You might find yourself in a situation where you have to track your vehicle, perhaps because your teenage son has just started driving or you’re monitoring a fleet at work.
You can do this easily with the use of a GPS tracker that makes use of the OBD port in your car. What, exactly, is an OBD GPS tracker?
This is essentially a GPS tracker that plugs into the OBD port of your car.
You can track your location with it but also do many more things.
What’s great about it is that you can simply plug it in and start working with it, so you don’t have to hassle with batteries or other power sources in order to get it to work.
With that in mind, let’s explore five of the best OBD GPS trackers on the market and why they’re worth purchasing.
- 1 Best OBD GPS Tracker – Reviews & Buying guide for 2021
- 1.1 Best Overall: Global-View Car GPS Tracker
- 1.2 Runner Up: LandAirSea Sync GPS Tracker
- 1.3 Alternative: MasTrack GPS Tracker
- 1.4 Cons
- 1.5 Alternative: Invoxia Cellular GPS Tracker
- 1.6 Alternative: SELTOOL V20 GPS Tracker
- 2 OBD GPS Tracker FAQ
- 3 Conclusion
Best OBD GPS Tracker – Reviews & Buying guide for 2021
Best Overall: Global-View Car GPS Tracker
Global View offers other tracking devices, such as one that you can attach to your car in the form of magnets.
This one is definitely an upgrade on that system because you don’t have to worry about the magnets not sticking properly.
You just have to insert this into your OBD port and it will start working as a tracker.
- This OBD tracker offers automated alerts that you can get via email so that you can tell when someone using your car has left a certain area or is speeding.
- You’ll also be able to see if the driver of the vehicle has taken any stops along their journey, so it’s great for use on employee cars or when monitoring your children who are driving your vehicle.
- This GPS tracker offers nationwide car-tracking coverage with real-time updates. It works in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
- You won’t have to worry about extra fees and you can cancel the service at any time, which is sure to put your mind at ease.
- This best GPS OBD ii vehicle tracker records history for up to an entire year so you’ll be able to access the tracking history of the vehicle. You can also get reports sent to you weekly so you don’t have to log into the app.
- While it doesn’t make a noise, this GPS device does have a light that blinks when you connect it and it sometimes flashes intermittently. You will have to cover the light with some tape if you don’t want anyone to notice the device.
Runner Up: LandAirSea Sync GPS Tracker
This tracker can be attached to your car, SUV, or truck. It can do a variety of monitoring for your fleet or business vehicle. But you could also use it for personal reasons. Let’s check it out.
- This device tracks your car’s movement in real-time via Google Maps, then sends you alerts via email or text. This is a great way to stay up to date on what’s happening with your vehicle.
- You can ensure discreet monitoring with this device because you can disable the LED lights on it.
- It’s really easy to use, thanks to its plug-and-play design. Simply put it into your OBD 2 port in your car. You don’t need a battery, which makes it even easier to use.
- You can choose to get updates from the device every three seconds, although this does come with an extra cost.
- It’s quite versatile as it’s compatible with PC, Android, iPhone, and Mac.
- While the device is said to work well and is accurate, some people who have purchased this GPS tracker have reported that the app you need to use it with can be unreliable at times.
- Sometimes there is a delay with the device’s broadcasting.
- Others have noted that when looking at playback images, the vehicle doesn’t always seem to follow the curves of the road. It might appear that your vehicle was driven badly, but this could actually a glitch in the tracker.
Alternative: MasTrack GPS Tracker
Are you looking for a GPS tracker that can also diagnose your vehicle? This is possible, thanks to how the OBD2 port in your car can be used for various functions.
If that sounds good to you, you should consider this smart OBD GPS tracker.
- While you do need a monthly subscription to use this tracker, it will give you real-time GPS updates every minute.
- This plug-and-play GPS tracker can do various types of monitoring, such as giving you speed alerts when someone’s driving your vehicle too fast or braking roughly. You’ll also get alerts when the vehicle is sitting idly or being towed.
- To ensure you keep your vehicle running smoothly, this tracker will notify you when you need to check its engine or someone has tampered with it.
- You can make use of live tracking or view historical tracking. Best of all, you can access the tracking of your vehicle via tablets, smartphones, or computers.
- If you want to ensure your vehicle isn’t taken out of a certain area, you can make use of the device’s geofence feature. You’ll receive a text or email notification if the car is taken out of a certain area that you designated. Best of all, you can set up a number of areas to monitor.
- This device records every time the car’s ignition is switched on and off.
- If you really want to stay up to date on what’s happening with your car, you will be able to make use of unlimited text and email notifications.
- There’s an engine monitoring feature available. When the car’s
- “check engine” light comes on, you will be alerted.
- This tracker will form part of your car maintenance because you can set up reminders for tasks, such as changing your car’s oil or getting your car inspected.
- The tracker doesn’t come with instructions.
- The device’s web interface is not intuitive and a bit clunky.
Alternative: Invoxia Cellular GPS Tracker
If you want versatility in what you track, you’ll love that this GPS tracker can be used to track your car, motorbike, van, truck, stroller, boat, and even people, such as children or seniors.
You’re sure to get lots of use out of this tracker, because it doesn’t have to be connected to your car’s OBD port in order to work.
- This Invoxia tracker comes with a real-time theft alert feature so you’ll be notified of what’s happening to your vehicle when you’re not there.
- You can set custom alert zones to receive notifications when the tracker moves or leaves a certain area.
- You can get updates every five, 10, or 30 minutes, depending on your preferences.
- Getting a two-year subscription to use this device will include a SIM so you can use it as soon as you unpack it.
- This tracker is a little different from the other products we’ve featured because you don’t have to plug it into anything. Therefore, it’s a GPS tracker that you can use for a variety of things, like tracking your car or bike to prevent it from getting stolen.
- This can also be used for your loved ones, such as kids or elderly family members. It has an SOS button that they can press when they feel unsafe. This will immediately send you a notification.
- Since it doesn’t get connected to your car’s OBD port where it’s visible, it will be easy to conceal this tracking device. It also means that you can put in a variety of places and track valuable possessions or people.
- People who have purchased this GPS tracker have reported that it doesn’t update very often, which causes tracking delays.
- Although the device itself is said to be good, some people have complained the app is not of high quality. This can make using it a bit tricky.
Alternative: SELTOOL V20 GPS Tracker
Here’s another GPS tracker that you can use to diagnose yours. Let’s see what else it has to offer.
- This tracker offers real-time location tracking.
- It’s got a high sensitivity GPS feature that makes it work faster and gives you highly accurate locations.
- It has vehicle ignition detection on board. This means you’ll be alerted whenever your car’s ignition is turned on or off.
- You can set it to give you notifications if your car moves beyond a certain area. This is perfect if someone is driving your car or you want to prevent it from being stolen off your property.
- You can arm or disarm it either manually or automatically.
- It comes with a built-in microphone so you can record noises or conversations in your car. Just make sure that if you’re using this to record people who are in your car that you check your state laws regarding privacy!
- This device can give you a range of trouble codes for your vehicle to help you diagnose a variety of problems with it. It will provide information about your car that includes its coolant temperature, speed, intake air temperature, airflow rate, fuel pressure and system status, intake manifold pressure, and engine revolutions per minute, plus more!
- There’s not much information about the company online or this car OBD GPS tracker. This can make it difficult to know if you can trust it.
OBD GPS Tracker FAQ
Now that we’ve given you a variety of devices to consider in our OBD GPS tracker reviews, you might still have some questions about car tracking and how GPS works.
With that in mind, let’s explore some of the most pressing questions.
How do you secretly track someone’s car?
You can use GPS tracking devices to track someone’s car without them knowing. These devices are usually very small and compact, so they’re easily hidden.
Or, they can simply plug into the car’s OBD port and give the impression that they’re conducting a different task, such as monitoring the car’s engine.
Other GPS trackers can be hidden underneath the seat, in the glove box, or even underneath the car.
As long as the device doesn’t have any lights that flash on it or make any noises, then it will easily remain unnoticeable.
Before you go ahead and use a GPS tracker to track someone’s car without them knowing about it, it’s worth considering the privacy and legal issues that pertain to doing this.
It might be illegal in your state to do this behavior, which could land you in trouble if the person you’re secretly tracking finds out about what you’re doing.
After all, the general rule is that if you want to track someone you need to get their permission.
However, it is generally considered legal to use GPS trackers if you own the car you wish to track or you’re interested in tracking your children who are under the age of 18.
Does GPS tracking require a data plan?
Generally, cellular technology is what’s used in GPS trackers. This enables them to send data, such as when you receive notifications of what the device has been tracking.
This also means that these trackers will have to contain SIM cards.
That said, you won’t have to make use of SIM cards if you don’t want to because there are GPS tracking devices that are known as GPS data loggers.
These don’t require monthly fees in order for you to use them. The drawback, however, is that they can’t transmit real-time GPS information because of the fact that they don’t contain SIM cards.
It’s also worth mentioning here that you can make use of map apps on Android and iOS devices that enable you to track your location without the use of the internet.
The problem with this is that you won’t be able to locate your destination as quickly as when using data for GPS, and it won’t be as accurate.
This is mainly because it will depend on factors that are not within your control, such as surrounding buildings or terrain that can get in the way of the GPS radio which gets its signal from satellites.
How can you tell if someone has put a GPS on your car?
If you suspect that someone has put a GPS device on your car, the good news is that there are many ways in which to find it.
You don’t necessarily require the use of a tool that will sweep the vehicle for any bugs, although we do talk about those a bit later in this article.
Before you inspect your car for GPS trackers, it’s good to know what you’re looking for. These devices will be very small and a few inches in length.
They can have some distinguishing characteristics depending on how they’ve been made, such as an antenna, magnets, a plastic or metal exterior, or external cases to protect them.
When looking for GPS devices in your car, you should start by inspecting your vehicle to see if there are any devices attached to it.
For example, with the use of a flashlight, it’s recommended to check all of the car’s wheels and any metal parts because many GPS trackers will contain magnets that need to be attached to the metal.
The tracking device could also be placed in the undercarriage of the car, so that deserves a look.
Just bear in mind you might need to make use of a mirror to reflect underneath the car so you can better see if anything is there, and if the undercarriage is dirty this will make it more difficult to search for any GPS tracking devices.
Another place to look is under the hood of the car. While it’s not likely that a GPS device would be hidden here because the high temperatures of the car’s engine would damage it, it’s still worth taking a look just in case.
The device could be attached behind the radiator, near the battery, or other parts.
Go to the back of the car and open the boot. You could easily have missed that there was a GPS tracker hidden in there.
It could have been put behind your spare tire or underneath any hidden places, especially if it’s very small and compact.
Finally, the interior of the car should also be examined. A small device plugged into the OBD port can easily be seen and removed – you just have to pull it out of the port.
Other common places to search for tracking devices in the car include underneath and between the seats, in the dashboard, and in any other small places, such as the car’s map pocket. This is that storage space on the inside of the driver’s door.
One of the places where people sometimes fail to check for GPS tracking devices is underneath the dashboard.
Depending on your car, you might be able to completely detach the glove compartment as well as the panel that’s located underneath your steering wheel to have a closer look.
Don’t forget to check for any loose wiring that doesn’t seem to connect to any cables.
Can a GPS tracker be detected?
Earlier, we mentioned how you can ensure your GPS tracking device remains unnoticed by choosing a product that doesn’t have flashing lights or make any noises.
But, there are ways in which people can try to locate GPS tracking devices if they suspect that they are being monitored, so it’s good to know about these in order to prevent your tracker from being found.
A common way to find GPS trackers in your car is to use a device that can locate these trackers. Since they make use of cellular networks and data plans, tracking devices release radio signals.
To pick up on these signals, bug sweeping devices can be used. These are easy for anyone to operate. You just have to switch them on and slowly walk around the car while holding them.
You can also put the device in any area of the car where you think a tracking device could have been installed.
When the bug sweeper makes a noise or flashes a light, this is a sign that it has detected a radio frequency within close proximity.
There are also apps that can be used to transform your smartphone device into one that can locate GPS tracking devices nearby.
If you want to track your vehicle, you have many devices available to you. There are a variety of GPS trackers, such as ones that attach to your car with the use of magnets or ones that connect to your car’s OBD port.
While both of these, and other tracking devices, are useful, using your OBD port is especially advantageous. For starters, once you plug it into the port, the device will start tracking your car.
After reading our reviews, you now know all about the best OBD GPS tracking devices to buy.