If you’re looking to keep an eye on a vehicle but want it to be a secret, there are several undetectable GPS devices on the market with all sorts of different features that can help. Whether you’re trying to track a potentially cheating spouse, keep track of equipment, or if you’re using it as a private investigator, this guide is designed to help you find the best hidden GPS tracker for your specific situation. Follow along with us as we check out the best hidden and discrete GPS trackers on the market. Thanks for reading!
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Devices in this Review
The GPS car trackers in this review all have some similarities. They all have some sort of app or “hub” for you to see trip data. They all have geofencing and none of them have any cancellation feed or contract requirements, despite using 3G technology.
There is nothing required from your phone company to use these. The main important differences between the 5 products in this review are their monthly fee costs, their app features, and their optional accessories. Other than that, there are very few other features that set them apart.
GPS Trackers that Work Overseas
All of these but the Optimus will work overseas with varying results. They’ll all do great in Canada and the USA. Most of them will do fine in most European countries but beyond that it might be worth investigating the SIM cards a bit more.
Tracking a Vehicle With a Magnet
All of these discrete GPS trackers have optional magnetic cases that make them more durable and able to be secretly attached under a vehicle – just like in the spy movies. While the battery on these lasts anywhere from one to two weeks, some of them have hard-wired options to give them endless battery life or a battery extender. We have included links to our recommended compatible accessories below each review.
Things to Look Out For When Shopping for a Discrete GPS Tracker
There are loads of these devices on the market and that’s probably why you’re reading this article. If you’re looking for a hidden GPS tracker, you don’t want to get something like a Vyncs or a Bouncie. In fact, any OBD tracker is not assured to be discrete. They can protrude from the spark plug box on the driver’s side (depending on the type of vehicle you have) and then you’re totally busted. All of the devices we review below have optional magnetic cases that make them all-weather, durable, and super discrete. They can work by being hidden inside the vehicle but are most reliably hidden as GPS trackers that you put under a vehicle with a magnetic case.
None of these devices will give data like OBD trackers. You won’t get fuel economy, car battery alerts, or engine light information. If you’re looking to get information like that, we suggest checking out our reviews of the Bouncie and others.
SpyTec GL300 GPS Tracker
The SpyTec is a small device at just under 3 inches in its largest dimension. It only weighs about 2 ounces. The battery life, like with many other discrete GPS trackers, depends on how often you want it to update to the SpyTec tracking app on your phone. When it is giving location to the tracking app all the time, the battery lasts about a week. When you set it to update every 60 seconds, we found that it lasts about two weeks. Not bad!
There are some really great accessories with the SpyTec GL300. There’s a magnetic case that fully encases the device and can be placed underneath a vehicle. For more permanent tracking, there’s a 6 month external battery pack that includes the magnetic case. We’ll link to those below.
As for the tracking itself, you can track trips directly on Google Maps. You can get fuel reports, mileage reports, and set up geofences. A geofence is a virtual barrier for a GPS device that you can set up within the app. All of the devices in this buyer’s guide have geofencing capability. You can get an alert if the vehicle leaves or enters the geofence.
There are several different monthly fee options. The most common one is around $35 per month. This includes text and email alerts and updates every 30 seconds.
Optimus 2.0 GPS Tracker
The Optimus is about 3″ in its largest dimension and also has an optional magnetic case. Like the SpyTec, the battery lasts about one to two weeks depending on how often the location updates.
The Optimus monthly fee starts at $19.95 and you can cancel anytime. By default, it updates location every 30 seconds. You can upgrade this to 10 seconds by paying $25 per month. The app logs speed, route history, and it also has geofences. You can also track in real-time on your iPhone, Android, or your computer.
The battery lasts closer to two weeks with regular updates. It has a pretty cool feature that lets you click on the current or previous location of the vehicle and immediately get navigation to it (Google or Apple Maps, etc) within your smartphone. A downside is its general accuracy. It’s not pinpoint accurate but more of a general location on a street block or park. The accuracy also depends greatly on cell strength and physical barriers.
Trak-4 GPS Tracker
The Trak-4 provides email and text alerts and has an amazing battery life. It can last from one week to well over one year on a single charge! The reason is because of its extremely wide-range of update frequency. The basic plan, which costs $11.99 per month (there is a cheaper annual pay option) updates location every 1, 6, 12, or 24 hours. Most other devices on the market force you to receive updates way more frequently. While that might be good for some, the Trak-4 is the perfect option for those that only want only hourly or occasional updates. However, you can pay more per month to get updates every 2 minutes, 10 minutes, or 15 minutes. Of course if you set it up to update every 24 hours, you can get amazing battery life! Otherwise, it will drain in about a week if you use it really frequently.
The downside? There’s not really a feature-filled app – there’s only a satellite map on your Trak-4 account. They give you the data to create your own better app (a Rest API), but there’s not any sort of flashy app to see the data. Instead, it mainly relies on emails and texts. You can view a Google Maps coordinate on the Trak-4 website and on your phone – which might be simple enough for you. We found it to be a little too simplistic and not great for real-time tracking. Even with its limited app capability, you can still set up geofences within your Trak-4 account on their website.
Overall, we like it because it is really durable and can also fit in a magnetic GPS case that can be hooked to a car, boat, lawnmower, and more. There’s also an option to purchase the device with a wiring harness to keep it charging from the vehicle at all times. We’ll link to those below. Otherwise, it charges with a standard micro USB (the same used on Android phones). If you don’t need all the fancy bells and whistles and want straight up tracking, this is the device for you.
Americaloc GL300W Mini GPS Tracker
The Americaloc is one of the most popular GPS car trackers available right now. It’s not that much different than the other trackers in this buyer’s guide, but it does offer international tracking capability. It’s also just about 3″ in its largest diameter and weighs just over 2 ounces.
The battery life is not that different from the other devices. It lasts anywhere from one to two weeks, depending on how frequent you want the device to update. They also sell a hardwired kit. You can set the frequency of updates anywhere from 60 seconds to 10 seconds. The monthly fee starts at $25 per month and there’s no contract or cancellation fee. You can save more per month buy purchasing an annual plan (only $72 for the whole year – pretty good savings).
You can set up email alerts or text alerts and view them within the app. Speaking of the app, it’s probably the biggest downside to the Americaloc. Like the Trak-4, which is very stripped down, the Americaloc has a few more features but is still lacking. It has all the vital things – geofencing, speed tracking, and trip history. However, that still doesn’t take away from its accuracy as a GPS tracker. It can pinpoint right down to the parking space. The app works on Android, iPhones, and on tablets or computers. It has tracking history for up to 1 year and you can export the tracking data.
Perhaps the most unique feature of the device is an emergency button. If you’re using it as a hidden GPS tracker, it’s probably not useful, but all you have to do is hit the button on the device and it will email or text the contact listed on the account. This is great for tracking senior citizens or kids. In fact, if this is what you’re looking for we have a whole other buyer’s guide for the best GPS trackers for the elderly.
Logistimatics Mobile-200 GPS Tracker
The Logistimatics is similar to the other devices on this list in that it is relatively small, can be hooked up with a magnet, and has a decent battery life of about 2 weeks. Its main difference? It has one-way audio capability!
Here’s how the audio capability works: You call the device. That’s right, the device has it’s own phone number that’s only one-way. The tracker is totally silent during the call. The monthly fee (more on that below) includes 2 hours of live audio. It’s $3 more per-hour if you want that. The audio feature doesn’t work great if it’s hooked underneath a car. It’s a feature designed around the device being in close proximity to the person you’re tracking.
There are a few different monthly fee plans that you can cancel anytime. The standard plan is $14.95 and includes 30 second location updates, 2 hours of live audio, and all of the app’s capability. You can pay more (up to about $40 per month) if you want more hours of live audio. The only difference between the 3 monthly fees is the hours of live audio.
The app is a little more user-friendly than the Trak-4 and Americaloc. It works on iPhones, Android, and on tablets and computers. You can receive notifications if the vehicle enters or leaves a geofence. It also gives a timestamp of the previous locations. The app saves the previous 60 days of tracking activity but you can also export it to save on your computer.
The biggest downside? While the recording factor is cool with the one-way audio feature, you can’t record the audio. This isn’t a huge factor for those looking to place the device in a more discrete location, but it’s kind of a bummer that the audio isn’t recorded in the app by default. Still, it’s a great device overall as a hidden tracker and has a reasonable monthly fee.