The best GPS tracker on the market is . . . completely dependent on what you’re tracking. That’s why we’ve chosen the best-of-the-best for the most popular tracking scenarios: cars, kids, seniors, pets, and items. If our top picks don’t match your needs, we’ll guide you to some other options at the end of each section. Let’s get trackin’!
Best GPS Trackers of 2023
Best GPS trackers
- : Best kids GPS tracker
- : Best senior GPS tracker
- : Best pet GPS tracker
- : Best car GPS tracker
- : Best luggage or item tracker
Compare the best gps trackers
Max battery life
|Best for kids||$149.99||$14.99/mo.||48 hours||Geofencing and GPS tracking||View on Gabb||Read Review|
|Best for seniors||$149.95||$39.95/mo. (professional monitoring)||5 days||Automatic fall detection**||View on Medical Guardian||Read Review|
|Best for pets||$49.99||$9.00/mo.||Up to 7 days||Robust activity tracking||View on Tractive||Read Review|
|Best for vehicles||$89.99||$6.58/mo.||N/A||Maintenance reminders||View on Amazon||Read Review|
|Best for items||$29.00||$0.00/mo.||1 year||Precision finding||View on Amazon||Read Review|
Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.
**Costs an additional $10/mo.
1. Gabb: Best kids tracker
The Gabb Watch 2 is an affordable and simple watch with GPS tracking, no camera, and a digital pet helps motivate kids to stay active and complete chores.
It's also one of the easiest kids smartwatches to set up since it comes with its own SIM card.
What you should know before buying a Gabb watch
There’s no camera on the Gabb Watch, which undoubtedly accounts for its affordability.
A camera’s nice for video calling or so that your kid can share snapshots of their day, but it’s also a distraction. Gabb Wireless’s mission is to keep kids off their screens as much as possible, so it makes sense that they’d leave a camera off this watch.
Gabb watch accessories
2. Mini Guardian: Best tracker for seniors
The Mini Guardian is Medical Guardian's best medical alert system for location tracking and one of the best mobile medical alert devices we've reviewed. With built-in GPS, Wi-Fi, and 4G triangulation signals, the Mini Guardian makes it easier for help to find you from anywhere.
Plus, it's sleek and discreet—about the size of a domino—and has a battery that lasts up to five days. All this makes the Mini Guardian a great option for someone who wants a way to call for help quickly without using a heavy lanyard or wristwatch.
This Medical Guardian device costs $149.95 upfront. For an extra $10 per month, you can get a unit with automatic fall detection.
GPS medical alerts are better for busy, more mobile users. Like their home-based medical alert counterpart, the Mini Guardian is equipped with a simple help button, two-way talk, and GPS tracking for emergency responders to find you quickly whether you're at home or not.
See more options: GPS Trackers for People With Dementia
3. Tractive: Best pet tracker
The Tractive pet GPS tracker costs around $50 and has subscription fees that work out to $5 a month if you pick a two-year plan.
This GPS dog tracker has live tracking, as well as a hunting dog version with more durable, waterproof construction. That kind of durability lets your buddy run free through the bush, water, and other rugged terrain—without causing you worry.
In addition to its dog GPS tracker, the company also makes cat-specific trackers.
Tractive battery life
Battery life is one of the most important features of a pet GPS tracker because you never know how long it will take to find a lost pet. Dogs, for example, can travel for miles and be difficult to approach when they’re scared. If you find yourself in this position, you’ll be glad the tracker’s battery won’t conk out after the first day.
That said, if you frequently ping the Tractive for location updates, the battery drains faster. We do recommend charging it on a regular basis to make sure it has plenty of juice just in case your pet does get lost.
When your pet is exactly where they’re supposed to be, the Tractive gps collar still pulls its weight by tracking your pet’s activity.
Tractive shows your pet’s GPS history as lines on a map or as a heat map. You can toggle the lines or hotspots on and off by tapping the tri-fold icon. The trace lines are perfect for learning where your outdoor cats and dogs go, while the heat maps help you understand where your pet spends the most time.
You’ll see how many minutes your pet is active, how many calories they burn, and how their data compares to their breed’s average. Tractive can also tell the difference between a dog that’s asleep versus a dog that’s calm—you’ll see their “calm minutes” too.
See more options: Best GPS Dog Collars and Pet Trackers
4. Vyncs: Best vehicle tracker
Vyncs is our favorite GPS tracker for vehicles because it tracks everything. But for now, let’s talk about GPS: Vyncs includes location updates every three minutes when the ignition is on and every hour when it’s off. With an upgraded subscription, you can get 15-, 30-, and 60-second updates instead. You’ll see the exact address where the car was turned off and, as with other GPS trackers, can set up geofencing alerts.
How Vyncs works
The Vyncs vehicle tracker plugs directly into the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port on your car and shares the car’s battery power, so you never have to worry about recharging it. It transmits data via the AT&T / T-Mobile 4G network, which covers the vast majority of the US. We recommend checking an AT&T coverage map before buying to ensure you don’t live near one of AT&T’s coverage gaps.
You can access Vyncs data from a web browser or Android/iOS app.
Vyncs’ marketing is a little misleading in one aspect: their website and Amazon listing claim there’s no monthly fee, but that doesn’t mean you don’t pay for a subscription—it’s just billed annually. You get the first year free with your purchase, but some features—like 24/7 roadside assistance—still cost extra.
Vyncs plans range from about $100 to $120 a year. There’s also a $40 activation fee.
Other Vyncs features
Vyncs’s features go above and beyond GPS tracking and geofencing:
- Tamper alerts
- Curfew alerts
- Fuel report
- Fault codes
- Recall alerts
- Battery health and tire pressure reports
- Speeding, rapid acceleration, harsh braking, rough cornering, and idling alerts
The driving performance, curfew, tamper, and geofencing alerts make Vyncs an excellent tool for monitoring new teen drivers and older adults alike.
See more options: 5 Best GPS Vehicle Trackers
5. Apple AirTag: Best luggage and item tracker
Technically, the Apple AirTag is a Bluetooth tracker and not a GPS device. Despite this nuance, AirTags perform the same function as the other trackers on this list—locating whatever they’re attached to. In fact, AirTags outperform GPS trackers when it comes to finding things that are lost right under your nose.
Apple AirTags are precise (if you have the right phone)
The coolest feature of Apple AirTags is called Precision Finding, which turns your phone screen into a compass that points only to your AirTag. Unfortunately, Precision Finding requires an iPhone 11 or better.
Precision Finding also shows exactly how far away the AirTag is, which is where this quarter-sized Bluetooth gadget triumphs over GPS trackers: the app leads you right to the tracker, whereas GPS devices have a margin of error of about 16 feet.
For those of us clutching our old iPhones until the bitter end, AirTags can also be found through a series of beeps. As long as your hearing is good enough to home in on the source of the beeps, you’ll be able to find the AirTag—even if it’s in a pile of laundry or at the bottom of your purse.
AirTags are affordable
We’ve glossed over the best part so far. You don’t have to pay a monthly fee to use AirTags. There’s not even an optional upgrade. It’s just free—which is fair enough since you need a pretty expensive phone to set up AirTags and make the most of them.
Plus, each AirTag is affordable at just under $30.
Disadvantages of Apple AirTags
At this point, you might be wondering why we haven’t crowned these ultra-affordable, ultra-precise trackers the top spot on our list. There are a few limitations to Bluetooth tracker technology—and to AirTags in particular.
First, the AirTag’s location won’t update unless it’s near any Bluetooth-enabled device—within 33 feet, to be exact. It’s not great for huge farmsteads or remote areas.
Second, Bluetooth technology isn’t great at calculating the location of anything in motion. Forget about using an AirTag to get a real-time location update on your car as your newly-licensed teen ventures onto the freeway for the first time. The same issue makes it tough to track runaway pets.
Finally, hiding an AirTag on a valuable item doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to track it down if it’s stolen. Apple made it possible for anyone to locate unknown AirTags nearby in order to thwart stalkers. And we’re not dinging that—it was a huge safety issue that needed to be solved. But the flip side is that smart thieves can also find trackers and toss or disable them before taking off with your stuff. In contrast, a well-hidden GPS device doesn’t give itself away.
All in all, Bluetooth trackers like Apple AirTags work best for items like keys, luggage, sports bags, or anything else in danger of being lost but doesn’t move very fast.
Two women have filed a class action lawsuit against Apple with the claim that AirTags made it easier for them to be stalked and harassed. There have been a slew of headlines since AirTags launched about bad actors using the devices for nefarious purposes.
Earlier this year, Apple instituted new safeguards to alert people when AirTags are near them, and the company is also working with law enforcement on crime issues related to the devices.
Learn more about the risks of AirTags and how to keep them safe on our YouTube channel.
The GPS tracker market is really taking off, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding one that meets your needs or budget if our list didn’t hit the mark. We recommend looking for a combination of GPS and cellular, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth technology for the most accurate location pings. A long battery life doesn’t hurt either.
Other than that, finding the right GPS tracker for you comes down to personal preference regarding extra features, cost, and size.
GPS tracker FAQ
Most GPS trackers require a monthly subscription. A subscription rate between $20 to $30 a month is typical for any kind of GPS device. The most expensive subscription we’ve seen is around $70 a month for the Kanega Watch—a medical alert watch with GPS.
No. GPS trackers need a SIM card to share location data via a cellular network. That’s what the subscription pays for—cellular network access, just like a phone.
If you find a GPS tracker without a monthly fee, it might be a Bluetooth tracker in disguise. Scroll back up to our review of Apple AirTags to understand the pros and cons of Bluetooth trackers.
To read more GPS FAQs, check out our guide to how GPS trackers work.
How we reviewed the best GPS trackers
For our review of the best GPS trackers, we considered well over 30 GPS trackers across multiple categories (i.e., vehicles, kids, pets, general use). We compared technical specifications, cost, and safety features to narrow down the best choices, then leaned in on our hands-on testing experience to pick the best-of-the-best. We also read user reviews to look for positive or negative trends. To learn more about how we review products, read the Safewise methodology page.
*Product prices and availability are accurate as of post date and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
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