• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

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Vehicle tracking – Plug ‘n Play vs Installed Devices

Are you a bit confused about which one would be better for your business to meet tracking needs? Plug ‘n Play or Installed devices? To determine which one suits your business better, you have to take into account your business challenges, vehicle types, and the pros and cons of both devices.

There are two main types of devices when we talk about vehicle tracking devices

1. Plug ‘n Play devices.

2. Installed devices.

Your vehicle tracking needs could be achieved with one of these, or you could get the benefit of both. It all depends what you are looking for and what information your fleet managers require.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both devices and then decide which would be better for your company.

Plug ‘n Play Vehicle Tracking Devices


1. Incredibly Easy to Install:

This device can be quickly and easily self-installed in any vehicle with an OBD-II or JBUS port in under a minute. An OBD-II port can be accessed easily underneath the dashboard, but the position could differ depending on the type of the vehicle.

Necessary and important data could be received from the vehicle by this vehicle tracking device. Plugging into the OBD-II is so simple and easy. No installation cost is required because the user installs the plug ‘n play devices.

2. Easy to move between Vehicles:

Plug’ n play vehicle tracking devices could be easily moved between vehicles because it is easy to install and takes little to no time to remove and reinstall in another car. A portable device between vehicles is highly attractive to businesses who change their cars regularly or use cars on short-term leases.

The easy installation and removal give a plus point to your business when you need to replace a vehicle within your fleet. Removal of vehicle tracking devices from one and installation into the new is so easy and time saving that you don’t have to plan for any vehicle downtime.

3. No additional accessories for engine diagnostics:

With the Plug ‘n Play vehicle tracking device plugged into the OBD-II port, engine diagnostic information is automatically received. Because the OBD-II port is integrated with the Engine Control Unit, the diagnostic information is pulled directly from the engine.

4. Built-in Buzzer for managing Driving Behaviour:

A built-in buzzer is equipped within these vehicle tracking devices that can be used to send an audible sound to the driver once it is triggered. The buzzer is activated when the driver is speeding, braking harshly, or displaying any driving behaviour that is not allowed, and it informs the driver of the infringement.


1. Easy to tamper and remove:

Although this device comes with the ease of a hassle-free installation process, on the other hand, it could be a negative point as it could be easily removed. Intentionally or accidentally in both cases, once the device is removed, the tracking would stop at that very moment.

2. No Additional Monitoring:

The Plug ‘n Play device can be used to monitor the vehicle and engine data only; no additional monitoring can be done. Accessory wires cannot be connected to this device as it does not support this function due to the enclosed box leaving no room for a harness to connect additional cables.

Installed Vehicle Tracking Devices


1. Securely Installed into your vehicle:

Installed vehicle tracking devices are securely installed into your car, and a three-wire installation of ground, ignition, and power is required. It cannot be easily tampered with as the vehicle tracking device is placed up underneath the dash/hood, which keeps it out of sight. Additional security is maintained by applying a tamper seal when making use of a professional installer. If a device loses power or is removed due to any reason, an alert would be created that will notify you instantly, which is great from a protection point of view.

2. Additional Inputs and Outputs:

Several inputs and outputs come equipped with installed vehicle tracking devices which makes it possible to use additional functions like door unlocking, ability to enable and disable a vehicle starter, monitoring when a component is on or off, and many more.


1. Installation Downtime and Cost:

Although the installed devices are more secure in comparison to Plug ‘n Play devices, it does come with its disadvantages, and that is the amount of time it takes to install and the overall cost. Approximately 50 minutes on average is required for the installation process by Professional Installers and even more for self-installations.

You thus need to be mindful of your vehicle downtime while opting for installed devices and also the cost if a professional is going to do the installation.

2. Hard to remove for short term purposes:

Installed devices take a lot longer to be installed, and removed, in comparison to the Plug ‘n Play devices. So you should keep in mind that if you are planning to remove it, you need to consider the vehicle downtime, in the same way as installing it without any accessories. Due to this, it is tough to transfer it from one vehicle to another for short-term purposes.

So make the right choice by choosing the correct device that suits your vehicles the best. By reading the above pros and cons, you can easily discover which device will meet your needs down the road.

By admin