LAST UPDATED: April 15, 2021
Best Hidden GPS Trackers: Track Your Vehicle Anywhere
Keep an eye on your vehicle's location with a good hidden GPS tracker.
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PUBLISHED ON April 15, 2021
Vehicle GPS trackers have become very popular these days because of the advancement of GPS technology. Knowing your vehicle's whereabouts and having the ability to track it in realtime can give you peace of mind for a lot of reasons. GPS trackers won't just prevent the permanent theft of your vehicle, but they are also a good solution if you need to monitor the driving habits of an employee, your teenage child, or an elderly family member.
To help you decide which one to get, we'll be taking a look at the best vehicle GPS trackers available for purchase and giving you a rundown of their features.
This portable real-time tracker comes ready to use and allows you to track your vehicle from any computer, phone, or tablet.
- Battery can last for days on a single charge
- Has coverage in the U.S., Canada, and Europe
- Offers accurate alerts on movement, speeding, and parking
- Doesn’t come with mounting hardware or a magnet
- Expensive product with expensive monthly subscriptions
It is one of the most affordable GPS trackers in the market but does the job well.
- Tracker is small and easy to set up
- Can send real-time information via text, email, or app
- Tracker doesn’t include a SIM card
- Can give relatively inaccurate information when the vehicle is in a rural area
Offering a smaller-than-average body, this vehicle GPS tracker offers more features than other options.
- Small, compact body has a degree of weatherproofing built into the case itself
- App offers several helpful features like arrival and departure notifications and proximity alerts
- Battery life is shorter than most competitors at just four or five days
- Recharging becomes a hassle since it takes long (around 12 hours)
- Pin is required to hit the on and off button that's recessed into the body
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy a Hidden GPS Tracker
- Keep track of your vehicle's location. Especially if your car is expensive and stands the risk of getting stolen, one advantage to having a GPS tracker installed in your vehicle is that you'll be able to track its whereabouts at all times. As long as the tracker is in an area with persistent data connection, it can send you constant updates via email or through an app using the same technology found in smartphones.
- Monitor driving habits. GPS trackers can provide you with invaluable information about how your vehicle is being used. In addition to location, GPS trackers can log information like direction, vehicle speed, fuel consumption, and more. This can be helpful if you have a teenage child or an elderly family member who uses your vehicle, or if you have a business that requires you to monitor a fleet of vehicles.
- Peace of mind. Of course, the biggest benefit to having a GPS tracker installed is peace of mind. Nobody can reasonably be expected to keep tabs on their vehicle at all times, and even if one had a camera on it 24/7, they'd still be left none the wiser once it's stolen.
Types of Hidden GPS Trackers
A passive GPS tracker basically works like a data logging device. It will log vehicle data that can be downloaded later on. Passive GPS trackers don't need a persistent data connection because they don't send out information about your vehicle in real time. Some passive GPS trackers can send information wirelessly, but you'll either have to download the data from the tracker or wait a longer interval between each update. One advantage of a passive setup is that you can expect the battery to last longer. The downside, of course, is that you won't be getting minute-to-minute updates.
Active GPS trackers require constant data connection to be able to send you information about your vehicle via a cellular network. This necessarily means that active GPS trackers end up using more power than passive ones. If the tracker draws power from an internal battery, then you'll be replacing it or charging it often. However, the ability to get information about your vehicle in real-time can be a big advantage in certain situations.
Top Brands of Hidden GPS Trackers
As a dedicated surveillance gear supplier, SpyTec has some history developing products that are meant to be discreet and out of sight. While some of its gear can be used for more nefarious purposes, the main appeal of the company's product lineup, especially its GPS trackers, is for everyday use. That is why general use trackers like the SpyTec GL300 are perfect for vehicular use: they are small and fit nearly anywhere.
LandAirSea is one of a few companies that is focused on producing GPS tracking products for vehicular use. Founded in 1994, the company specializes in making accurate trackers meant for personal and commercial use, especially in situations that require a good fleet management system. Check out the LandAirSea 54 Magnetic GPS Tracker for a good sample of the company's offerings.
Hidden GPS Tracker Pricing
- Under $50: You'll find basic GPS trackers in this price range. While you shouldn’t expect basic GPS trackers to offer much in the way of features, most will give you more than what you’ll need for personal use.
- $50-$100: Many general and vehicle-specific GPS trackers in this range are designed for personal and commercial use. Although they'll be able to log in a lot of useful driving information for fleet managers and the like, most vehicle-specific options need a direct connection to the vehicle’s OBD-II port, which means they can't be hidden from view.
- $100 and up: You'll find the most feature-rich GPS trackers in this price range that are mostly designed for commercial purposes. They'll have the ability to log in more driving and diagnostic information, and have other unique features such as proximity alerts, geofencing, and driver scoring to aid in fleet management.
One big advantage of a hidden GPS tracker is that it can be installed almost anywhere in the vehicle. Some can even be installed on the outside or under a vehicle, away from view. This means you'll need a suitable case for the tracker to protect its internal circuitry from the elements. Some cases will be conveniently included in the package and have a magnetic mount for easy installation while some are sold separately.
In addition to providing you with information on the whereabouts of your vehicle, some GPS trackers will have a geofencing feature that can tell you when a vehicle goes outside a predetermined route. Geofencing can be a particularly helpful feature for fleet management because it allows users to encircle an area on a map and get notified as soon as the vehicle leaves the area.
Proximity alerts are another useful feature that you might want in your GPS tracker depending on your needs. With this feature, you can get notifications every time your vehicle reaches predefined points on a map, which will obviate the need to constantly monitor a vehicle's location in real-time.
- Control. Advanced trackers have many settings you can use to monitor the performance and settings of the device. The type of control the device offers matters when you want quick access to these settings. The most convenient control is online or mobile app-based settings. This way, you can access the settings anytime you want from anywhere, usually for a small monthly subscription. More basic devices, however, may require a direct connection to a computer to change these settings or download data.
- Battery Life. All electronic devices are only as good as the life of their batteries. When a GPS tracker runs out of juice, the tracking stops. While battery life depends on a number of settings like location reporting intervals, some devices have longer lifespans than others. Considering the type and capacity of the battery is a good starting point to see how much life you should expect out of any option you consider.
Best Hidden GPS Trackers Reviews & Recommendations 2021
The GL300W is a small and compact GPS tracker that comes with a pre-installed SIM card and can go unnoticed when hidden in your vehicle. It's a real-time tracker that can save one year of your tracking history. You will get an alert whenever your vehicle is moving, speeding, or parking. You will also be notified if the device goes off unexpectedly or when the battery is low.
We are impressed that it allows you to customize your routing zone and get direct alerts to your email when the vehicle is entering or leaving the mapped zone. It gives minute-by-minute updates for the location of your vehicle, which can be configured to 10- or 30-second intervals. In addition, it can cover almost any location in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The battery can last for days—if not weeks—on a single charge.
However, the tracker doesn’t have a magnet or mounting hardware, which means that it can easily get lost if you don’t secure it in a pocket or the glove box. It’s also quite expensive seeing that it’s above $100, and you also have to pay monthly service subscriptions—around $25.
If you're on a budget but want something that ticks a lot of boxes, then check out the Spytec GL300 GPS tracker. You can get location updates from your vehicle via the Spytec app, as well as information like speed, distance traveled, and more. Spytec boasts that their cloud-based service is both user-friendly and reliable, as well as a 99.99 percent uptime. The GPS tracker is small and unobtrusive at an inch thick and 3 inches on its longest side, and the battery is rated to last two-and-a-half weeks between charging. Additionally, Spytec offers 24/7 support and a lifetime warranty for customers who get an active subscription.
One complaint about the device is that GPS tracking can become wonky when the vehicle is in a rural area. Another is that the package doesn’t include a SIM card, so you’ll have to buy one separately.
The LandAirSea 54 has a tiny footprint and is easily one of the smallest GPS trackers available in the market. Despite its diminutive dimensions, however, this tracker packs a lot of features that make it worthy of attention. It has a built-in magnet for easy installation, as well as a tough, waterproof case to protect the device from anything should you decide to install it under your vehicle to keep it maximally hidden from view. Impressively, this tiny tracker offers additional features that one won't typically find on other trackers in the same price range, including route playback, proximity alerts, and arrival/departure notifications.
One drawback to the device is that while the battery lasts a respectable 4-5 days, you'll need 12 hours to charge it from zero to full.
Trak-4's vehicle and personal tracker is a bulky, rugged device with a case that's designed to survive a few scrapes and knocks. Unlike other vehicle GPS trackers, this one is meant to be as simple to set up and use as possible. The case comes with mounting tabs, so you can screw the tracker onto a vehicle instead of relying on magnets alone.
The tracker is designed to be used without the need (or availability) of a dedicated phone app; all settings are controlled via Trak-4's website instead. Through the web interface, you can set the live text or email alerts and geofencing settings. While it is geared towards vehicle use, the tracker is small enough to fit in a pocket or bag for personal use as well.
While battery life looks good on paper (up to 12 to 18 months), this is heavily dependent on the report interval. Frequent location reporting (around every 15 minutes) shrinks the battery life down to just two or three weeks. Controlling the tracker's settings on a mobile device is also somewhat clunky since you have to visit the company's website instead of a native app.
The Vyncs GPS Tracker for Vehicles uses an ultra-fast 4G and LTE network to reliably send you real-time updates about your car. In addition to your vehicle's location, the device can also send you updates about your vehicle's health, driving history, fuel performance, and more. Information can be viewed from your laptop or from a Vyncs mobile app, and the package includes an international SIM card that Vyncs assures will work in 200+ countries. While Vyncs doesn't charge monthly fees, they do charge a one-time activation fee and a yearly subscription fee that can be canceled anytime. Additionally, Vyncs offers 24/7 support and a lifetime warranty for customers with a valid subscription.
The GPS tracker doesn't need to be charged because it connects directly to your vehicle's OBD-II port. Of course, the downside to this is that the tracker isn't hidden from view and is susceptible to theft.
The BrickHouse Security Spark Nano is a great option for live tracking your vehicle because of its ability to connect to 4G LTE. It's one of the smallest trackers available, allowing you to track more than just your car. Its rechargeable battery can provide 15 hours of live tracking or last 15 days on standby mode. You can set up the device to do continuous tracking or program it to send information at regular intervals to save on data expenses. It has a geofencing feature that can alert you every time your vehicle goes beyond a predefined boundary that you've set on a map, and the manufacturer claims the device will work anywhere in North America, Canada, and Mexico.
While the Security Spark Nano is small, packed with features, and will tick most boxes, the battery life is where the device takes a hit.
The Optimus 2.0 comes with a GPS tracker and a twin magnet case. You only have to set it up with the iPhone or Android app, and hide the tracker in a backpack or use the magnet case to attach it to the metal parts of your vehicle. You will get email and text message reports every 30 seconds when it's in motion and you can customize this to 10-second reports.
It gives alerts on speeding, when the tracker is entering or exiting a location, or when the battery is low. Since it has an SOS button, you can use it as a safety tool, where your teen or an elderly person can alert you in case they need you to track them. Also, you don’t have to worry about constantly recharging it since the battery can go for a week on a single full charge.
However, it can be a bit hard to read the map on a phone because of the many grid lines on there. In addition, it may report false movements or give inaccurate locations. Also, the battery may drain faster with frequent movement and constant updates.
The Bouncie GPS tracker gives updates on your vehicle's location every 15 seconds when it’s in motion. It gives you access to addresses, routes, and you can zoom in or out for better viewing. Using the phone app, you can draw geo circles anywhere on the map, and you will get an alert every time the tracker enters or leaves the location.
Since it installs in your car's OBD-II port, it can also be used to monitor your vehicle’s health and gives you alerts on maintenance problems. It can also interpret diagnostic trouble codes when they pop up and give you a simple description of what they mean. On top of that, in case your vehicle gets stuck on the road, you can request Bouncie to contact local service shops for help, be it a tow truck, an extra battery, or fuel at no extra charge.
Unfortunately, it’s a bit more expensive than most standard GPS trackers owing to the advanced features it offers. Also, it can be customized to update you on your vehicle’s maintenance schedule but you have to manually input the dates. Otherwise, you won’t get the alerts.
This GPS tracker is so small and lightweight that it's barely detectable. It's easy to conceal in a variety of places and privately tracks locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. You can use it with a computer, tablet, or smartphone, and it works on various devices and networks with cellular service. It costs between $20 and $25 per month.
The tracker uses 4G LTE technology and updates every 10 seconds, revealing the vehicle’s location, movement, and direction. It provides a precise location, has a long-lasting battery, and is very easy to use. The subscription is reasonable, you have the option to cancel it any time, and there are no activation fees.
However, while it's supposed to be accurate within 100 feet, that may not always be the case. The website can also be a little difficult to navigate, and the tracker doesn't always tell you the speed that the vehicle is traveling. It can also be hard to follow when the vehicle is moving.
- If you opt to put your tracker inside your vehicle, anywhere close to the window where the tracker can have an unobstructed view of the sky will give you the best reception.
- If you want your GPS tracker installed somewhere outside the vehicle to keep it hidden from view, consider mounting it behind a rear light where it's least visible. You can also mount it on the undercarriage, but make sure that it is well encased so it won't damage from exposure to the elements.
- Especially if you decide to mount the tracker outside your vehicle, always check the mount mechanism before installing the tracker to make sure it won't fall off or damage should the vehicle go over a bump or a patch of rough road.
Q. How does a GPS tracker work?
Just like any other GPS device, a hidden tracker communicates with satellites overhead to determine its position. Using some calculations, it determines and sends its location (or stores it) for the user.
Q. Do GPS trackers always work?
The reliability of a tracker depends on the GPS reception. Most of the time, a GPS device has no trouble communicating with GPS satellites in orbit. Certain types of terrain, bad weather, and other small factors can worsen reception in certain cases. You may be also be limited when you can access the information if it doesn't have a data connection.
Q. What's the best way to hide the GPS tracker?
Installing it somewhere that is difficult to access on the vehicle is the best bet. This usually rules out the interior of the vehicle. Instead, try mounting it somewhere outside behind a part or panel. Under the car, behind a light, in the engine bay, and other areas work fairly well.