Is a tracking and recovery system for your car worth the cost?

By: Wesley Fenlon

Image Gallery: Car Gadgets OnStar's got a lot more to offer than most tracking systems because its GPS option is just a small part of the package. See more pictures of car gadgets.
General Motors

Almost 800,000 cars were stolen in the United States in 2009. Sound like a lot? It's actually the lowest annual total of stolen vehicles in more than 20 years [source: NICB]. Despite the recent downward trend in car thefts, 800,000 is still a whole lot of cars. Though urban areas typically face more crime, you should think about car security no matter where you live. But where do you start?

Car security encompasses a broad range of systems and services. Some are affordable, and others are pricey. Car security methodology differs greatly between devices. For instance, GPS trackers are about locating and recovering a vehicle after it's been stolen, but immobilizers are designed to shut down a car's engine and make it very difficult to steal or transport. If you've previously avoided car security because the expense seemed daunting, now's the perfect time to learn more about the tracking and recovery systems on the market. In addition to making your car more secure, a tracking system could actually save you on your car insurance premiums. Keeping your car safe and saving money every month? Not a bad deal.


Of course, cheaper insurance payments may not feel like a worthy trade in the face of an expensive security system. But they're not all priced to break the bank. While some top-of-the-line tracking and recovery systems deliver amazing features at hefty prices, more basic systems hit a price point most of us can afford. Let's start there.