If you’ve ever applied for car insurance before, you may have been asked if  you have tried installing tracking devices on vehicles or at least considered using them. Insurance companies are known to reduce premiums if the unit has a tracking device. But what exactly are these systems? And what makes them so popular among fleet owners and personal users alike?

Vehicle tracking systems are not to be confused with car navigation devices. As the name implies, car navigation provides navigational support. But with a GPS tracker, you not only obtain accurate location information, but you can also download vehicle performance data and utilize programmed emergency options. These universal functions are exactly why GPS has been very widely used in various industries.

Today, you will be learning about the proper way of installing tracking devices on vehicles. Whether you are a fleet manager or a personal user, you can start tracking today with the help of this comprehensive guide.

A Guide to Installing Tracking Devices on Vehicles

Installing tracking devices on vehicles is easier than you think, given you have all the equipment needed. In general, there are two ways to install a tracking device: hardwiring it to the vehicle or using a plug-and-play device.

Installing hardwired trackers on your vehicle

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GPS Car Installation

As the name implies, hardwired tracking devices need to be manually connected to the car’s electrical system to function. The main advantage of hard-wiring your tracker is that you get to establish a reliable power connection and hide the tracker from car thieves.

The best place to position your vehicle tracking device is under the dashboard. Start by attaching the wiring harness to the transceiver. Then you can proceed by securing the 12 VDC power source to the red wire found on your tracking device. You may follow the “poke and wrap” technique to avoid connectivity issues.

Next, locate the accessory wire on the vehicle and connect the white wire on the vehicle to the white on the device. Follow the same procedure when connecting the ground wire of both the car and device.

Tips to Remember:

  • Make sure that the power of your tracking comes from the ignition column.
  • Avoid connecting the device to the car radio, as you won’t get sufficient power.
  • See to it that the device always gets 12V power even when the ignition is off. You can test this with the help of a multi-meter. Watch the power during startup and shutdown and make sure it does not dip below 9 volts.
  • Avoid touching wires connected to the airbag since this could up end up compromising your overall safety.

Installing plug-in GPS vehicle trackers


Plug-in trackers require an access to power. The most reliable power source is through the vehicle’s OBD port. Since this part of the car is not used often, you can utilize it as a power source for your tracking device and eliminate the need to charge. You can fit your tracking device with the use of the OBD II port located on your dashboard.

Your tracker can be installed and removed in less than a minute. With the help of a durable extension cable, you can even hide it within the dashboard. Trackimo’s Universal Tracking Device is a plug-in GPS tracker. The device captures telematics that generates data based on vehicle performance.

Should I install my device using the OBD port or by hard-wiring it?

When it comes to installing tracking devices on vehicles, there are various ways to do it, and just like any other task, each of these ways have their own pros and cons. If you have zero experience in vehicle mechanics, then it is best you consult a professional to avoid causing damage to your device or the vehicle. OBD ports are recommended for people seeking a hassle-free installation. But since they can be easily removed, they may not be advisable for businesses.  Fleet owners usually hard-wire their GPS devices to avoid employee tampering. The same thing can be said for private vehicle owners who want to prevent car theft.



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Let us help you. We’d be delighted to answer any tracking questions you have or discuss the options in more details.
Call us now: 646-626-6116
Or learn more about our vehicle GPS trackers.
Amanda Thomas