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Vehicle tracking costs for businesses

Vehicle tracking can transform your business. Get the lowdown on costs and features, compare quotes, and find the right fit for you.


It’s easy to see why vehicle tracking systems have become so popular across a host of industries, from logistics and manufacturing to taxi firms and couriers. Whether you’re selling saucepans or transporting titanium, knowing exactly where your fleet vehicles are and how they’re being driven can make your business more productive, more efficient, safer, and more sustainable – as well as making a real difference to your bottom line.

But even if we know that vehicle tracking software can save your business time and money, the question remains – how much does this kit cost?

The reality is, there’s no simple answer – costs vary significantly according to the sort of system required, from £50-£300 to buy a vehicle tracking system to £10-£40 per vehicle per month to lease the technology.

Read on to get an idea of how your fleet size might affect the total cost of your vehicle tracking system, and the pros and cons of buying vs leasing. We’ll share our findings on one-off and ongoing costs, our pick of the best vehicle tracking systems money can buy, as well as some great value options for startups on a budget. You’ll also get great insight from vehicle tracking experts, who offer their advice on what to look for in a vehicle tracking system.

A study of 10,000 vehicles by vehicle tracking provider Masternaut demonstrated the financial benefits of vehicle tracking systems, with vehicle tracking achieving an average saving of £660 per light commercial vehicle – alongside significant reductions in speeding and CO2 emissions.

Vehicle tracking costs for businesses: basic pricing

There’s no doubt that working out your vehicle tracking costs can get a bit complex, with different providers offering different features. To help guide you, use the information below to work out if you’re an entry level, advanced, or expert user, and you’ll have a good idea of the sort of price you can expect to pay. All prices are given per vehicle.

Entry level tracking

1-20 vehicles

Lease from £10 per month

Buy from £50

 

Advanced tracking

21-50 vehicles

Lease from £15 per month

Buy from £200

 

Expert tracking

50+ vehicles

Lease from £20 per month

Buy from £300

The table below shows what sort of features you should expect/will require based on which group you fall into.

Vehicle tracking features comparison

Fleet TypeFuel managementRoute co-ordinationUp-to-the-minute tracking and reportingVehicle health checkerDetailed reportingClose driver managementLive, to the wire tracking
Entry level
(1-20 vehicles)
Advanced
(21-50 vehicles)
Expert
(50+ vehicles)

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What does the cost of vehicle tracking depend on?

As with any tech product, there are a large number of options available when it comes to vehicle tracking. The price you can expect to pay will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The size, type, and number of vehicles you want to track
  • The level of functionality you need (see table above)
  • The brand you choose
  • Whether you decide to purchase a tracking system or lease one (this is covered in depth here)
  • 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 chosen and the location of the tracker, but monthly or annual maintenance might be required, and this may come at a cost

Vehicle tracking costs by fleet size

Your fleet size affects the total cost of your vehicle tracking system in two ways. The first is obvious – the more vehicles you track, the more you’ll pay. On top of this, though, the more vehicles you track, the more likely you are to need advanced features like live tracking data (see the table above) – and therefore the more you’ll pay on a per vehicle basis.

Fleet typeNumber of vehiclesCost to buyCost to lease per month
Small fleet
(entry level)
1-20From £50 per vehicleFrom £10 per vehicle
Medium fleet
(advanced)
21-50From £200 per vehicleFrom £15 per vehicle
Large fleet
(expert)
50+From £300 per vehicleFrom £20 per vehicle

One-off vs ongoing vehicle tracking costs

When comparing vehicle tracking systems, you should always remember the additional ongoing costs that may apply:

One-off costsOngoing or additional costs
Buying the systemsUpdates
Installation (if you don't opt for DIY)Roaming charges
Damages
Maintenance

Additional costs of vehicle tracking

It's becoming clear that ‘vehicle tracking costs' is something of a broad umbrella, covering a whole host of fixed and additional charges. Here's a quick explanation of how some of these charges might impact the overall cost of your vehicle tracking system:

  1. Installation
    Installing your systems can be tricky and time consuming, so hiring someone to take on the task 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 our how to install a vehicle tracker page will tell you everything you need to know.
  2. Updates
    Making sure your system is completely up-to-date can be costly stuff. Check how often your tracker will require updates, and consider the logistics of updating a whole fleet’s worth of trackers.
  3. Roaming charges
    As GPS tracking systems work via a SIM card, you will be charged for data roaming outside of the normal boundaries, so make sure to check these when choosing a vehicle tracking system.
  4. Damages
    If you rent your vehicle tracking device, then any damage caused to the kit will come at an added expense.
  5. 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.


The ROI of vehicle tracking: how it can save your business money


How vehicle tracking saves you money

While investing in vehicle tracking software can cost a significant amount, there’s a simple reason that the popularity of these systems continues to soar – they save businesses money.

Here are the main financial benefits of vehicle tracking systems:

  • Reduced insurance premiums

Installing a vehicle tracking system will give you more information on any potential accidents your vehicles are involved in. Furthermore, using an advanced vehicle tracking system will also help you to manage dangerous driver behaviours like speeding and reckless driving. Both these should help to bring down the cost of your insurance.

  • Fuel cost savings

Even a relatively simple vehicle tracking system will allow you to track and plan your routes more efficiently, and therefore reduce your fuel costs. More advanced systems will also allow you to train your drivers to drive more economically, helping to further lower your fuel costs.

  • Less time/money spent on admin

Get a vehicle tracking system and you can kiss mileage forms goodbye. No more chasing your drivers up to tell you how far they’ve travelled, and no more trusting that these figures are accurate. Instead, data on distance travelled will be automatically sent from the vehicle to the office, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.

  • Quicker deliveries

Route planning is key to the appeal of vehicle tracking systems, as they help to ensure that your drivers are travelling efficiently from one location to another, and not idling between stops. This should help speed up your delivery times, and even increase your sales volume by allowing you to make more deliveries per day.

  • Win new business through improved efficiency

Knowing exactly where your vehicles are at all times should allow you to make quicker deliveries, and provide your customers with more accurate delivery windows. This should significantly improve the overall efficiency and productivity of your business, and help you to win new contracts and keep your clients happy.

  • Reducing the risk of vehicle theft

With a vehicle tracking system, you’ll know exactly where your vehicles are at all times. If one is stolen, the police will be able to use the signal to quickly track down the thief and retrieve your precious vehicle. Moreover, a notice on your vehicles that they have vehicle tracking systems installed may even reduce the risk of them being stolen in the first place.

All this adds up to one simple truth – businesses are more efficient, more productive, and more profitable when they use vehicle tracking systems.

If you like the sound of these benefits, then fill in our short form to get a range of bespoke vehicle tracking quotes for your business.

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Expert comment

Summing up the benefits of vehicle tracking, Albert Chu, Masternaut Vice President of Product, Strategy and Marketing, offers the following insight:

“Although data is vital to unlock the most efficient way to run your business, it matters how you collect it and how you use it. Data collected from your fleet’s vehicles has the power to transform businesses by improving driver safety, fleet performance, and operational efficiency, as well as reduce costs and environmental impact.

“An ideal telematics solution should offer technology that will help your business leverage the power of this data through expert data analysis and comparison.

“Driver behaviour can be improved with in-cab coaching, while driver engagement can be boosted through the use of an intuitive mobile app. Depending on your business, you may also benefit from integrated specialist services such as Cold Chain and TACHOfresh.

“If you are running an HGV fleet, complying with tachograph regulations [which ensure that you stay within legal driving time limits through devices that record speed and distance] is vital, and a connected solution combines the benefit of meeting compliance laws with a paperless system that saves time and costs.

“Meanwhile, a combined cold chain and telematics system [where telematics is used to ensure that perishable goods are transported at low temperatures] has the potential to reduce costs, streamline efficiency, and protect merchandise from being spoiled or wasted.

“When temperature data is combined with telematics data such as vehicle location, your business is able to leverage this information to make real-time decisions that can boost your ROI.”

When comparing vehicle tracking systems, Martin Port, the founder and CEO of vehicle tracking provider BigChange, advises:

“Look for a system that provides full turn-by-turn journey histories, linked to information about the individual driver. The ROI from a vehicle tracking system comes from the powerful analysis, data, and reports generated by the system.

“It allows “management by exception” by drawing management attention to poor or unsafe driver behaviours, such as speeding, harsh braking, or even excess standing at a location with the engine left on (which wastes fuel).

“The best systems allow an easy comparison of planned vs actual, to compare the times of planned deliveries, collections, or visits with the actual times that they happened.”

Verizon Connect Dashboard (Vehicle Tracking)

Vehicle tracking dashboards put a huge range of data at your fingertips


Top vehicle tracker provider prices

Here’s our selection of three of the best vehicle tracking providers on the market, along with an idea of how much each costs.

Tracker BrandStandout FeaturesCost
QuartixGoogle Maps integration, free installation, mobile app, transparent pricing£9.90 - £16.90 per vehicle, per month
UK Fuels Ltd’s Kinesis TrackingAn online training hub packed with training videos, template documents, and answers to FAQs£14.50 - £19.50 per vehicle, per month
Verizon ConnectDriver leaderboards show staff how their driving compares to their colleagues’, 24/7 phone suppport£22 - £42 per vehicle, per month

(Prices listed do not include installation and ongoing costs. Prices correct at time of writing and sourced from proprietary competitor research.)

Cheapest vehicle tracking software

On a tight budget and looking for a list of the cheapest vehicle tracking providers? We’re here to help – here’s our selection of the cheapest high-quality tracking systems on the market.

Tracker BrandStandout FeaturesCost
MovolyticsHighly accurate data, live traffic information, wasted fuel report£7.49 - £14.49 per vehicle, per month
RAM TrackingFinancial reporting data shows cost of travel and time on site, ability to monitor CO2 emissions£8.99 - £14 per vehicle, per month
ScorpionTrack Fleet ST70100% web-based system, meaning no installation or downloads£9.95 - £14.95 per vehicle, per month
(Prices listed do not include installation and ongoing costs. Prices correct at time of writing and sourced from proprietary competitor research.)

Verizon Connect Driver Leaderboard (Vehicle Tracking)

Driver summary reports let you easily see whose behaviour might be problematic

 

Quartix Map (Vehicle Tracking)

Live maps let you know exactly where your vehicles are at any time


 

Tips for keeping your vehicle tracking costs to a minimum

There are lots of things to consider when comparing vehicle tracking systems, from the length of your contract to the cost of training. Here are five great tips for staying on top of your vehicle tracking costs, and making sure you’re not paying over the odds.

  1. Shop around

It may sound obvious, but make sure you take a look at the whole market and don’t just consider one brand. After all, you need to know what’s out there to know you’ve got the right deal for you.

The best way to do this is to get quotes that are specifically tailored 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 bespoke quotes for your business.

The best part? It’s free! Simply fill in our short online form, and we’ll put you in touch with the most suitable vehicle tracking providers for your business – saving you from scouring the net or trawling through endless product pages in search of that elusive quote.

  1. Keep the contract short and sweet

Choosing to lease, rather than buy your vehicle tracking kit? Make sure you check, double-check, and triple-check the length of your contract before you sign on the dotted line. Two years (24 months) should be the absolute limit, but try to get a shorter contract if you can – any longer and you might as well have bought the system outright yourself.

A typical vehicle tracking contract will last for between one and three years, so it’s vital to read the small print.

Finally, like all contracts, make sure you don’t get caught out by an automatic renewal. Check that you’re not signing up for something that’ll roll your contract on for longer than you want to sign up for.

  1. Check how easily you could scale up

Not all small businesses stay small forever, and there’s every chance your fleet could expand in the future.

Bear this in mind when comparing vehicle tracking providers, and 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 it would cost a significant amount, then you may need to look elsewhere.

  1. Be SIM card savvy

Vehicle tracking systems work by using a SIM card to send a GPS signal that tells you where the vehicle is. However, it’s important to know what type of SIM card your tracker is using. A locked SIM will only work on the network it has been assigned to, making it harder to track your vehicle in remote locations.

To counter this, look for a system that uses a multi-network SIM, as this will increase the chances of getting a signal – no matter where your vehicle ends up.

  1. Consider the cost of training

Having an all-singing, all-dancing vehicle tracking system that tells you everything you need to know about your fleet sounds brilliantly efficient – but if you can’t use it properly, then you’re just throwing money down the drain.

Most systems come with some form of training (either virtual or in the form of a handbook), so make sure you’re familiar with your team’s needs and capabilities – and have considered the cost and potential duration of training – before you invest in the most technologically advanced trackers you can find.


Buying vs renting a vehicle tracking system for your business

Choosing between buying and renting a vehicle tracking system is an important decision, but one with no set right answer. Both have pros and cons that are worth considering, and so which option is right for you will depend on the circumstances of your business and how you choose to run it.

Buying vehicle tracking: the pros and cons

If you buy a vehicle tracker, you will own the system outright and won’t need to make monthly payments 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 a vehicle tracking system:

Pros ✅Cons ❌
Often works out cheaper in the long term

It’s your system, so you can do what you like with it – there’s no need to worry about being charged 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 update 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
Business that are suited to buying a vehicle tracking system outright are likely to fulfil the following criteria:

  • Have a well-established fleet
  • Be in a settled growth period
  • Have a steady cashflow

The key point is being able to handle a large, one-off payment without an adverse impact on the overall business.

Renting vehicle tracking: the pros and cons

While renting a vehicle tracking system can often be more expensive in the long run, it has two big advantages over buying – much smaller initial costs, and the ongoing support of the vehicle tracking supplier.

Pros ✅Cons ❌
Lower initial expenditure

Ongoing training and support

Updates and renewals will be organised by the supplier, so you can be confident in always having up-to-date tech
The monthly payments add up, and renting is generally the more expensive option on a long-term basis
Businesses better suited to renting include:

  • New startups, who might not have the cashflow to pay a large initial lump sum
  • Businesses that want or need to always have the most up-to-date tech, with all updates and training included

Types of fleet tracking contracts: Perpetual vs subscription-based

Closely linked to the issue of buying vs renting is perpetual and subscription-based contracts. With a perpetual contract/license, you buy both the device and software up front, and then can use it for as long as you want with low monthly costs. With a subscription-based license, you’ll pay a monthly fee in order to keep using both the tracking devices and software.

Pros and cons of perpetual licenses

Pros ✅Cons ❌
No restrictions on length of use; device and software can be used forever

Low monthly costs

Often cheaper in the long run
Initial cost is very high

Support and maintenance still need to be paid for

Pros and cons of subscription-based licenses

Pros ✅Cons ❌
Upfront costs are much lower

Devices are generally provided free of charge, with free software updates

Monthly cost often covers maintenance and support
Monthly charges must be budgeted for

Monthly fees can add up to a hefty sum over the course of the contract

Devices and software may need to be returned at contract expiry

Device removal/contract termination fees may apply

Verizon Connect Screengrab (Vehicle Tracking)

Keep a close eye on idling with live driver data


Vehicle tracking testimonial

Origin, a leading manufacturer of aluminium doors and windows, uses vehicle tracking technology across its fleet to improve efficiency. Here, Director of Special Projects Lee Ann Mounter discusses how vehicle tracking has helped the company:

“Any feature that saves us time and money is going to be of huge benefit to the organisation. The one that is of particular interest to us is the one that helps us minimise route overlap.

“This means we can be more effective in terms of our delivery times, whilst also significantly cutting down on the miles we do, and therefore the fuel we use.

“On top of this, being more proactive in monitoring driver habits and cutting down our fuel usage feeds neatly into our environmental strategy, which – amongst many other things – aims to cut our fuel use by five percent in 2020.

“Suppliers tend to be very persistent when chasing their order, so it’s good to be able to manage their expectations with more detailed tracking and estimated delivery dates and times.

“Accurate systems also allow our drivers to call customers 30 minutes before they are due to arrive, which has helped improve customer service levels.

“This is something frequent online shoppers have come to expect, yet we are very much in the minority when it comes to manufacturers thinking about their end-to-end customer journey.

“Here at Origin, the move from a manual process to an automated system not only means that the scheduling for customer jobs has become more accurate – improving our delivery service – but that installation scheduling is done with more certainty.

“The Maxoptra software we use also synchronises with accounts, meaning as soon as payment has cleared, the delivery can be issued – very smart and very fast.”

Comparing vehicle tracking software prices

We’re coming to the end of our in-depth guide to vehicle tracking costs. Whether you want 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.

Up to speed? Then now is the ideal time to find the perfect vehicle tracking solution for your business. Simply fill in some details, and receive a range of bespoke quotes from our handpicked selection of vehicle tracking providers.

Want more info? Head on to our FAQs section for answers to some common vehicle tracking queries.


Vehicle tracking costs for business FAQs

How much does it cost to install a GPS vehicle tracker in your car?

Our dedicated page on vehicle tracking installation has all the info, but the cost essentially depends on the tracker chosen and whether you can install it yourself. If you can, then you might be able to save a few quid by fitting devices in your vehicles, but you’ll need to weigh this saving up against the lost productivity and stress of doing it yourself. Depending on the tracker being installed, a professional installer will charge between £50 and £100 per vehicle, but this ensures that your device is fitted properly, will work at its best, and reduces the chance of future issues. For large fleets, professional installation is likely to be the only realistic option.

Is a vehicle tracker worth the price?

As we covered in the ROI of vehicle tracking section, installing a vehicle tracking system will pay dividends over the long term. Think of it as investing in the future of your company – the money spent will make your business more efficient, more productive, and more profitable, helping you win new business, cut costs, save time, and make a real impact in your industry.

What is the best car tracking device?

There’s no one answer to this question – which vehicle tracker is right for you will depend on the circumstances and needs of your business. For a comprehensive rundown of some of the leading systems on the market, look no further than our dedicated page on the best vehicle tracking systems.


Alec Hawley
Alec Hawley

Alec is Startups’ resident expert on mobiles, investment, and politics. Before joining, he worked in the media for over a decade, conducting media analysis at Kantar Media and YouGov, writing for computer games sites like Gaming Respawn and Gamespew, and taking on a wide variety of freelance roles. 

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