back of a car in traffic under a bridge

Being a car owner in South Africa means that a car tracker is no longer a luxury, but an absolute necessity. While the number of cars stolen or hijacked may have taken a slight dip during 2021 because of the Covid pandemic, the figures are already rising again and are expected to top all-time records by the end of 2023.

Many drivers are concerned, however, about how much a car tracker price would set them back, especially considering the excessive cost of living in this country. Fortunately, car tracker companies are constantly reviewing car tracker prices to ensure that costs are kept as low as possible while safety remains the top priority.

The cost of good quality car trackers

Depending on the type of car tracker service, the monthly cost in 2023 ranges between R79 and R199 – but keep in mind that this often does not include the cost of the device itself.

For instance, Bidtrack requires an upfront instalment of R1 975 for their car tracker device apart from the R134 monthly subscription fee. However, they do also offer a monthly contract fee of R179 which waives the upfront payment.

Adding a feature or two

The more features a car tracker device offers, the higher the cost – which is true of most products and services. As an example, the Matrix MX1 car tracker offers GPS Pinpoint Positioning, a dedicated team, and X-ray vision technology and comes at a cost of R1 916 upfront and a monthly fee of R116, or alternatively just a monthly fee of R160 which covers the cost of the device.

The Matrix MX2 tracker has the additional feature of a Geoloc Advanced Alert and is therefore more expensive at R3 025 for the device and R201 per month. As with the MX1, there is a ‘bundle option’, which means the full car tracker price is R267 per month with no upfront payment required.

What you can expect to pay for the highly popular MX3 tracking device is R3 530 upfront and R217 monthly, or you choose to have the device cost absorbed into a monthly payment of R318. For this increased price, you’ll enjoy even more benefits including Auto Testing, Confidence Checks and a backup battery.

Tracker follows pretty much the same formula for their car tracker packages. For instance, Tracker Care costs R199 per month, and includes Zones Management, an In-App Car Guard, a smart Key Tag, license reminders and a bunch of other benefits.

Tracker Response on the other hand costs only R69 per month, but at the same time doesn’t include half of the above-mentioned benefits.

It all depends on your personal requirements

Car tracker providers do this mainly because there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to car tracker services. What would work for a motorist, wouldn’t necessarily work for a truck driver, and the most expensive options would be perfect for someone driving an expensive car that would cost a lot to replace while the cheaper options would be more suited to less expensive cars.

Extra services will push car tracker prices up

Then there’s also the option of value-added services including roadside assistance, rescue, towing, and device protection. All of these extras come at an extra cost. If you’re interested in having your tracker device ‘insured’ you will pay an extra R24 per month (if you sign up with Tracker). Tracker also offers a towing service at R38 per month or a rescue service at R69 per month.

Matrix offers a service called Matrix Protect which sends reminders for license renewals and offers assistance with fine payments and pothole accidents. This service, too, comes at an extra cost depending on how many of the additional benefits you’re interested in.

Netstar, which is one of the most popular car track services companies in the country also offers several packages for personal and business purposes. Their Netstar Nano and Netstar Basic options are available at R99 and R139 per month respectively, and no upfront payments are required. Their more expensive options are Netstar Plus at R169 per month and Netstar Early Warning at R199 per month, also excluding any upfront costs.

The Netstar fleet tracker options for businesses include the Fleet Tracker at R173 per month, the Fleet Manager at R208 per month and the ProFleet Manager which has its pricing available on request. It’s important to note, however, that these monthly subscriptions do not include VAT.

Netstar also offers a host of extras including Netstar Companion, Backup SVR units, Health Monitor, Data-As-A-Service, AI technology, and Asset Tracking, all of which come at a separate cost.

Ctrack is yet another car tracker provider with a great reputation. They are the founders of the Crystal Software program and all their prices are available upon request.

Lastly, there is the option of Beame which, like Matrix, is a MiX Telematics brand. The Beame device is wireless and boasts an installation method that makes it near impossible to remove and starts at the highly affordable price of R142.22 per month.

Along with the device comes a free battery replacement and a free app that allows users to check on the status of the device or report a vehicle incident. In addition to this, Beame Protect offers License and Fines Assist, Roadside Assist, as well as Pothole and Windscreen Assist at an extra cost.

Don’t rush the process

Looking at the above information, it can be overwhelming to decide which car tracker is right for you, and which car tracker price will best suit your pocket. The best way to decide on a tracker provider is to compare the different options between the various companies and decide on the one that covers all your requirements.

It’s also important to take note of whether these devices are covered by your existing home insurance policy or not, and whether you’d need to take out separate cover for them. All in all, however, investing in a car tracker should not be put off for too long. After all, it is far better to be safe than sorry, especially considering the current levels of crime in South Africa. If all these offers and car tracker prices have your head spinning, you’re not alone.

If you’d like a bit of help comparing prices and packages there’s a great, completely free service by a company called Track My Stuff. By completing one simple form they’ll send you quotes from four of the biggest car tracking service providers in the country including Beame, Ctrack, Netstar, and Matrix.

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