How to track a car in Nigeria is a very important topic for us to discuss. Let me tell you a story I know you most probably can relate to.
One of the gravest memories from my childhood is one of my neighbors, a middle-aged woman, having her car stolen. It was a first-generation Toyota Avensis given to her from work as an official vehicle. She had just returned from work and parked a little distance from the house, hoping to return later and go out on some business.
You can imagine her shock when she returned to her parking spot only to meet tire tracks. I remember searching inside the drainage system around for a car. We were that stunned! Since the vehicle didn't have any car tracking device on it, we had to kiss the car goodbye.
Car thieves are always on the lookout for the next car to steal
Who needs tracking installed in their cars?
Unfortunately, this experience is not peculiar to that woman in my childhood. Nearly every Nigerian has experienced a case of a stolen vehicle. This can be either directly, as the car owner, or indirectly, through friends, colleagues, associates, neighbors, or relatives, whose cars have fallen prey to carjackers.
In the last five years, statistics reveal that over five thousand cars have been stolen or and more frauded by Yahoo boys in Nigeria. Although the Police successfully found a few of these stolen vehicles, the majority of the cars, like this woman's Avensis, are never recovered by the police.
While no one ever wishes to have his car stolen, these things happen, so everyone needs tracking o their vehicles. Consequently, we have decided to give you a few tips on how to track your car in Nigeria in this article. Perhaps, your car didn't get stolen. You simply just want to know where your driver is visiting on his assignments? You're still reading the right article.:
What is A Vehicle Tracking System?
To understand how you can track your vehicle, it's important you know how a vehicle tracking system works. Under a vehicle tracking system, the use of automatic vehicle location is combined with computer programs that collect and process data to give a comprehensive analysis of a vehicle's location and movement.
Also known as geo-tracking, automatic vehicle location refers to the means by which the geographical location of a car is determined and transmitted automatically. It is this location data that is accessed and processed by a vehicle tracking system.
You probably have heard about GPS technology. It stands for Global Positioning System and is used to find geographic locations making use of satellites grouped in constellations. Most vehicle tracking systems use this GPS location and it's clearly the most popular although other kinds of location technology exist. The information from the vehicle tracking system can be viewed on electronic maps, which could either be available on the internet or accessed on specialized software for such purposes.
Usually, the electronic map shows you the exact location of the vehicle, the routes it has plied, and a few other details that might aid in tracking the said vehicle.
What happened to my car?
Closely related is what is known as the Vehicle On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) tracking system. Here, OBD trackers are plugged into the OBD port of medium or light-duty vehicles that communicate with cell towers in sending the geographic location as well as other vehicle details to servers through a cellular wireless network.
Do vehicle tracking systems work in Nigeria?
In Nigeria, the vehicle tracking system is becoming quite popular, especially for major public transit organizations. A very good example is Lagos' Bus Rapid Transit System which you most likely know by its shortened form, BRT. Most of the buses in the transit system are incorporated into a vehicle tracking system that makes it possible for them to be monitored at a control center.
Today, vehicle tracking systems are now becoming very popular, with private vehicles and others that do not belong to the public transit system in Nigeria. With heightened unrest and the spate of insecurity issues in the country, it is not hard to see the need. In addition, the Nigerian automotive market has also witnessed the influx of more luxury and high-end cars that really have to be protected.
3 Steps in using the Vehicle Tracking System
1. Install a GPS Tracking Device
This is clearly the most important part of the vehicle tracking system as it determines how reliable the entire tracking system will be. Without a vehicle tracker, it's impossible to track the car electronically. The car tracking device is installed in the vehicle, and with it, you can capture the car's geographical information making it possible to know where the car is always.
You have options available to you in installing a GPS tracker. You could decide to buy a car tracker and then independently install and maintain the tracking system. There are car tracking system units that are now available for sale. You might want to check them out on your favorite retail shop online or visit an automobile shop. You could simply just ask for a tracker for cars.
How a GPS tracker works
Besides independently installing and maintaining the tracking device, you could also engage the services of a car tracking and security company. There are quite a number of them available around. They install a tracking device in your car which reports back to the company's computer servers with the necessary geographical information and other details such as fuel amount, tire pressure, battery status, engine RPM, GPRS status, engine temperature, among others.
Some of these car tracking and security companies allow you to make a one-off payment while others require that you make certain payments periodically as subscriptions. You should choose whichever option suits you.
>>> Read also:
- 10 tips to driving home safely in Nigeria
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- 7 best anti-theft devices for car to keep your vehicle safe
2. Monitor and track your vehicle on a mobile device
Whether you are using an independent car tracking device unit or engaging the services of a security company, you can monitor your car location through your smartphone or PC.
The companies usually have a website or some other platform, online, where you can use your unique tracking Identification number and other details peculiar to you and your car. With these, you can log in and track your vehicle.
With your tracker, you can monitor the whereabouts of your car on your phone
The user interface of these websites or software is usually user friendly and is quite easy to operate and navigate since it is used by the general public. The User Interface can contain maps that make it easy to follow your vehicle as it is on the move in real-time and where it is stationary, you are able to find its precise or exact location.
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3. Report to the Police if your car is Stolen
If you ever get carjacked, this should be your first point of action. While you can independently track your vehicle easily with the car tracking device, you would normally need the police to recover the vehicle from the thieves. With the details of your vehicle and where it was last seen, you are to approach the nearest police station and make an official report.
You most likely will be asked a series of questions about the vehicle and also be made to fill a few forms. It's in your best interest to cooperate fully.
Interestingly, if you are quite lucky, the police could recover your car without you having to use the car's tracking device. It could have been found already! Asides this, making an official report also absolves you of any legal complications that could arise over that particular car in the future.
Check out the video below for a review of GPD trackers for vehicles.:
Video: TOP 3 GPS Tracker in review. Comparison of the best GPS devices!
In conclusion, one of the biggest favors you can do yourself is to install a tracking device on your vehicle. That could be the only saving grace to getting your car stolen and getting it back in the near future.