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.
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
Lease from £10 per month
Buy from £50
Lease from £15 per month
Buy from £200
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 Type||Fuel management||Route co-ordination||Up-to-the-minute tracking and reporting||Vehicle health checker||Detailed reporting||Close driver management||Live, to the wire tracking|
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 type||Number of vehicles||Cost to buy||Cost to lease per month|
|1-20||From £50 per vehicle||From £10 per vehicle|
|21-50||From £200 per vehicle||From £15 per vehicle|
|Large fleet |
|50+||From £300 per vehicle||From £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 costs||Ongoing or additional costs|
|Buying the systems||Updates|
|Installation (if you don't opt for DIY)||Roaming charges|
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:
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.
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.
- 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.
If you rent your vehicle tracking device, then any damage caused to the kit will come at an added expense.
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
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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
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.