When searching for the best car alarm with GPS tracking, it’s important to know that your options are limited in this department. In most cases, it’s hard to track down a compatible GPS unit for your existing alarm system. The good news is that there are solutions for both new and existing car alarms.
When selecting GPS tracking for your car, it’s good to know the perks. First, unlike a simple alarm system that acts as a deterrent, a GPS unit shows you the exact location of your car. Secondly, there’s the option to program the GPS to send you custom alerts. In the end, you’ll always know where your car is in the event of a theft, not to mention the other uses GPS brings to the table.
The aim of this article is to introduce you to the top car alarms with GPS tracking along with solutions for all scenarios. Ultimately, you’ll know which GPS solution is the best for your car by the end of this article.
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Now that you’ve had the chance to review your available options, let’s quickly go over the three primary types of GPS trackers:
- Hardwired Units
- Battery-Powered Units
- Integrated Modules
First is a hardwired unit. In most circumstances, this type of alarm must be professionally installed. The main advantage is that you don’t have to worry about battery power, yet experienced thieves may know where to find the unit.
The second is a battery-powered GPS tracker. It’s possible to hide these anywhere in or outside of your vehicle with magnets. While you can get more creative with your hiding spot, you do need to rely on battery power.
Finally, there’s the option to purchase an add-on module that integrates with your alarm system. This is the best type of unit since you’re able to monitor via your existing system.
#1) Viper VSM250 SmartStart GPS Module
We chose Viper as our best car alarm for catalytic converter theft, and Viper deserves our top spot here as well. Clearly, if you already own a Viper system, then the SmartStart GPS Module is the obvious choice. If you have yet to purchase a car alarm, then purchasing any compatible Viper system along with the GPS module is a wise decision.
The VSM250 is a feature-loaded device that offers accurate GPS tracking with a monthly or annual subscription. At the time of this writing, the cost of the subscription is fairly valued. When choosing a subscription, be sure to stick with the GPS Premium plan to ensure you have access to GPS tracking.
Once you’re up and running, there are the options to set up a geo-fence, curfew, speed alerts, and even harsh accelerations alerts. Beyond those functions, you get perks such as remote start and panic that are accessible through the Viper app. All in all, the VSM250 module is the best car alarm with GPS tracking currently available.
- Your most reliable option
- Save by investing in 1-year or 3-year subscription plans
- Geo-fence, Speed, and Harsh Acceleration Alerts
- Integrates with most Viper car alarm systems
- Remote start and other convenient features
- Unlock your car in the app if you lock your keys in your car
- Not universal
- You may want to avoid monthly or annual fees
- Most likely requires professional installation
#2) TKSTAR TK915 GPS Tracker
Next up is an option that’s favorable for people who want to skip monthly subscription fees altogether. Yet, while that does sound great, it’s important to know that this unit operates on the 2G network. Yes, you have the option to get accurate GPS tracking, but not all service providers still operate on 2G. A couple of options are T-Mobile and SpeedTalk.
Once you have a compatible SIM, the world is your oyster with this device. The TKSTAR tracker works anywhere in the world, and it sends you a collection of helpful alerts. Primarily, the alarm function in the unit sends you alerts when the unit detects vibrations. This is similar to a shock sensor that you’ll find included with most car alarm systems.
Once the TKSTAR unit detects vibrations, it sends an alert directly to your phone. This way, you have the chance to get yourself or the authorities involved if a burglar is trying to access your car. In the event that the burglar does drive off with your car, you always have accurate GPS tracking to fall back on. As for installation, the built-in magnets and IP67 waterproof rating allow you to place this unit virtually anywhere.
- An integrated vibration sensor to alert you when anyone tampers with your car
- No monthly subscription fee
- Built-in magnets and waterproof shell for installation anywhere
- Standby time of up to 4 months with 4 to 6-week working time
- Tracker removal alert
- Integrates with a mobile app
- Geofence and speed alerts
- Operates on the 2G network
- The instructions could be clearer
- Using the SIM does require a low monthly fee
Currently, the most affordable option in our guide is TheCoolCube GPS tracking device with alarm functionality. While this unit does not have an audible alarm, it allows you to set up alerts that you’d commonly find offered by an alarm system. For example, the unit detects vibrations, and there’s the option to have alerts sent to your phone if it detects movement. On top of that, there are open-door and motion alerts for enhanced security.
Third, you’ll find geo-fencing options alongside speed alerts. Unlike the TKSTAR unit, TheCoolCube is hardwired to your car. This allows for enhanced functionality such as a kill switch, remote start, and remote lock/unlock. All of the functions are done through text, which brings us to our next point.
The unit itself does not have a monthly subscription cost, yet you will need to have a SIM with a phone number and GPRS functionality. Then, you’ll use the phone number to configure the unit and send/receive alerts. All in all, TheCoolCube is a versatile GPS tracker and one of the better hardwired trackers.
- More affordable than other options
- Zero reliance on battery power
- Loaded with different features and alerts
- No monthly fee outside of the SIM data cost
- Everything is done through text
- Professional installation is required for most people
#4) Spy Spot Hard Wire Tracker and Kill Switch
The second and final hardwired GPS tracker in our guide is Spy Spot’s Hard Wire GPS tracker. Firstly, what sets this unit apart from the others is the reliable customer service. Spy Spot customer service is responsive and eager to help you properly install your unit. Secondly, the unit operates on the 4G network, which means it will work reliably in the US.
Third, Spy Spot provides you with a SIM, so there’s no need to search for a compatible SIM after purchase. Having said that, the biggest drawback of this unit is the monthly subscription cost. While it is possible to reduce the monthly fee by making an annual or semi-annual payment, the cost is higher than what you’ll find offered by other trackers.
Yet, in this case, you do get what you pay for since Spy Spot is on top of its game. The icing on the cake is the kill switch capability, which essentially turns this unit into an alarm. With the kill switch, you have the ability to remotely disable the ignition at any moment. This means if you have a car alarm, and a sensor gets tripped, you can quickly disable the ignition. Or, you may want to disable the ignition anytime you park your car for an extended period.
Finally, the Spy Spot tracker offers a decent collection of alerts/events ranging from MPH to motion detection. Overall, this is a solid and reliable GPS tracker for people who want accurate GPS tracking with a kill switch.
- Easily disable/enable the ignition kill switch to protect your vehicle
- Operates on the 4G network
- SIM card included with purchase
- Low one-time activation cost and the ability to cancel at any time
- Compatible phone app
- Higher montly subscription costs
- Professional installation recommended
Our final pick is the CarLock GPS tracker that operates on its own network. Presently, CarLock is ready to use in most countries throughout the world. Check CarLock’s list of countries before you purchase to ensure that your country made the list. After that, it’s important to note that CarLock comes with its own SIM card that works with the CarLock cloud.
Once installed, CarLock transmits your location every thirty seconds when your vehicle is on the move. Next, what makes the CarLock more than just a GPS tracker is the alerts. Similar to other units in this guide, the CarLock has the ability to detect vibrations and send you alerts when vibrations are detected.
Then, CarLock goes beyond where most trackers go by detecting abnormal driving moves such as sharp cornering, harsh acceleration, and hard braking. Comparatively, the CarLock monthly subscription is lower than Spy Spot’s, and you have a better chance of being able to install the CarLock tracker on your own.
- Vibration detection alerts
- SIM included
- Low monthly subscription cost
- Compatible in most countries
- Android and iOS apps
- Customizable alerts
- More reported bugs than other options
- Easier to find for thieves than other devices
Choosing the best car alarm with GPS tracking comes down to your preferences, budget, and needs. All GPS trackers come with their own sets of pros & cons. For instance, some are easier for thieves to locate than others. Then, there are monthly subscription fees, networks, and compatibility needs. All in all, if you own a compatible Viper alarm system, then the Viper VSM250 SmartStart GPS Module is the way to go.
Outside of the Viper unit, most GPS trackers require the addition of an alarm system if you want a siren. Because the best you’ll get from a tracker alone is alerts sent directly to your phone. However, in the event of a theft, a GPS tracker is better than a siren alone since the best a siren can do is deter a thief. Without a GPS tracker, you won’t be able to track your vehicle after it’s been stolen, so what good is a siren?