OnStar vs. LoJack [Pros, Cons, & Differences]

Ever wondered about the best method to track down your vehicle if it's misplaced or stolen?

Two prominent solutions in the vehicle protection industry are OnStar and LoJack.

Both systems have strengths and features designed to assist in vehicle recovery and protection.

As we dive deeper into their capabilities, we'll aim to determine which might better fit your needs. Let's explore them further.

What Is OnStar?

If you're looking for an advanced in-car communication system, OnStar is a great option.

It's a subscription-based service that provides drivers with a wide range of features, including emergency assistance, remote vehicle access, and turn-by-turn navigation.

Key Features of OnStar

  • Automatic crash response: OnStar can automatically notify emergency services and send them your location if you're involved in a crash.
  • Roadside assistance: If you're stranded on the side of the road, they can help with things like flat tires, dead batteries, and towing services.
  • Stolen vehicle assistance: OnStar can work with law enforcement to help recover your stolen vehicle.
  • Remote vehicle access: With the OnStar app, you can remotely start your car, lock and unlock the doors, and even honk the horn.
  • Turn-by-turn navigation: OnStar can provide you with turn-by-turn directions to your destination so that you can stay focused on the road.

How to Get OnStar?

If you're interested in getting OnStar, you'll need to purchase a GM vehicle that comes with the service.

Once you have the vehicle, you can sign up for OnStar by visiting their website or calling their customer service line.

You might also like: Does OnStar Cover Towing? Friendly Guide To Services

What is LoJack?

If you're looking for a reliable stolen vehicle recovery system, LoJack is one of the best options available.

LoJack is a radio frequency-based stolen vehicle recovery system that has existed since 1986.

It is a popular choice among car owners because of its effectiveness in recovering stolen vehicles and its ease of use.

Key Features of LoJack

  • Direct integration with law enforcement: LoJack's system directly connects with police databases, enabling rapid response to thefts.
  • Concealed device: The tracking device is unnoticeably installed, making it difficult for thieves to detect or disable.
  • No monthly fees: LoJack requires a one-time payment, eliminating recurring subscription costs.
  • Radio frequency technology: Unlike cellular-based systems, LoJack uses radio frequencies that penetrate structures like garages or dense forests.
  • Self-powered: The device has its power source, ensuring it remains functional even if the vehicle's battery is disconnected.
  • Nationwide recovery network: Partnered with law enforcement agencies nationwide, maximizing the chances of successful vehicle recovery.

How to Get LoJack?

You can contact a certified LoJack dealer or installer.

They will be able to provide you with more information about the system and help you choose the right package for your needs. 

Continue reading: How Can I Track My Stolen Car? [Inc. 5 Actionable Ways]

OnStar vs. LoJack: Key Differences

Below we've outlined the key differences between OnStar and LoJack. You can also take a look at the table below for a quick comparison.

Factors OnStar LoJack
Pricing $29.99 to $49.99 $700 to $1,100
Payment Terms Subscription Upfront
Financial Guarantee Not indicated $5,000 to $10,000
Tracking System GPS Radio frequency
Subscription Period Monthly One-time
Vehicle Retrieval Time Not indicated 98% recovery @ 26 mins


When it comes to pricing, LoJack is generally more expensive than OnStar.

LoJack's basic system starts at around $700 to $1,100, while OnStar's plan starts at around $29.99 to $49.99 monthly.

However, it's important to note that LoJack's system is a one-time purchase, while OnStar's is a subscription service.

Payment Terms

LoJack requires customers to pay for the system upfront, while OnStar offers monthly payment options.

Onstar also offers discounts for longer subscription periods, which can be an excellent option for those who want to save money.

Financial Guarantee

We couldn't find definitive information on whether OnStar offers a financial guarantee.

LoJack offers a $5,000 recovery warranty if your stolen vehicle is not recovered within 24 hours and $10,000 for vehicles not recovered within 30 days.

Tracking System

OnStar and LoJack use different tracking systems. OnStar uses GPS tracking, while LoJack uses Radio Frequency (RF) tracking.

GPS tracking is generally more accurate than RF tracking, but RF tracking can be more effective in areas where GPS signals are weak or blocked.

Subscription Period

OnStar offers its subscription plans on a monthly basis.

LoJack, on the other hand, is a one-time purchase. However, LoJack does offer an extended warranty for an additional fee.

Vehicle Retrieval Time

LoJack boasts a 98% recovery rate for its Vehicle Recovery Technology, with an average retrieval time of just 26 minutes.

While both OnStar and LoJack promise swift vehicle retrievals, actual times might fluctuate due to factors like location and police responsiveness.

OnStar's Stolen Vehicle Assistance aids police in efficient vehicle location.

On the other hand, LoJack collaborates directly with local law enforcement for expedited recoveries.

Similar content: Viper Vs Compustar Remote Start: Which Is Better?

Pros and Cons of OnStar


  • 24/7 monitoring: With OnStar, you have access to 24/7 monitoring. Help is just a button press away.
  • Emergency services: Features include automatic crash response and roadside assistance, offering vital help when needed.
  • Remote services: You can remotely start your car, unlock your doors, and even honk your horn from your smartphone.
  • Vehicle diagnostics: OnStar can also provide vehicle diagnostics, including maintenance reminders, oil life, and tire pressure.


  • Cost: While the basic plan is included with many GM vehicles for the first five years, after that, you'll need to pay for a subscription.
  • Limited coverage: Services rely on cellular coverage, restricting remote access.
  • Privacy concerns: Continuous monitoring means your vehicle data, including its location, is always tracked, raising potential privacy issues.

Pros and Cons of LoJack


  • Proven track record: LoJack has been around for years and has a proven track record of success.
  • Quick recovery time: LoJack's radio frequency signal allows law enforcement to quickly locate and recover stolen vehicles.
  • No monthly fees: LoJack has a one-time purchase cost with no ongoing subscription, covering the vehicle's lifespan.


  • Limited to RF coverage areas: LoJack's effectiveness depends on radio frequency signals, making it less effective in areas without RF coverage.
  • No additional features like navigation: LoJack centers on vehicle recovery, lacking broader features like navigation offered by systems like OnStar.

Customer Reviews and Complaints

When it comes to choosing between OnStar and LoJack, it's essential to consider what other customers have experienced with each system.

Here's what users are saying about each one.

What Users Say on OnStar

OnStar has received mixed reviews from customers.

Some users report that the system has saved their lives in emergency situations, while others complain about the cost of the service.

Many also praise the convenience of OnStar's features, such as the ability to start their car or unlock the doors remotely.

Another user reported difficulty canceling their OnStar subscription and was charged for several months after they thought they had canceled.

What Users Say on LoJack

LoJack has generally positive reviews from customers.

Many users report that the system helped them recover their stolen vehicles quickly and efficiently.

One user reported that their car was stolen and recovered within 30 minutes, thanks to LoJack.

Also read: Why Is My OnStar Light Red? [Quick Troubleshooting Guide

The Verdict: Which is Better, OnStar or LoJack?

Now that we've looked at the pros and cons of OnStar and LoJack, it's time to decide. Which one is better?

If you're looking for a vehicle tracking system with a wide range of features and services, choose OnStar.

On the other hand, if you want a simple and reliable vehicle recovery system, opt for LoJack.

Ultimately, the choice between OnStar and LoJack comes down to your specific needs and preferences. So, reflect on the features that matter most to you.

Did you find this article helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *