actually, when it comes to car trackers, the price tag of the spying gadget is not the problem. What’s makes some of these devices bad for your budget is that they use GPS service, which isn’t free. GPS a.k.a. Global Positioning System is an US government-owned system that uses satellites to provide geo-location services.
Because it’s owned by the US and operated by the United States Air Force, it’s not surprising that this service is not free. And if the car tracker uses GPS to provide location data, you will have to be prepared to pay a monthly subscription.
Vehicle Tracking Device No Monthly Fee
Although it’s true that most GPS trackers require you to pay a monthly subscription in order to actually be able to use it, it’s also true that there are some devices that come with free subscription. The problem is that finding such devices isn’t easy.
You could try to use Google for this purpose. You could do a search on a term like ‘best car GPS tracker no monthly fee’ but this isn’t a guarantee you will actually get search results that you’ve hoped form. The thing is that you can’t be 100% sure that the trackers near the top of the search results page are actually the best. Their sellers might just be good at advertising.
So, the big question here is how to find a good GPS tracker without monthly fees. We think that it’s not hard; all you need to do is invest a little bit of time in learning how these devices work. Once you learn how vehicle trackers function, you will know which features you should pay attention to when shopping for one such device.
How Does a Car Tracker Work?
In order to be able to track a car, you need to put the tracking device either inside the car or attach it onto the car. The GPS tracker will then send signals to the satellite, which will them provide you with the information about where the tracker is. You will be to see the exact location of the tracker (and consequently the location of the car) on your computer, smartphone, or any other compatible device.
The device will be sending the signals to the satellite as long as its battery can provide enough energy for this purpose. But, in order for the satellite to give you the location info of the tracker, you will need to pay up.
And rather than paying each time you receive location info, you get to pay monthly. This is done through a GSM subscription. In most cases, you need an SIM card with enough credit. However, in some cases, the manufacturer of the tracking device will take care of the subscription for you.
Some brands have exclusive deals with mobile operators, so they can offer you a better deal or in the best-case scenario, a deal in which you get to use GPS service free of charge. But just because it’s free to use, it doesn’t mean that such a device is a good choice. You need to make sure that the tracker will actually do a good job.
Finding the Best Hidden GPS Tracker for Car
GPS tracker no monthly fee deal might sound awesome, but before you accept such an offer, make sure to check out the specs of the device. Here are some of the features you got to pay attention to!
- Update Rate and Accuracy – The more often the tracker updates its location, the more precise tracking it will provide.
- Smartphone Compatibility – If you want to follow a car with the help of a GPS tracker, it would be great if you could get to track its location on your smartphone. So, our advice is to look only for trackers that are compatible with smartphones.
- Tracking History – Some trackers will record tracking history and keep it on the cloud. This can be very useful for those who want to check whether their partner is cheating on them or those parents who want to know where their children are hanging out.
- Size – It doesn’t matter if you plan to use it for spying purposes or to enhance the security of your car, the tracker needs to be difficult to notice.
- Magnetic Case – If you don’t have access to the inside of the car you wish to track, you can attach the tracker onto it, preferably on the bottom side of the car. But, in order to be able to do it, the tracker needs to come with a magnetic case that’s weather-resistant.
Our Picks for the Best Vehicle Tracking Device No Monthly Fee
Top-Rated GPS Tracker with a 5-Year 3G Subscription
The most important thing about this GPS tracker is that it comes with a free 3G subscription that will last for 5 years. What this means is that you won’t have to pay a single additional cent, which justifies it’s a bit higher price.
- 3G Connection – The tracker uses 3G to connect to the nearest cellular provider to transfer its location info to the satellite. The reason why this is important is that 3G ensures a fast and precise location update.
- Crash Alert – If the tracker detects that a severe crash has happened, it will alarm you via a notification on your smartphone or any other device that’s compatible.
- Compatibility – This tracker is compatible with a wide range of devices, including not just computers and smartphones, but Alexa, IFTTT, and Nest as well.
- On Board Diagnostic – The device connects to the OBD of your car and sends you notifications if a problem is detected.
- 5-year subscription – After buying it, you won’t have to pay a single cent for the next 5 years.
- Advanced features – This device is packed with advanced features like crash alert and OBD.
- Not meant for spying – This device seems ideal for parents who want to make sure their teenage drivers are safe and sound. But, because it needs to be connected to the OBD port, you can’t use it for spying purposes.
Car Tracker with 1-Year Free Subscription
Here’s a vehicle tracker that’s very similar to the first one we reviewed. The difference is that it’s slightly cheaper and that the free subscription is shorter.
- 2-minute updates – This device updates its location every 2 minutes, which is pretty good as it can provide a very precise location.
- Smartphone-compatible – You can connect this tracker to your smartphone, regardless of which operating system it runs on, e.g. iOS, Android, Windows.
- Precision – The tracker is very precise when it comes to the geo-location.
- Reasonable price – There aren’t many GPS trackers that come with a free subscription and which have such a reasonable price as this one.
- Installation – You will either have to install do a 3-wire installation or buy an OBD adapter to set it up.
Affordable GPS Tracker with 1-Year Free Subscription
It’s tiny, it’s cheap, and it comes with a free 1-year subscription. It also has a waterproof-built and its design is pretty easy on the eye, so you can use it for other purposes as well, e.g. as a keychain for your kids to always know where they are.
- Battery-powered – This device has a battery that can provide enough energy to make it track a car for as much as 10 days.
- AT&T card included – The tracker comes with an AT&T card with 1-year subscription free of any charge.
- Geo-fencing – This is a feature that will make the tracker stop working in certain areas. For example, when the car is parked in the garage, there’s no need for keeping the tracker on. The same goes vice-versa: the tracker will alert you if the car enters a pre-determined area.
- Very affordable – Not only is this the cheapest device on our list, but is also one of the most affordable GPS trackers on today’s market.
- Decent battery – It has a capacity to keep it working for 10 days, after which it needs a recharge.
- Waterproof – Bad weather can’t harm it, which is why it might be a good choice for spying purposes.
- Precision – It might not be as precise as the other two devices we review, but this does not mean it’s bad. It just means the other two trackers are much better at geo-locating.
There you have it, three GPS trackers which come without monthly fees. Choose one of these and you won’t make a bad decision. Of course, which one of the three to pick is up to you to decide after taking a look at their features.