NOTE: This information is provided as general advice only and all local laws should be consulted for using these devices.
Car tracking devices are used to “track cars”. There are several different reasons one may use such a tracker including mapping a trip, tracking employees, tracking children and tracking other people.
Depending on the application tracking a car may or may not be legal. In many locations there are restrictions as to who can be tracked and how they are tracked. Check with local law enforcement or your lawyer to see the laws in your area prior to using a car tracking device. There are two basic types of of vehicle trackers. The two primary types of trackers are live and passive.
Live trackers are also referred to as active or real time trackers. When a live tracking device is used you can see where someone is right now is you need to locate the vehicle. This is common for employers tracking employees and for tracking children or a spouse. Some of these have magnetic cases with extend batteries. Similar to what you would see on TV you can simply slap one of these on the bottom of a vehicle and track their location until the battery time runs out.
Live vehicle tracking devices usually require an activation fee and a monthly fee for the service. Usually the lower the price of the tracker, the higher the monthly fees you will pay. Some even have a motion detection feature that save battery power by only tracking while the tracker is in motion. Some live trackers can be hardwired to the car so there is no need for batteries.
Passive car trackers work a little bit different than the live models. Passive units are also sometimes called historic trackers. These usually can be used in a purse, car, book bag, pocket or anywhere else you can put a small electronic device. Passive trackers are usually smaller than live devices. To operate these you turn them on, let them go on their way then retrieve them at a later time. Most units hook up to a computer so you can see the rout the tracker traveled. These are lower priced than live car tracking devices and don’t require a monthly fee or activation fee.
Regardless of which type of tracker you purchase, you will be able to see where the tracker has traveled and it usually will tell you how long it was there and may even give you the address. Some of these are using Google Maps so they are very accurate.
Just be sure to check you laws prior to using a tracking device to track another person as you don’t want to be the one tracked while on probation for violating the law.