Given how much we worry about our cars, buying a car GPS tracker seems like a great decision. However, your car is one of the most expensive pieces of equipment you own, and you should think twice before choosing the right tracking device. There is a lot that has to be considered in terms of compatibility, device reliability, and security, before you buy any random device off of Amazon.
Here is a checklist of elements you should look for before you buy that car GPS tracker:
One of the first things to check when buying a device is the compatibility with your car model. This is crucial because it ensures that:
- the device is able to collect all the information that it promises, and you can use all the features without trouble
- the device does not negatively impact your car’s performance
Most cars manufactured (in India) post 2010 come with a standard OBD-II port and any good quality OBD based tracking device should support your specific vehicle. However, before ordering, it is best to confirm about compatibility for the specific make and model of your car.
This is especially important if you have a luxury car (Mercs, Audis, BMWs, Volvo, JLR etc) which have complex electronics. The device manufacturer should certify that they have thoroughly tested the device on your vehicle’s model.
Any tracking device collects a ton of data about your car location and your daily trip details. This, combined with a lot of personal data that is fed into the application, is highly sensitive and demands complete privacy. So it is important to check the level of security that the application provides.
You car information flows from the device, through the servers, into your car information application. Check the level of data encryption provided by the vendor across this entire process. Things you should ask:
- How tamper-proof is the device?
- How secure is my data as it flows from servers to the application?
While all connected devices and application come with a certain degree of vulnerability, it is important to make sure that the app you choose follows all the data security best practices.
Your car GPS tracker will have an app that brings you all the data collected by the device. Live maps, location alerts etc are all accessed on this app.
Ideally, the app should give you an intuitive and smooth user experience. You should be able to easily find the information you want without too much effort or confusion. If you are buying your tracking device at a store, request the sales-person to give you a demo of the app and how it works. If you are buying a device online, read the app reviews to get an idea.
Data Refresh Rate
The data refresh rate is the measure of how frequently your app is refreshing its data points. The lower this time latency is, the better it is. This means that the app is very frequently refreshing data points and thus giving you real-time information.
A good data refresh rate is critical for features like geo-fence alerts. You want to be notified as soon as the car crosses a geo-fence and not five minutes later. So, if your tracking app has a data refresh rate of a few seconds, you get that information as soon as it happens and can then act accordingly.
Internet connectivity in India leaves a lot to be desired. But you want a device that can operate offline, to make sure you do not lose any trip data.
Check if your devices offers offline connectivity, as in, is trip data getting logged in the absence of internet. Ideally, your devices should be able to log trip data for a specific amount of time, even without connectivity, and transfer this stored data to the servers once it is back online.
Finally, as with any electronic device, you have to be conscious of the quality. There are a host of low-priced car GPS trackers, but their device hardware and software do not adhere to the highest quality standards. It is also difficult to get vendors to repair or replace such devices.
So, make sure to choose a reliable device by asking a few critical questions:
- Is the device OEM grade? This checks whether the device is designed to operate seamlessly with all car models.
- How easy/difficult is it to get in touch with a customer service team? You do not want to be saddled with a faulty device that cannot be easily repaired or replaced.
So these are some of the key elements that you should verify before you buy a car GPS tracker. When it comes to the Rollr Mini, the device checks off all the parameters that we have listed above and makes sure you are always connected to your car.
More importantly, the Rollr Mini gives goes beyond being a simple GPS tracker. It transforms your car into a smart connected car, one that’ll help you cut out a lot of stress. You can check out all the features and product specifications of the Rollr Mini to ensure that you are making the right choice.