Vehicle Tracking Price Guide
With the cost of technology always dropping and the price of fuel always rising, the longer you’re running a fleet of vehicles the more sense it makes to invest in a vehicle tracking system. Adding trackers to your fleet allows you to monitor vehicle usage at all times. This not only helps with tracking stolen vehicles and goods but also lets you monitor staff use of vehicles, schedule deliveries or call outs more efficiently and reduce fuel costs through better route planning and influence over driver behaviour.
While the convenience of a vehicle tracking system is a great benefit, here at Approved Index we know that main reason for installing a tracking system is to save money. The right system is therefore the most cost effective one that gives you all the functionality and support you need.
Comparing vehicle tracking prices is tricky – most suppliers quote on an individual basis. This has benefits in that it’s possible to negotiate a better deal but the drawbacks are that comparing what’s on offer is trickier.
This Price Guide aims to take you through all the most readily available pricing options and various extra charges so you can be confident that your quotes cover all the bases.
Anti-Theft Vehicle Tracking
The most basic types of trackers are those which are only designed for use in the event of vehicle theft. The tracking device is then activated and relays information via VHF (high-frequency radiowaves) or GPS (microwaves) to a tracking service. This will tell you the vehicle’s location so that it can be recovered by police. The most sophisticated devices use both GPS and VHF to avoid ‘jamming’.
Prices: Anti-theft tracking devices cost £300 - £500 per vehicle or can be leased yearly for around £150.
These devices don’t connect to the car battery so they are hard to disable. This also means they can’t effectively be used for live tracking.
GPS Fleet Tracking Systems
These systems provide tracking for a company’s vehicle fleet – usually via a web based portal that can also be accessed by smart phone users. GPS tracking devices relay copious data to the service and provide the following features:
- Check data including vehicle location, speed or idling status in real time (Real time in this context means you get data every 60 seconds – beware some tracking services that describe themselves as live tracking but which only relay data every 5 or 10 minutes and charge extra for real time location fixes).
- Historical reports of every journey can be accessed and investigated.
- You can set up all sorts of alerts so that you know when drivers reach their destination, when vehicles are being used out of hours or are exceeding speed limits.
- ‘Geo-fences’ can be set up so that you are alerted whenever a vehicle enters or leaves a defined area.
Prices: GPS fleet tracking systems are charged for on a subscription basis depending on the number of vehicles you want to include. Prices range from £10 per month and you usually have the option to trail the service or Pay-as-you-Go.
Extra charges might be incurred for adding or removing tracking units (up to £100 per visit), setting up new users on the software, for setting up certain kinds of alerts or reports or for support. Check carefully what extra charges apply when gathering quotes.
You may also have to pay a refundable deposit of around £50 per unit fitted.
Fleet Management Systems
These are wider ranging suites of tools which incorporate GPS vehicle tracking but add extra features like:
- Instant driver messaging
- Integrated satellite navigation and route planning
- Integration with tachographs or vehicle weighing devices so you get all your data from one place
- Comprehensive reports on fuel efficiency, driver safety etc so you can do away with costly or unproductive behaviour
- Individual driver IDs for when your drivers share a pool of vehicles
- Vehicle maintenance scheduling to prolong vehicle life and reduce paperwork
- Reports on carbon consumption for enhancing green credentials
Prices: Again, fleet management systems are paid for on a subscription basis with costs depending on number of vehicles and features included. Prices are subject to all the same extra charges as GPS tracking systems. Fleet management contracts tend to be longer with no Pay-as-you-Go option.
Tips for Comparing Vehicle Tracking Costs
We recommend that when you gather quotes you question the suppliers thoroughly to make sure they’ve included all the extras you’ll be charged for using. Different suppliers use different pricing structures so use a calculator to put all the prices in the same format (e.g. price per vehicle per month) for easy comparison.
There are clearly many opportunities with a vehicle tracking system for making large savings through asset protection, increased fuel efficiency and reduced driver error. To maximise these savings and to make sure you’re getting the best value for money be careful in your choice of provider – the free trial period can be tempting but could end up lumping you with the wrong choice for the long term do don’t rush into any deals.
Finally, make sure you use the tracking system. It won’t make those savings by itself; it just provides you with data you need to take the necessary cost cutting action. Learn how to use it properly and use it every day.