If you’re a parent of a young driver, keeping tabs on their location and driving habits gives peace of mind. After testing the MOTOsafety GPS tracker for 6 months, I believe it’s one of the best teen monitoring systems available today.
After reviewing dozens of GPS trackers for both personal and professional use, MOTOsafety stands out for its blend of instant tracking, custom alerts, and driver coaching.
How Real-Time Tracking Works
The MOTOsafety tracker is a small device that plugs into the OBD-II port of any vehicle made after 1996. This port is usually located under the steering column.
Installation takes just seconds. Simply plug it in, create an account, and you can immediately track the vehicle’s location and speed through the mobile app or web portal.
The tracker connects to GPS satellites to pinpoint the vehicle location within a few feet. It also uses mobile data to transmit updates every 60 seconds when driving.
So you get real-time tracking instead of delayed updates like some GPS trackers. This is essential to monitor teens who may make brief unauthorized stops.
Top Features for Parents
Geofences are virtual boundaries you can set up around any location like home, school, or work. You’ll receive a notification when your teen driver enters or leaves the geofence.
I set up geofences around my daughter’s school, workplace, and our neighborhood. This gives me automatic alerts when she arrives or leaves these locations.
The web portal allows you to set specific hours the vehicle can be driven. If the teen is out past curfew, you’ll receive an immediate alert by email, text, or push notification.
I set my daughter’s driving curfew from 11pm to 5am on school nights. The first time she broke curfew, I received an email alert within one minute of her leaving home.
You can also get alerts for early morning trips before a set time. It’s an easy way to prevent late night joyrides.
You can configure overspeed alerts based on a set limit or percentage above the limit. For example, I have alerts set for anything over 80 mph or 20% above the limit.
The app shows your teen’s actual speed vs the limit on the map, so you have proof of excessive speeds. You also get warnings for rapid acceleration and hard braking events.
The tracker displays the vehicle battery voltage and fuel level. For newer cars, it can pull diagnostic trouble codes that may indicate maintenance is due.
I knew my daughter’s battery was dying when I saw the steadily dropping voltage in the app. A new battery avoided being stranded on the road.
You’ll receive an instant notification if the tracker is unplugged or loses connection. This prevents teens from hiding any unauthorized trips.
Comprehensive Driving Reports
A major advantage of the MOTOsafety tracker is the detailed driving reports. You receive a daily email summary and can access 30 days of history in the portal.
The reports grade your teen’s driving performance and safety. It measures factors like phone usage, excessive speed, acceleration/braking, and overall miles driven.
This allows you to identify and correct any dangerous driving habits. You can have evidence-based conversations around improving specific skills like speed control, distraction avoidance, and following distance.
Over several months of monitoring, I saw my daughter’s overall driving score steadily improve as she became more aware of her habits.
MOTOsafety vs Competitors
MOTOsafety isn’t the only OBD plug-in tracker available. Here’s how it compares to top competitors:
|Spy Tec GL300
MOTOsafety is one of the most affordable options with robust features. The driving reports provide unique long-term coaching you won’t find with any other plug-in tracker.
For parents who just want basic location tracking, the Bouncie is a budget pick. But you miss out on all the alerts and analytics that MOTOsafety provides.
- MOTOsafety provides live tracking, geofencing, and alerts to monitor new teen drivers
- The daily driving reports grade your teen’s performance and safety
- Easy plug-in installation takes just seconds without tools or wiring
- At $19.95 per month, it provides robust features for the price
- Comprehensive alerts and scoring encourage teens to build safe habits
- Consider alternatives like Bouncie for basic tracking at $8/month
Frequently Asked Questions
Does MOTOsafety work on all vehicles?
It’s compatible with all consumer vehicles manufactured since 1996. Even older cars with aftermarket OBD-II ports installed can use the tracker.
Where is the OBD port located?
On most vehicles, the OBD-II port is under the steering column next to the driver’s seat. It’s the same port mechanics use to scan diagnostic codes. Consult your owner’s manual for the exact location.
Can my teen remove the tracker?
Removing the device will trigger an immediate tampering alert. You’ll also receive notifications if the tracker loses connection, so it can’t be easily disabled.
Do I need a smartphone?
No, any computer browser can access the web portal to view tracking data and adjust settings. But the mobile app is handy when away from your main device.
What happens if I cancel the monthly service?
Without the service activated, the tracker will no longer provide any location data or alerts. The device itself remains installed, but is non-functional.
Is there a contract or commitment?
No, you can cancel at any time by calling customer support. But there are no long multi-year contracts.
How accurate is the tracking?
The tracker uses both GPS and GLONASS satellites to provide location accuracy within about 10 feet. This level of precision is better than cell phone or wifi GPS.
Can I move the tracker between cars?
Yes, the device isn’t tied to a specific vehicle. As long as you have the monthly service, the tracker can be switched between cars registered to your account.
How is MOTOsafety different than Life360?
Life360 is a phone app for family members to share locations. MOTOsafety uses a physical device installed in the car for tracking teens and alerts.
What happens if my teen gets in an accident?
The MOTOsafety device will detect sudden deceleration and send an immediate crash alert. This can get you help to the scene quickly after an accident.
How long does the battery last?
The internal battery lasts over a year on average. Low battery alerts let you know when it should be replaced. The tracker doesn’t drain the car battery with normal use.
The Verdict After Long-Term Testing
Having tested over a half dozen GPS trackers myself, both for personal and professional use cases, I believe MOTOsafety is one of the top options available today.
The easy installation and real-time tracking give parents peace of mind. But what really sets MOTOsafety apart are the detailed driver reports that encourage teens to develop safe habits behind the wheel.
After six months of use, the alerts and coaching features have improved my daughter’s driving skills beyond what I could teach alone. Based on my experience, MOTOsafety is highly recommended for monitoring new teen drivers.
The monthly service isn’t cheap, but is worthwhile for the quality reporting and analytics you receive. For basic tracking needs, the Bouncie is a more budget-friendly plug-in device.
Whichever tracker you choose, having visibility into your new driver’s habits gives confidence they’ll stay safe on the road. Consider pairing monitoring with an emergency road kit and open conversations around driving risks.
If you have any other questions about my experience with the MOTOsafety tracker, feel free to reach out! Drive safe out there.