Unplanned, unfortunate things happen every day. That is the nature of the world we live in. We all have valuable items that we hold very dear to our hearts, some due to the cost, and others that are simply priceless. But regardless of the monetary value attached, nobody wants to have their property lost or stolen, no matter how small. 


This is one of the reasons why tracking devices have become so popular.


What is a tracking device?


Tracking devices are electronic devices that are able to track an asset’s position or movement in real-time. Until recently these devices relied on GPS fixes, but now tracking is also done by scanning for Wi-Fi routers and cell towers, and some devices are able to scan for Bluetooth tags. The location data can be viewed on internet connected computers via tracking platforms and on smart devices using apps. The tracking platforms and apps have many features such as Alerts, Geo-Fences, Reports, etc. 


Today, GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking devices are a major staple in our everyday lives. GPS technology was first developed in the 1960s for military use, but later became available to the public in 1983. Since then others have developed satellite tracking systems such as GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (EU), BeiDou (China), etc


Mostly, we use satellite based tracking systems for finding our way around an unfamiliar place or navigating the best route through traffic. However, it is also very useful for asset tracking devices. 


How do car tracking devices work?


The precise design behind asset trackers is what makes them so effective. GPS tracking devices receive satellite signals and process their location either onboard or via cloud processing. Additionally, some newer devices also scan for GPS, Wi-Fi routers, cell towers, and Bluetooth tags simultaneously, which has opened the door to indoor tracking and better management of lower value assets. Trackers can determine their exact location, usually within a few meters, in addition to the velocity and time.


Typically, a GPS system consists of three main components: space, control, and user. 




The GPS system is made up of 27 satellites that each orbit the earth. While there are 27 satellites, only 24 are active, with the remaining three serving as backup in case any of the 24 fail. These satellites orbit the earth at 12-hour intervals, sending signals that GPS receivers receive. Other providers have satellites performing similar functions. 




The next component is the control element. GPS is controlled by several tracking stations that are located across the globe. These tracking stations capture the signals transmitted by the satellites, that the GPS receivers then convert to usable data like time, position, and velocity. 


The User


The final component is the user segment. The GPS receivers capture the signals sent by the satellites and then use them to determine the device’s position in space and time. 


More recently cloud based location processing is used by some trackers and will become more prevalent in time.

What car tracking devices do we suggest to you

Installing a tracking device on your vehicle has several advantages, including being able to track your vehicle in crowded parking spaces, quickly recovering your vehicle in the unfortunate event of theft, ensuring others using your vehicles, especially new drivers or staff, are doing so safely, etc. 

The Bolt2 is an easy-install tracking device that simply requires you to plug it into the vehicle’s OBDII port. This makes it especially useful for rental fleets where a hard-wired install may not be desirable or for those who do not want to incur installation costs. 

This economical device has several key features, including:

  • Real-Time Tracking
  • 4G Cat-M1 (LTE-M) cellular data communication
  • Concurrent GPS / GLONASS
  • Accelerometer for adaptive and movement-based tracking
  • Easy plug-and-play install
  • Geofencing and Alerts
  • Reporting, Odometer/Run hours, scheduled maintenance reminders, and log books


Additionally, this device has ‘unplugged/power loss’ alerts which notify users of device removal, tampering, unauthorized trips, or theft.


The Dart3 is another affordable vehicle tracking device. It has inputs/outputs, remote immobilization for fleet management, driver ID, driver safety and behaviour monitoring, theft recovery, and more. 


Additional features include:


  • High-precision GNSS (GPS/GLONASS/Galileo) tracking device
  • Wired or Optional OBDII or cigarette lighter power harness available for plug-and-play installation
  • 1 x Ignition Digital Input, 3 x Digital Inputs, 1 x Analog Input, 1 x Switched Ground Digital Output, Switched Power Out
  • Internal Backup Battery in case of loss of power or tampering
  • Configure iButton®, Wiegand, or RFID readers for Driver ID
  • Accident and rollover detection, speeding, harsh braking and cornering, and more
  • Immobilization option to safely disable vehicles and equipment remotely
  • Cat-M1 (LTE-M) cellular data communication


This lightweight yet powerful tracking device is a great option for vehicle tracking


The G70 is an affordable and ultra-rugged tracking device that has an IP67 rating, meaning it can be installed in areas exposed to the elements. This makes it ideal for off-road vehicles, boats, heavy equipment, and for installation in engine compartments. It can be wired directly to the asset’s battery. 

It has all the additional features mentioned above for the Dart3. 

Where to buy the best car tracking devices

There’s only one place to go when searching for the best car tracking devices on the market, and that’s WestCoast GPS

Ready to up the security on your vehicles? Request a quote today!