Have you ever thought about getting a vehicle tracker? In South Africa, it’s highly advisable due to the amount of vehicle theft there is every year. But we understand that you might have some reservations about vehicle tracking services that have put you off in the past.
Well, we want to answer all the questions you might have about vehicle tracking units. Here are answers to 10 of the most common questions about vehicle tracking.
1. What is Vehicle Tracking?
This is a system used by tracking companies to keep tabs on where your vehicle is. It’s not meant to be in an invasive way, in fact, quite the opposite. It uses a device that is placed discreetly in your car so as not be found easily.
It’s used by both individuals and fleet management systems that need to keep tabs on large numbers of vehicles. Fleet applications are typically more advanced than domestic-use devices, as they need real-time alerts and tracking to know where their vehicles are at all times.
2. How Do Tracking Systems Work?
A GPS sends satellite signals to a receiver, which keeps track of where your vehicle is. Should your vehicle be stolen, the tracking device will help the tracking company figure out where your car is so they can recover it.
3. Do Tracking Devices Drain Battery?
You may often hear people lamenting that their car isn’t starting because the tracking device is draining the battery. However, this is actually a myth, and there’s typically another reason why someone’s battery is draining so quickly.
It’s a fairly complicated story, but essentially, cars and trackers of 20 years ago may have drained the battery, but they are built differently now. Modern cars have loads of electronics, so manufacturers need to be extra careful about how much battery goes to aftermarket installations, like trackers. Tracking devices, in turn, operate on low-power mode for most of the day, except in circumstances where: a) it detects unusual driving or b) the tracking company is actively looking for the vehicle.
4. How Do I Track My Car?
This depends on which company you use for your car tracking needs. Some vehicle tracking systems enable you to track your car through your cell phone (also called real-time tracking). Others don’t provide this information and keep it to themselves for safety reasons. If your car is stolen, the best thing to do is to call your tracking company immediately.
They can often then use GPS signals to locate it and alert their nearest vehicle to help in the recovery effort. Your ability to track your vehicle depends on the types of devices chosen. If you choose anti-theft vehicle tracking that does not also include real-time location tracking, you probably won’t be able to track your own car without help from the tracking company or police.
5. Are Tracking Devices Accurate?
Due to GPS technology, tracking devices are extremely accurate. Not only can they pinpoint where your car is located, but if it’s moving, they can tell you how fast the car is going. This can help air recovery teams find your car, but if you are tracking fleet vehicles, it can also help you discover bad driver behaviour, such as deviations from your planned routes.
6. Does Having a Tracking Device Affect My Insurance?
Yes, in a good way! Insurance companies will often have agreements with specific tracking companies where you get a lower premium on your car insurance if you install their tracking device. It’s more affordable for an insurer to recover your car than it is for it to pay you out the full value of your vehicle.
7. How Do I Locate the Device in My Car?
The short answer is you don’t.
Usually, you can’t locate the device on your car. Installers will place the tracking device somewhere where even you don’t know it is. This is for your own safety. Should you be kidnapped with your car during a hijacking, you don’t want to be able to tell the criminals where the tracking device has been hidden.
It’s also possible that if you know where it is, you might mention it to someone who shouldn’t be trusted or be overheard by a criminal. If you really need to know where your tracking device is, we recommend you take it in to your nearest device installer to find out.
8. How Much Do Tracking Devices Cost?
The cost of a tracking device varies. They almost all have a once-off installation cost, and then a monthly service fee that the company charges to track vehicles. If you’re looking for a quote for a tracking device, you can fill in the form on this page for access to exclusive deals from reliable South African tracking companies.
9. Can Criminals Disable My Tracker?
Unfortunately, it is possible for criminals to disable your tracker by finding where in your car it’s hidden. However, there are many hiding places within which to place a tracking device, and it’s not easy for thieves to find them. They’d have to tear the car apart to find the correct location of the tracker.
10. Are Vehicle Trackers Legal?
Yes, vehicle trackers are legal, as long as you’re having the tracker installed in your own car, or in someone else’s vehicle who gave you permission to do so. It’s not legal to track someone without their knowledge. Companies will ensure that you can identify yourself for validation purposes—to prevent unlawful tracking.
We hope we’ve answered some of your burning questions about tracking devices and how they can help to protect your car or fleet if a vehicle is stolen. You can get a quote by filling in the form on this page today to get your car tracked.