Getting lost on the road is a nightmare, but having your car get stolen in one of your regular stops is even more so. This is why many people have turned to installing GPS devices in their cars despite the heavy price tag that comes along with it. This somehow assures them that they have a way to track their vehicles down anytime. Because of this guarantee, having a GPS tracker could bring down the price of your car insurance.
Scroll down for video
Never lose your car
From the point of view of a car security and insurance company, a vehicle tracking system is one of the main weapons in the fight against carjacking and theft.
Many of these devices are installed by professionals, but that is no reason for you to think that you can’t install it yourself if you are inclined to tinkering with technology.
Before you do so, however, it is important that you check with your manufacturer to avoid invalidating any warranties, and with your insurers for any discounts on premiums regarding on device fittings.
GPS tracking technology, however, does not come cheap. Besides the rather expensive purchase price of the device, there is also a monthly or annual fee to look out for, so it’s important to weigh the costs, including the likelihood of your car being stolen and whether or not paying for a tracking device will be worth the cost of the initial outlay.
What happens to GPS devices?
Most systems are activated as soon as a vehicle is tampered with, like the engine starting without the keys in the ignition. The device sends out a signal via GPS satellite to a monitoring station as well as the police.
Some of the devices even have driver recognition transponder cards so if the keys are not used to start the engine, anomalies can be picked up as it identifies the authorized driver.
Companies also offer a service that detects and calls the owner of the vehicle if their car is driven at an unusual time or into an unusual area—they can contact the owner to ensure that an authorized driver is using the car. This involves the company having to build a map of where you usually travel and park and will highlight deviations from your usual pattern.
Then there are also systems that can incorporate remote engine kill, with the engine dropping below a certain point, preventing thieves from driving even further using your vehicle.
Is there another way to keep your vehicle safe?
If you’re not comfortable enough with shelling out an expensive tracker for your car, then you have another choice to help lower your premiums.
Telematics insurance has also been gaining popularity in recent years and has become even more so given the gender ruling back in December 2012, when a law was passed that men and women will pay the same amount in a gender-neutral insurance pricing, without the distinction on the grounds of sex. #EqualRights, if you will.
Telematics is a small box installed in a vehicle and works similarly to a black box installed in aircraft, a machine that records everything that happens to the car as it happens. Insurers can then build a history of data about your driving habits and can subsequently raise or drop the price of your insurance. This gives insurers a way of monitoring the location, movement, status, and behavior of a vehicle.
Telematics usually benefit drivers aged 17–24 who, historically, are the ones who have to pay exorbitant prices for their car insurance, and this technology aims to change that. The Telematics box will record anything that a driver does, whether they are behind the wheel or not—things like where the car is parked, for instance, will be taken into consideration.
However, there are five key areas where Telematic technology assesses these motorists: cornering, swerving, braking, speeding, and accelerating.
Insurance providers will look to see if drivers have been approaching corners too quickly, go about on high speeds, and braking and accelerating sharply to be considered “safe” on the road. While some critics say that this is the “Big Brother” way of using technology to restrict drivers, early indications do show that it is possible to reduce the price of your car insurance as long as you drive with proper care and decorum, so how bad could it be if having this technology can not only reward you with lower insurance premiums but also ensure that you are safe and responsible on the road?
Are GPS trackers worth all this?
If you feel the need for extra security on your vehicle, then tracking is something that you should look into.
Prices for these trackers vary. Trackimo, for instance, is relatively less expensive compared to others but still offers prime services, which is something you should remember when picking out a device suited for you.
It is essential that you inform your insurance provider about adding these devices to your car before paying for anything, however, as most companies only recognize certain brands that they trust. Even an extra car alarm with immobilizer, for instance, can be enough to reduce the price of the insurance. Before you buy any extra devices or technologies, be smart about the decisions by checking in with the insurance company that will pay for your future loss or damages.