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How much does vehicle tracking cost?

Vehicle tracking costs are an important consideration for any business. Find out about the options available and compare quotes

Last updated 22 July 2019; first published 1 December 2017

A performance-driven vehicle tracking system helps you keep a closer eye on your fleet while it’s on the road. Used throughout a host of industries, from logistics and manufacturing to taxi firms and couriers, vehicle tracking optimises productivity, efficiency, and safety – saving your business both time and money.

But the question remains – how much does this kit cost?

The following article will help you find the best tracking device for your individual budgeting needs, giving you some financial wriggle room to expand your fleet and develop your small business into a flourishing enterprise.


Vehicle tracking costs in a nutshell

Before we accelerate into the details of vehicle tracking prices, here’s an at-a-glance view of the costs you can expect to encounter along the way:

  • Basic system: £50-£100 per vehicle
  • Advanced system: £300+ per vehicle
  • Leased system: £9.99 per month, per vehicle (starting price)

 

The following article will now provide a guided tour of vehicle tracking costs, taking in the following sights:


What does the cost of vehicle tracking depend on?


Just like any technology-based product, there is a wide range of vehicle tracking options available. The price you can expect to pay will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The type of tracker you need
  • The size, type, and number of vehicles you want to track
  • The brand you choose
  • Whether you decide to purchase a tracking system or lease it (more on this later)
  • Your installation options; will you take a DIY approach, or employ a professional? (If you opt for DIY, make sure you check out our guide to vehicle tracking installation)
  • Maintenance – this is very much dependent on the system and location of the tracker, but monthly or annual maintenance might be required, which could come at a cost

Vehicle tracking costs by fleet size

Small fleet

(entry level) = 1 – 20 vehicles

Medium-sized fleet

(advanced level) = 21 – 50 vehicles

Large fleet

(expert level) = 50+ vehicles

Fleet type Number of vehicles Essential features Cost
(lease = per vehicle, per month)
Small fleet(entry level) 1 – 20 Fuel management
Route coordination
Lease: £10 pcm
Buy: £50
Medium fleet
(advanced level)
21 – 50 Up-to-the-minute tracking and reporting
Vehicle health checker
Lease: £15 pcm

Buy: £200

Large fleet
(expert level)
50+ Detailed reporting

Close driver management

Live, to the wire tracking

Lease: £20 pcm

Buy: £300


Cheap vehicle trackers

We get it – starting a business is expensive. After all, money doesn’t grow on trees, and cash flow is notoriously tight in those early startup years.

That’s why we’ve put together a table of the cheapest vehicle trackers prices on the market today, so you can run a smooth operation at a fraction of the cost:

Tracker brand: Standout features: Cost:
Quartix Friendly and committed customer service, free installation, mobile app, transparent pricing, and interactive demo £13.90 – £19.50 per vehicle, per month
UK Fuels Ltd’s Kinesis Tracking An online training hub packed with training videos, template documents, and answers to FAQs. £14.50 – £19.50 per vehicle, per month
Verizon Connect Drivers’ leaderboards show staff how their driving compares to their colleagues’. £22 – £42 per vehicle, per month

Feeling ready to compare some quotes? We can help steer your business towards success by putting you in touch with suppliers who can give you an accurate ballpark figure for your individual tracking needs – all for free!

Simply cruise to the top of the page, fill in our quick and easy form, and receive quotes in no time at all.


Tips for keeping your vehicle tracking costs to a minimum

As far as cost-cutting is concerned, we’ve got some key pointers that’ll help you make some key savings in the areas that matter. Follow these five tips to ensure you’re not spending more than you should be on essential kit that’ll keep your business ticking.

    1. Shop around

Keep your eye on the market, and don’t just look at one brand. It’s important to know what’s out there before you settle on a deal.

The best way to do this is to receive quotes specifically adapted to the individual needs of your business, as well as the size of your fleet.

That’s where we come in: we can quickly and easily put you in touch with a range of suppliers, who’ll be able to provide tailor-made quotes.

The best part? It’s free! Simply provide the answers to a short webform, and we’ll put you in touch with the most suitable suppliers for your business – no scouring the internet or trawling through endless product pages required.

    1. Keep the contracts short and sweet

Choosing to lease, rather than buy, your kit? Make sure you read, re-read, and read that contract again before you sign on the dotted line. You don’t want to be tied into a contract that’s two or more years long – at that rate, you may as well have bought the system outright yourself.

A typical vehicle tracking contract will span between one and three years long, which is why it’s important to read the small print.

Also, like all contracts, the trick is not to get caught out by an automatic renewal. Make sure you’re not signing up for something that’ll roll your contract on for longer than you’ll be wanting it for.

    1. Scalability

Small businesses don’t stay small forever, and the same can be said for your fleet. Keep your options open by ensuring that your tracking system is scalable, as well as sustainable.

Take note of the procedures and price points involved in adding more vehicles to your contract. If jumping from a small to medium-sized fleet looks like it would be a significant financial step, then it might be time to look elsewhere.

    1. Be SIM card savvy

GPS trackers use a SIM card to send a signal, but it’s important you check what SIM card your tracker is using. A locked SIM will only work on the network to which it has been assigned, making it harder to track the vehicle in remote locations.

Look for a multi-network SIM to increase the chances of getting a signal, wherever the vehicle may be.

    1. Prioritise training for complex tech

Having an all-singing, all-dancing vehicle tracking system for your fleet might sound brilliantly efficient, but that’s provided you can use it properly.

Most systems come with some form of training (be that virtual, or in the form of a handbook), so make sure you’re familiar with your team’s needs – and understand what might be required by way of training – before you invest in a deluge of fancy devices.


Buying vs renting a vehicle tracking system

When it comes to buying or renting a vehicle tracking system, both options come with pros and cons that are worth considering. The route you take will depend on your business and how you choose to run it, so there’s no definitive right answer here.

Buying vehicle tracking: the pros and cons

Buying a vehicle tracker will mean that you own the system outright, meaning no monthly outgoings for the hardware. It’s often the cheaper option in the long run, as long as you have the budget to spare at the time of purchase.

Here are the pros and cons of purchasing vehicle tracking outright:

Pros: Cons:

Often works out cheaper in the long term
It’s your system, so you can do what you like with it – no need to worry about incurring charges for damage or breakages
There’s a high financial hit initially, so you need to make sure your budget can cover this

Tech moves quickly, and if you want your business to keep up at the same rate, you’ll need to be updating your kit every few years

If you’re the sole owner of the tracking system, there’ll probably be less support available than if you rent from a larger company

Businesses that are suited to buying a vehicle tracking system outright are most likely to have a well established fleet, be in a settled growth period, and have a steady cashflow. This makes it easier for them to accommodate a large, one-off payment.

Renting vehicle tracking: the pros and cons

Renting, on the other hand, means you’ll encounter much smaller initial costs. You’ll also have the ongoing support of your supplier behind your business.

Pros: Cons:

Lower initial expenditure
Support and training will be ongoing

Updates and renewals will be down to the supplier to organise, saving you the hassle

 

The monthly payments add up, and generally work out as the more expensive option on a long-term basis

Businesses that are better suited to the renting option include new startups, which might not have the available cashflow to shell out a large lump sum. Renting will also suit businesses who are always looking to have the most up to date tech, with all updates and training included.


Additional costs of vehicle tracking

Here’s a quick list of the additional costs you might encounter when using a vehicle tracking system:

  1. Installation
    Installing your systems can be tricky and time consuming, so hiring someone to take the task on might be a better option (this will cost you, though – usually around £50 per vehicle).If you’re keen to take the DIY approach, then hop to our how to install a vehicle tracker page for more information.
  2. Maintenance
    Keeping your trackers clean, tidy, and ticking over day-to-day takes time, care, and attention. This doesn’t cost much, but it’s worth considering when you invest.
  3. Updates
    Making sure your system is completely up-to-date can be costly stuff. Check how often your tracker will require updates and and the logistics of updating a whole fleet’s worth of trackers.
  4. Damages
    If you rent your vehicle tracking device, then any damage caused to the kit will come at an added expense.
  5. Roaming charges
    Since the GPS system works via a SIM card, you will be charged for data roaming outside of the normal boundaries.

Here, we’ve conducted a whistle-stop tour of the costs involved in vehicle tracking. Whether you choose to rent or buy outright, we’ve highlighted how to get the best deal, and what to look out for in order to avoid unexpected additions to your bill.

If you feel ready to receive quotes specifically catered to your business, our quick and simple online form can put you in touch with the perfect supplier for you.

Or, if you’re after some more information to help you make the most informed decision possible, then have a read of the following pages:

Best vehicle tracking systems

Vehicle tracking installation



Poppy Mortiboys-Harrison is a writer for startups.co.uk. Having previously worked on projects for Jaguar Land Rover, her background in automotive advertisement comes in handy as she’s now our expert in fleet management. Plus, when it comes to dealing with digital marketing and card payment services, Poppy’s our go-to girl.

When she’s not searching for exciting startups, or dreaming of delicious puns to spice up her copy, Poppy can be found nurturing a passion for spoken word poetry or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

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