Whether you’re a business owner with company vehicles or a parent with a teen driver, there may come a time when you need to track the location of a vehicle. Luckily, there are many ways to do this online and on mobile devices.
Track a car’s location online by using GPS tracking apps and devices. Modern cars have built-in GPS systems, such as FordPass by Ford. Alternatively, there are tracking apps like Life360 that can be used instead.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most popular methods for tracking cars.
Use Built-In GPS Features
Most modern cars come with built-in GPS features. These can be great for tracking the location of a vehicle in real-time. However, they usually require a monthly subscription fee.
A newly bought car may come with a free yearly trial, and an older used car may not have any GPS features. Depending on the make of the car, it may be possible to have GPS installed by speaking to a local dealership.
Built-in GPS by Brand
- Ford uses their own GPS service called FordPass. Ford became the first manufacturer to offer GPS tracking for free as standard in their vehicles.
- Nissan developed a GPS service called NissanConnect, available in all modern cars. There are free tiers available on the service with prices ranging from $11.99 to $24.99,
- Toyota offers a service called Safety Connect, which starts at $8 a month or $80 on a yearly subscription.
- Chevrolet provides OnStar GPS tracking as part of its subscription services. OnStar pricing begins at $24.99 a month and goes up to $49.99 a month.
- Honda’s GPS service is called HondaLink, and it starts at $110 a year.
- Chrysler’s GPS service is called Uconnect and starts at $14.99 a month or $149.99 a year. Unconnect is also used byJeep, Ram, FIAT, and Dodge cars.
- BMW ConnectedDrive is BMW’s GPS service and starts at $50 a year.
Drop a Pin on the Map
If you want a GPS tracking app to keep tabs on your car’s location when you leave it parked somewhere, there’s a simple solution that’s already on your phone, and it’s free.
Map apps can mark your location, which can be used as a GPS location. This can be done with both Google Maps and Apple Maps, which are installed on most smartphones.
This solution is limited in scope since it can’t track the car’s movements in real-time, but it helps keep track of where you left your car, especially if you’ve parked in a huge parking lot where it might be difficult to remember where you parked.
How To Mark a GPS Location on Google Maps?
- To drop a pin on Google Maps, open the app and find the location you want to mark.
- Tap and hold on the location until a red pin appears.
- You will then see the option to “Save” or “Share” that location.
- If you tap “Save,” the location will be added to your Google Maps list of saved places. You can access this list by tapping the three lines in the top left corner of the app.
How To Mark a GPS Location on Apple Maps?
Marking a location on Apple Maps works similarly to Google Maps.
- Open the app and find the location you want to mark.
- Tap and hold on the location until a pin appears.
- You will then see options to “Share Location,” “Add to Favorites,” or “Create New Contact.”
- If you tap “Share Location,” you can then choose how long you want to share your location with someone and whether or not they will see your location on their lock screen.
- If you tap “Add to Favorites,” the location will be added to your list of favorites which can be accessed by tapping the heart icon in the bottom left corner of the app.
Alternative Map Providers
If you don’t want to use Google or Apple Maps, there are plenty of other map providers out there. Some popular alternatives include Waze, TomTom, and MapQuest.
They have similar features that allow you to drop a pin on the map and save your car’s location. Check the help section of your favorite map app to learn how to do this.
Tracking on Messaging Apps
Another way to keep track of your car’s location is through messaging apps. WhatsApp and Telegram both have location-sharing features that allow you to share your current GPS location with a contact.
This can be useful if you’re meeting someone at an unfamiliar place and want them to be able to find you easily. It’s also useful if you’re going on a long drive and want to let someone know your estimated arrival time.
Install a Tracking App
If you want something more robust than dropping a pin on the map, you can install one of the many available tracking apps.
Most of these apps require you to create an account and add your car to the app. Once your car is added, you can track its location in real-time and see its past locations.
Many apps are free of charge and can be installed on smartphones and desktop computers. Here are some of the most popular GPS tracking services available:
One of the most popular tracking apps is Life360. It has both a smartphone app and a desktop website that you can use to track your car’s location. The app is built for families who want to keep track of their loved ones, but it can also be used to track a vehicle.
The app is free to download and use, but there is a premium subscription available for $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year that gives you access to additional features such as real-time traffic and speed alerts.
Corvus GPS is another popular tracking app that offers both real-time tracking and historical data. The app is built to assist fleet management services, making it easy to keep track of multiple vehicles at once.
Corvus GPS starts at 0.02c per day per unit on the personal plan, limiting you to 5 licenses. Business subscriptions start at 0.05c and can be used with unlimited vehicles. The daily fee allows for more flexibility, and plans can be shut down on days they’re not needed.
Quartix Vehicle Tracking
Quartix Vehicle Tracking is for companies that need a reliable way to track the location of their vehicles. Vehicle activity is logged and sent directly to a chosen email address.
The app can be installed on both a smartphone and desktop computer. The service starts on a free tier, with the paid subscriptions starting at $14.99 per month.
Use a GPS Tracking Device
If you want even more control over your car’s location, you can install a GPS tracking device. These devices plug into your car’s OBD port and send data to an app or website where you can track it in real-time.
OBD ports are usually located underneath the steering wheel.
Some GPS tracking devices also come with real-time traffic and speed alerts. Here are some of the most popular GPS tracking devices available:
The AmCham AM-22 is a popular GPS tracking device that plugs into your car’s OBD port. It sends data to an app where you can track your car’s location in real-time.
The device comes with anti-theft features. If the product is removed from the OBD port, it will alert you. Then you can start tracking the car’s location to recover the vehicle.
ABAX Triplog is a popular GPS tracking device perfect for people who need a discreet solution. The device is small and can be easily hidden. It can be stored almost anywhere as long as it can connect to a power source.
The device comes with a built-in SIM card which means you’ll need to sign up for a costly 3-year contract. However, the device is sold heavily discounted to account for this.
If you have an iPhone, you can use Apple’s AirTag to track your car’s location. AirTag is a small, coin-sized device that you can attach to your car keys or put inside your car.
When you need to track your car, you can use the Find My app to see its last known location. You can also use the app to get directions to your vehicle if it’s nearby.
There are many different ways that you can track your car’s location. If you want to track your vehicle in real-time, you can use a tracking app or install a GPS tracking device.
If you’re just looking for peace of mind, drop a pin on the map before you leave to easily find your way back to your car. No matter what method you choose, keep your car’s location safe and secure.