Comparing Different Types of Car Tracking Systems: Which is Right for You?

car tracking systems

Car tracking systems have become indispensable for both personal and commercial vehicle management. Whether you’re looking to enhance your car’s security, monitor your fleet, or keep an eye on a new driver’s habits, a car tracking system is tailored to your needs. Here’s a comparison of various car tracking systems to help you choose the right one.

1. GPS Trackers

GPS trackers are the most common type of car tracking system. They use satellite signals to determine the precise location of your vehicle in real-time, making it easy to locate it at any moment.

A GPS tracker also allows you to set virtual boundaries and receive alerts if your vehicle crosses them. It also records your vehicle’s travel history, which can help review routes and drive behaviour.

However, GPS tracking systems come with a couple of drawbacks. They typically require a monthly subscription fee, and their effectiveness depends on a clear satellite signal, which tunnels or dense urban areas can disrupt.

2. OBD Trackers

The OBD (Onboard Diagnostics) trackers plug into your vehicle’s OBD-II port, providing tracking capabilities and diagnostic information. This tracker is easily installed and directly connects to the vehicle’s onboard diagnostics port. This allows the tracker to provide insights into your vehicle’s health, including engine faults and maintenance alerts. It also monitors driving habits such as harsh braking, rapid acceleration, and speed. 

Unlike GPS trackers, OBD trackers are only compatible with vehicles manufactured after 1996, when OBD-II ports became standard. Additionally, because the device is plugged into the dashboard, thieves can easily spot and remove it. It’ll be disappointing to have your car whisked away by thieves.

3. Hardwired Trackers

Hardwired trackers are installed directly into the vehicle’s electrical system, providing a discreet and reliable tracking solution, unlike the OBD tracker. They often come with additional features like remote engine disablement and integration with alarm systems. Additionally, they draw power directly from the vehicle’s battery, allowing them to operate continuously.

Its disadvantages, however, are that it typically requires professional installation, which can add to the initial cost, and it is not easily transferable between vehicles.

4. Bluetooth Trackers

The last type of tracker we will be describing is the Bluetooth tracker. This type of tracker uses Bluetooth technology to connect to your smartphone, providing proximity-based tracking.

It is generally cheaper than GPS and OBD trackers. It also does not require subscription fees, which means it can operate without monthly fees. In addition, it has a long battery life due to low power consumption.

So, while the Bluetooth tracker might be good when you are trying to locate your car in a crowded parking lot and is typically preferred for budget-conscious users, what are its downsides? It is effective only within a short range (typically up to 100 meters). Plus, it does not provide real-time tracking or location history.

Which One Is Right for You?

Choosing the right car tracking system depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here are 4 things to consider:

  • A GPS tracker is your best bet if you consider security and real-time tracking. It will offer you comprehensive real-time monitoring and alerts.
  • Suppose you care about your vehicle’s health and driver monitoring (especially if you give the car to your 17-year-old son or daughter). In that case, an OBD tracker provides valuable diagnostic information and driving behaviour insights. It’s best you catch them first before the police.
  • A hardwired tracker offers a hidden, reliable solution with advanced features if you are looking for discreet and advanced security.
  • Lastly, for simple, budget-friendly tracking, a Bluetooth tracker is ideal for short-range, proximity-based tracking without ongoing costs.

It all depends on your preference. However, we recommend the most advanced type of tracker for greater satisfaction. But whichever one you choose, we can install it for you and guide you through its best uses. 


Car tracking systems offer a range of benefits, from enhanced security to detailed vehicle monitoring. At Five Star Autocentre, we provide expert advice and installation services to ensure you get the most out of your car tracking system. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help protect and manage your vehicle with the right tracking solution.

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