What are the Best Places to Install a GPS Tracking Device on a Car?

13 Oct 2021

There are several reasons you may want to purchase and install a GPS tracking device on a vehicle, whether it is for insurance reasons, security, peace of mind, simply being able to keep track of your fleet vehicles, or even for other personal reasons.

Before purchasing a GPS tracking device, it’s worth doing some research to see which one(s) best suit your needs. Where to install a GPS tracking device on a car depends on if you’re wanting overt or covert tracking and if your GPS tracking unit is battery-powered, hardwired, or plug-and-play. Also, deciding the location of the tracker is important because if you install the device in a spot where there are obstacles or interferences that block satellite signals, the accuracy of the vehicle tracking device will be reduced.

Types of GPS Tracking Devices

Covert GPS Trackers

Covert GPS tracking devices for cars are devices that the user can place on a vehicle that allows them to monitor the location of the vehicle without the driver’s knowledge. There are countless reasons that you might want to use a covert GPS tracking device: one big reason is for surveillance by private detectives, law enforcement, or even individuals like suspicious spouses.

Another reason people may choose to use a covert GPS tracking device is for fleet tracking. By tracking vehicles in their fleet, employers can be sure whether or not their employees are using their vehicles for only business-related ventures. Covert tracking can also be used to monitor delivery times and routes for your business.

Overt GPS Trackers

Overt devices are GPS tracking devices that track vehicles in an obvious manner so that both parties know about them. In other words, someone being tracked with an overt tracking device would most likely know they are being tracked. Overt GPS tracking devices are often used in businesses to monitor delivery trucks and shipments.

Plug and Play 

Plug and play GPS tracking devices are charged by the vehicle’s battery and can be difficult to remove. Plug and Play GPS trackers hook up to a vehicle’s OBD-II port (onboard diagnostics).  This type of tracker  receives its power supply directly from the vehicle so you are saved from the hassles of taking it out for charging regularly.

Where to Install

OBD-II Port: Most vehicles, excluding vintage cars from before 1966, come with an installed OBD-II port located by the steering wheel. Another place you can plug in your tracking device is in the dashboard, which is a good place to put it in order to keep it concealed.

Hard-wired

Hard-wired GPS tracking devices need to be connected to the vehicle’s electrical system.

Where to Install:

Within the Dash:  Experts recommend installing the tracking device within the dash for concealing the GPS instrument.

In the  Bumper:  Another option is hiding the tracker inside the bumper because this part of the vehicle houses different types of wiring for the sensor, temperature, light, and more, and can connect directly to the power supply.

Under the car: This covert method of placing a tracker offers strong reception, especially when placed near the edge, and is not immediately visible.

Under brake light cover: If this is intended to be a covert placement, the tracker could be detected as a result of a brake light failure.

Other options if electrical system is attainable:

  • Inside speaker
  • Behind radio
  • Inside glove department
  • Inside seat pocket
  • Under the top of the roof
  • Embedded in the trunk

Battery-Powered GPS tracking

Battery-powered GPS tracking devices are powered by their own battery and require recharging for continued use. If you want to track where a vehicle is being driven, or where a person or object is located, but you don’t want to be obvious about it, then a battery-powered GPS tracker is your best solution. They’re the most versatile type of tracker.

When privacy is of no concern, you can attach the GPS tracker to the sun visor or on the back shelf. You can also put the tracker under the passenger seat if you don’t have signal issues from the seat materials. Placing the tracker in a magnetic box attached to the roof provides tremendous signal strength.

 Where to Install

 Battery-powered GPS tracking devices have a lot of versatility as to their placement.

Typically, they can be magnetically attached to the underside of a vehicle or other metal surface or placed in a console or cubby. They can also be installed in the vehicle’s wheel well.

They can also be carried around in someone’s pocket or attached to something important.

Overall, battery-powered devices don’t track driver’s locations as well as plug-in GPS trackers and their batteries usually need to be recharged every week or two. However, they are more portable and easier to conceal.

It’s not advisable to install a GPS tracker in a place that gets hot, like inside the front grill, because the tracker may melt or be damaged from the heat.

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