Buying a GPS tracker to help keep a better eye over your car is always a good idea—to the point where your insurance company probably offers some type of a discount in order to incentivize this purchase. Your vehicle is an investment, after all, and like anything else, that investment deserves to be protected.

GPS Tracker

But at the same time, you have a massive number of options available to choose from depending on your needs. How does the average person even know where to begin? How can you guarantee with total certainty that your hard-earned money is going to the right place?

First thing’s first—calm down, take a deep breath. This process isn’t nearly as complicated as it may initially seem. If you really want to make sure that you’re choosing the right GPS tracker to fit your needs (both as they exist today and how they may change in the future), there are a few key features you’ll want to watch out for.

Buying a GPS Tracker: Breaking It Down

If you want to be able to use a GPS tracker to remotely monitor your car in the unfortunate event that it is stolen, for example, one of the qualities you’ll want to prioritize involves a device that can be hidden as well as possible. When someone goes through the trouble of breaking into your car, they’re probably going to throw out any electronics that could be used to track their movements—that includes the GPS device that you have attached in plain sight to the dashboard of your vehicle.

What you should really look for is a device that is not only designed to be as compact as possible, but one that is also wired directly into the electrical system of your car in a discrete way. That way, even if the device is located, it will be difficult—if not downright impossible—to remove it.

Along the same lines, you’ll also want to purchase a GPS tracker that is capable of real-time tracking—meaning that is always connected to the Internet by way of a mobile data network, just like your cell phone is. If your GPS isn’t working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, you’re severely limiting its usefulness in a theft situation.

Another one of the most important features that you should absolutely look out for involves geo-fencing zones, which is a way for you to set up predetermined zones that are “normal” locations for your vehicle. Your garage at home, your driveway, the parking garage at work, places like that. If your car is moved outside of one of those zones without your knowledge for whatever reason, you should get an alert about it, thus allowing you to act as quickly as possible as conditions continue to change.

Speaking of automatic alerts, that is absolutely another feature that you’ll want to invest in when choosing a GPS tracker for the purposes of monitoring your vehicle. As stated, some devices will instantly let you know on your smartphone or tablet if your car has moved. Ideally, however, things will go one step farther.

Has someone just tried to enter your car without you knowing? Has the engine on your car started but you’re in your office? Has absolutely anything else suspicious happened while you were away? These are the types of things that your GPS should automatically alert you to.

Beyond that, you’ll want to look for all of the standard features that go into creating a high-quality GPS tracking unit. Any model that you purchase should absolutely be waterproof, for example. It should also be heat-resistant, as the temperature on the inside of your car can easily get up to 100+ degrees or more on those warm summer days. Your ideal GPS tracker will also be impact resistant, as you want it to be able to stay working even in the event of a car accident.