Here is the cheapest way to track a car by GPS

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It’s not the 1990s anymore; cars don’t need hardwired LoJack for owners to track. Instead, the age of information and technology has flooded the market with easy and inexpensive options for tracking assets, including stolen vehicles. With all the options for keeping tabs on your car using GPS, the cheapest way is a standalone tracker, like a battery-operated Tile, Apple AirTag, or an OBD-II plug-in system.

What is the cheapest GPS option for tracking a car?

The cheapest and arguably easiest option for GPS vehicle tracking is a battery-operated or plug-in tracker. For example, some trackers plug into vehicle OBD-II ports to track your car or truck using GPS. Best of all, these plug-in units draw their power from the car, so battery life issues aren’t an issue. However, if you want a battery-operated option, trackers are available with replaceable and consumable battery options, like Apple AirTag and Tile.

Some trackers can plug into your car’s OBD port | Collection Smith, Gado, Getty Images

We’ve covered some of the cheapest trackers, and a few of the options are under $30, with monthly subscriptions of $20 a month or less. These devices are great measures to keep an eye on your vehicle beyond additional safety precautions such as steering wheel locks, kill switches, or aftermarket alarms.

Can you use a Tile to GPS track your car?

Yes, you can use a Tile product to GPS track your car, truck, SUV, or other vehicles. Additionally, a Tile, AirTag, or similar device can be advantageous over other options. For example, the Apple AirTag is a self-contained unit with no need to plug in or charge. You get it, put it in your vehicle and replace it when the built-in battery dies after about a year. Best of all, these devices don’t require a monthly subscription to operate, unlike some other battery-powered and plug-in options.

The Apple AirTag, like the Tile, is one of the cheapest GPS trackers for people who want to GPS track a car.
Apple Air Tag | James D. Morgan, Getty Images

How do I track a car with my phone?

Using a device like a Tile, battery-powered tracker, or plug-in tracker, you can GPS track your car with a smartphone. Most trackers use an app to display location information, as well as manage your account information and subscriptions. In some cases, trackers are magnetic and waterproof, making it a simple and robust tracking app.

Is there a free app to track your vehicle?

While your options are usually subscription-based or a single consumable device like a Tile, some modern cars offer built-in GPS tracking. For example, Auto Chimps says vehicles equipped with FordPass, Uconnect, HondaLink or OnStar allow owners to track their vehicles using an app. However, most plans have monthly subscription fees.

Some GPS trackers allow you to track your vehicle from your phone.
Some GPS Trackers Work With Your Phone | Leon Neal, Getty Images

What is the benefit of using more traditional tracking hardware?

More traditional wired tracking hardware has its merits over modern standalone devices. For example, units like LoJack’s Stolen Vehicle Recovery System are designed to help law enforcement respond directly and quickly to stolen property. Also, wired units are much harder to remove, so your teen or another carrier can’t remove your device.

Do not use trackers for any purpose other than to track your own car or property by GPS.

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