If you’ve been looking for a car tracker for a while now, you’ve probably noticed that most car trackers require a subscription to activate it. This may be frustrating to car owners who don’t want ongoing payments, and simply want a one-time purchase to protect their car. Keep reading to find out why most car trackers require a subscription and we’ll give you a few subscription-free choices at the end.
Why do most car trackers require a subscription?
The main priority for car tracker manufacturers - and the main motivation for most car tracker buyers - is to protect your vehicle from theft. That’s why the majority of car trackers come with a subscription service to the car manufacturer’s 24/7 monitoring centre. The monitoring centre will immediately alert to theft and call the police to inform them, providing real-time updates on the car’s location to give you the best chance of recovering your car.
On the other hand, if you purchase a car tracker without a subscription you will be solely responsible for monitoring its location and data. Therefore, if you want to buy a car tracker for security reasons, we would not recommend a subscription-free car tracker, as you may only see that it’s been stolen 12 hours later. At this point, thieves may have removed the tracker or already cut the car up for parts. Thus, the effectiveness of the car tracker is compromised, as there is no immediate response to the theft.
When our customers want to protect their car against theft or lower car insurance costs, we always recommend installing a Thatcham approved Cat 5 car tracker. This affords the ultimate security to car owners.
Why would you choose a car tracker without a subscription?
If your main motivation when buying a car tracker is not security, there may be some merit to purchasing a car tracker without a subscription. This includes car trackers used for fleet tracking by businesses like taxi firms, delivery couriers or general tradesmen on the road.
If your business intends to use a car tracker to make real-time decisions, like seeing which taxi is closest to send to a customer, you will need an active tracker which provides real-time location updates. You may also want to use the data from your car tracker to manage your resources more effectively. This could include finding the shortest routes or cutting down on fuel. An active or passive tracker (which collects and stores data for download, rather than transmitting it) would be appropriate for this task.
Our Best Subscription-Free Options
At TrackerFit we largely focus on car trackers for security purposes, which means the vast majority of our car trackers require subscriptions. However, we do have a couple of subscription-free options below.
For security without subscription
If you want security for your vehicle without signing up for a subscription, this Meta BLE42 Bluetooth Immobiliser is a great choice. The Meta BLE42 comes with a bluetooth ID tag and will only allow the engine to start when the ID tag is present. Thieves who attempt to steal your car will therefore not be able to start the engine, even if they steal the keys or use sophisticated key cloning technology. This immobiliser also comes with a 3-digit pin to override it in case you lose the ID tag or it runs out of battery.
For tracking without subscription
If you’re looking for a subscription-free car tracker for fleet management, the BOX-Tracker is just the thing. The BOX-Tracker provides minute-by-minute updates on your vehicle’s location using GPS. You can also use it to report preprogrammed events via email or SMS, like movement outside scheduled hours or arrival at certain locations (like arrival back at base). The data from the BOX-Tracker can therefore inform real-time decisions like assigning drivers to jobs, as well as storing data like mileage to inform business decisions.
If reading this article has informed you that you ultimately do need a car tracker with a subscription service, but you still don’t want to pay for a lot for the subscription, then the Vodafone Protect and Connect S7 tracker could be the choice for you. This only costs £99 for a one year subscription and is monitored by Vodafone’s Secure Control Room 24 hours a day.