Boost your fleet's productivity, improve driver safety, and cut down costs – all without breaking the bank, with the five best cheap car tracking systems
Running a business fleet in our green and pleasant land is now more expensive than ever. Did you know that the princely prices we pay for petrol and diesel here in the UK are among the highest in Europe?
With such costs to contend with, it’s vital that business fleets to keep operational costs low – especially if you’re a new business that’s working to get established and grow.
Fortunately, though vehicle tracking systems may be instrumental to the smooth running of a fleet, they don’t actually have to cost the earth. That’s right – there are plenty of suppliers out there that provide great systems for even greater prices.
But who are these generous providers? And more importantly, who’s doing it best? Following our extensive research into the vehicle tracking market, we can identify, rate, and compare the suppliers that are offering the best cheap car tracking systems. Or, to speed things up, just answer a few questions about your fleet – we'll match you with the best suppliers for you, who'll be in touch with tailored, no-obligation quotes to compare.
The best low-cost vehicle tracking systems
We researched the range of cheap car tracking suppliers available to UK businesses, and found that the best cheap vehicle tracking systems are provided by Movolytics, Quartix, RAM Tracking, Vodafone Automotive, and Samsara. Let's find out what makes them great.
The best cheap vehicle tracking suppliers for UK businesses:
- Movolytics: Best for cutting your fuel costs
- Quartix: Best for great customer support
- RAM Tracking: Best for cost management
- Vodafone Automotive: Best for only buying what you need
- Samsara: Best bang for your buck
Best for cutting your fuel costs
Movolytics may be cheap, but with this vehicle tracking system, you’ll get a fair amount of bang for your buck – in our analysis, it scored 9 out of 10 for its tracking, driver management, and vehicle management capabilities.
In particular, we’re impressed by how simple Movolytics makes cutting your fuel costs. Its patented tech gathers accurate data on fuel usage, carbon emissions, and RPM straight from each vehicle’s engine, and tells you how much money your fleet’s wasting on fuel – that’s information you can act on! But we also approve of what Movolytics doesn’t do: it won’t charge any installation fees, and won’t spring any hidden charges on you either.
|Tracking device type||Price per vehicle, per month|
|Self-install plug and play device||£7.49|
|Hardwired device||£14.49 (for 36 months)|
- Offers the cheapest starting price on this list
- The only supplier that doesn’t use GPS tracking, instead pulling more accurate info directly from the vehicle
- Tracks 150+ driving behaviours to calculate drivers’ safety scores
- No free trial, so you can’t try before you buy
- Only releases a product update once per year
- Does not provide theft prevention measures or alerts
Best for great customer support
When it comes to stellar customer support, Quartix is second to none – indeed, it scored an impressive 9 out of 10 on this front during our analysis. Its large customer service team is dedicated to answering users’ questions, and the company offers multiple installation options – meaning you can have the system set up at a time of your choosing, on your premises, by an accredited engineer, all for free.
Speaking of customer care, Quartix offers 12-month contracts only – nice and undaunting compared to those suppliers that demand three to five years of your custom. Plus, in giving you a choice between three tiers of service and offering a 30-day cancellation period, Quartix shows real flexibility as a provider.
|Package||Price per vehicle, per month|
- Offers a free four-week trial, so you can test it out before committing
- Provides excellent CO2 emissions reporting
- Pricing is transparent – you won’t find any lurking hidden fees
- The cheapest plan comes with limited reporting and slow data refresh (every two minutes)
- Doesn’t have a driver messaging system
- Doesn’t provide theft prevention alerts
Best for cost management
RAM’s reporting is more limited than other suppliers’ – its driving style reports only analyse speed, for example, while others analyse speed, braking, acceleration, cornering, and more. But it can also do a few wonderful things that lots of other systems can’t – including crash reporting and CO2 emissions tracking (so you can keep your fleet safe and green).
In particular, the budget-savvy will be impressed by RAM’s financial reporting, which enables you to closely monitor the costs associated with each journey – from fuel cost expectations to driver travel time expenditure. A great feature for those who are looking to limit costs!
RAM Tracking’s pricing
|Contract length||Price per vehicle, per month|
|60 months (5 years)||£8.99 (or £15.99 for dash cam bundle)|
|48 months (4 years)||£9.99 (or £16.99 for dash cam bundle)|
|36 months (3 years)||£10.99 (or £18.99 for dash cam bundle)|
- Offers a free 30-day trial, so you can try it out before you start paying
- Provides insightful crash report data
- Dedicated ‘Green Reports’ track each vehicle’s CO2 output
- Customer support scored very highly in our analysis
- If you want a super cheap deal, you’ll need to sign up to a long contract
- Offers fewer sophisticated reporting functions than other suppliers
- Doesn’t have a driver messaging system
▶ Read more: 6 tips for green fleet management
Best for only buying what you need
A longstanding giant in communications but a relative newcomer to the world of fleet management, Vodafone’s recent entry onto this market has got us excited. One of the things that stands out about the system is its modular structure – that is to say, its features are separated out into ‘modules’, and you’re able to pick and choose which modules your system is made up of.
If you want to monitor driving behaviour, for example, add the ‘Fleet Safety and Driving Style’ module. If you want dedicated accident management, add ‘Crash, Claims and Emergencies’, and so on. Unfortunately, we could only root out a price for this system’s most basic package – but £9 is certainly low enough for this up-and-coming offering to earn a spot on our list!
Vodafone Automotive’s pricing
Unfortunately, pinning down Vodafone's prices for this service has been difficult. But we have been able to uncover the starting price you can expect:
|£9 per vehicle, per month|
- Brilliant accident module detects crashes, alerts the right people, and generates reconstruction reports
- Collects data on fuel consumption, engine oil, and battery status directly from the engine
- Provides theft diagnostics and a 24/7 stolen vehicle helpline
- No free trial, so you can’t try before you buy
- You’ll need to pay extra for driver ID kits
- Modular structure could make this system difficult to set up, as modules must be coded in
Best bang for your buck
With prices starting at just over £10 per vehicle, per month, Samsara does merit a place on our list of cheap car tracking solutions. But that said, it's certainly not the cheapest option out there: with prices reaching over £20 per vehicle, per month, and the need to buy (rather than lease) the tracking hardware outright, the costs can add up here.
Despite that, it would be remiss of us not to talk about Samsara, because it's such a fantastic system. With a sleek and sophisticated interface, speedy data refresh (every 30–60 seconds!), and advanced reporting and fleet optimisation features, if you plump for Samsara, you'll get a lot in exchange for your money. Plus, it's worth knowing that – though buying it can be an expensive outlay initially – over time, vehicle tracking hardware becomes a valuable asset to own yourself.
|Software license (per vehicle, per month)||£10.83 – £23.75|
|Hardware (one-off cost per device)||£99 – £359|
- Offers a 30-day free trial
- Comes with some of the best fuel usage reporting on the market
- Its fantastic dispatching and route optimisation features will help you boost efficiency
- Provides features that are tailored to improving driver safety
- May be too expensive for tight budgets
- Only offers lengthy contracts of three to five years
- Promotes self-installation, as opposed to suppliers that will install for you
There you have it – our pick of the best cheap fleet tracking systems on the market. Movolytics comes out on top for fuel cost cutting, while Quartix absolutely shines for stellar customer support. Meanwhile, RAM Tracking can help you to closely monitor and reduce your fleet’s costs, while the customisability of Vodafone Automotive’s system means none of your money is wasted on features you don’t need. And though Samsara is a tad more expensive than these other options, it offers great value for that money.
So, what’s next? Below, we share some sage advice on choosing the right cheap vehicle tracking supplier for you. But if you’d like to start comparing your options straight away, why not let us help?
Take a minute to answer some quick questions about your fleet, and we’ll match you with the tracking suppliers that can best cater to your requirements. They’ll then be in touch directly to provide you with free, no-obligation quotes that have been tailored to you, and the option to learn more about what they can offer you. It's totally free, and the easiest way to compare the right options for you.
How to choose the right low-cost fleet tracking system
Before you start counting out the pennies for a cheap vehicle tracking system, you need to compare your options and make sure you’ve plumped for the right one – cheapest isn’t always best, and every cheap car tracker is different.
To help you, we’ve put together three questions to ask that will help you avoid the most common pitfalls for first-time vehicle tracking users:
1) Is it flexible?
Before you start leasing your cheap fleet tracking system, you’ll need to dive into the depths of the small print and examine how much wiggle room the contract will give you.
What do we mean by that? Well, if your fleet radically grows or shrinks, you’ll need to be able to adjust your system accordingly: that is, to quickly acquire more devices and sign up more drivers – or send back devices and remove user accounts – with minimal hassle. Will your contract allow this?
There’s a whole variety of other things to consider, too. What if you want to upgrade or downgrade to a different payment tier – will that be easy for you? And what if you choose to change suppliers completely? Will the contract length and cancellation policy make that difficult? Are there cancellation fees? Is there a ‘buy-out’ option?
2) Is it future-proof?
Forget how fun Marty McFly made it seem – when it comes to your business, you can’t afford to get stuck in the past.
Vehicle tracking tech is getting better – and cheaper – every year. But even though a deal might look good at first, low fees can sometimes come with long contracts that’ll saddle you with outdated, static technology for a number of years… which is never fun.
So, before you sign, make sure you’ll have the option to upgrade your software and devices if and when you need to. You might also choose to go for a supplier that can give you a short contract, which will offer more frequent opportunities to review or change the service you’re getting.
While Vodafone Automotive doesn’t appear to have finalised a standard contract length yet, and Samsara's contracts typically last a significant three to five years, Movolytics, Quartix, and RAM Tracking all offer contracts of 12 months. By industry standards, this is nice and short – so you shouldn’t go far wrong with them.
3) Is it feature-rich?
It may seem like an obvious one, but it can actually be really easy to forget the features – especially if you’re preoccupied with price. As with many things, you get what you pay for – and the more features you want from your vehicle tracking system, the more it’ll cost you.
You should definitely only pay for the features you really need (as you can with Vodafone Automotive and its modular structure, and Quartix, which provides different features on different payment tiers). On the flipside of that, though, you shouldn’t forgo the features that could really help boost your operations in favour of a lower price.
How in-depth would you like your driving style analysis to be? How customisable your reports? How accurate your fuel consumption analysis? How quick your location data refresh time? How comprehensive your alerting system? The questions go on.
If you’re looking for a featureful system with a variety of advanced capabilities and in-depth reporting, you’ll need to spend a bit more. Samsara’s prices, as we've covered, can reach £23.75 per vehicle, per month (plus hardware costs) – but it is a more sophisticated system. Similarly, Verizon Connect charges around $50 per vehicle, per month, but provides a fantastically feature-rich product in exchange, justifying that higher price point.
▶ Read more: The 5 best UK vehicle tracking providers
4) Our bonus question: Is there a faster way to do all this research?
And our answer: Yes! We can help you find the right cheap vehicle tracking system for you, and fast.
Simply answer a few questions about your fleet, and we’ll then match you with the UK suppliers that best fit your business’s unique needs. They’ll contact you with personalised, no-obligation quotes, and further information about what their service can offer you. This matchmaking service is fast, free, and easy – why not give it a go?
Can I get a free vehicle tracking system anywhere?
We hate to break it to you, but… no! The closest you’ll get is a month-long free trial so you can test the product before you start forking out, but not all suppliers offer this. In some cases, companies might offer the software for free, but charge big fees for the hardware – basically, you’ll always need to pay something.
Of course, it has to be said that Google Maps does offer a very basic, free solution for small-scale vehicle tracking, which can be a good way to dip your toes into the world of GPS technology. But trust us – it’s not a feasible option for any (even remotely) ambitious business.
Where can I find more information about vehicle tracking costs?
It doesn’t just come down to one monthly price. Some vehicle tracking suppliers might also charge setup fees, hardware costs, termination charges, and more. And then there’s the question of whether you plan to lease the system – incurring that monthly cost – or buy it outright, forking over a big sum in one go.
You’ll find a detailed explanation of all of these considerations and more in our comprehensive guide to vehicle tracking costs. Be sure to check it out if you want to stay cost-savvy!