If you manage a fleet and see room for improvement, you too can benefit from using a vehicle tracking system.
In fact, a lot of what keeps elite fleets at the top of their respective industries is their vehicle tracking technology.
That said, you’ve got a huge range of options to consider – and there’s often a world of difference between them. Some systems prioritize affordability, others emphasize easy installation, and the most advanced ones offer a whole lot more.
Here’s our guide to finding a great low-cost vehicle tracking system, plus a roundup of the best of the low-cost bunch.
Cheap Vehicle Tracking Systems – What To Look For
Firstly, you’ll need to consider some basic points about your individual fleet. The more you understand your pain points, the more easily you can priorities what features you’re looking for.
Consider the size and nature of your fleet.
- Where are your greatest costs?
- Is it fuel?
- Do you have problems with difficult to manage overtime bills?
- Do you struggle to retain or gain the competitive edge due to dispatch difficulties?
- Do you want to enhance driver security?
- Do you lose a lot of time to vehicle and maintenance downtime?
Answering these questions will help you identify your specific fleet-based pinch points.
With answers to these questions you have a platform to work from. Then you can start considering vehicle tracking systems in the context of:
- The cost of the vehicle tracking equipment (including upfront costs, subscription costs, and installation costs)
- The cost savings you can expect based on individual vehicle tracking systems
What Features Do You Need?
Prices for vehicle tracking systems vary enormously depending on a range of specifications and the size of the installation (the size of your fleet). With greater functionality and benefits comes higher costs.
Comparing these systems can be notoriously tricky however, as you need to be sure you are comparing like for like in the context of the functions that will be used by your fleet-based business. Think in terms of what is essential, what would be beneficial, and what would simply be a bonus.
The cheapest GPS tracking systems on the market will typically only measure the basics of location and speed. They may well be
passive systems. They will likely have limited reporting functionality, whilst repairs and installation won’t be included.
At the other end of the scale you’ll find more expensive GPS tracking systems can offer complex levels of functionality, and may well be bespoke to your company. They will include features such as RFID (radio frequency identification), temperature and pressure monitoring, and driver safety features, alongside excellent real-time GPS information.
It can often work out cheaper in the long-term to go with a system that is initially more expensive, because there will be no hidden future costs for support or repairs, installations or expansion as your fleet grows.
Costs Breakdown – Contracts
In the UK you can opt to buy a vehicle tracking system outright, and manage it yourself. Alternatively, you can hire a vehicle tracking system on a contract basis.
It is important to consider the nature of contracts. Different vehicle tracking suppliers offer different length and features of the contract as well as the specifications of the system itself.
Make sure you consider how you are tied in to a contract.
What if your fleet radically grows or shrinks – how flexible is the contract? What if you want, or need, to change suppliers? Is there a ‘buy-out’ option, and if so, what will it cost? Can you upgrade during the contract as technology advances?
This is where comparing vehicle tracking systems becomes more complex. On the face of it, some systems may appear more costly. However, technology in the field of vehicle tracking systems really is fast-paced. What gives you the competitive edge today may well leave you trailing the field a year from now.
Paying for a flexible contract, to allow you to make changes as both your business and technology flourish, can be more cost effective in the long run. Typically, cheap vehicle tracking contracts start from as low as £9.99 per vehicle per month.
Return on Investment
In our experience, vehicle tracking systems with the greatest functionality and contract flexibility deliver the greatest returns on investment. Vehicle tracking systems have the ability to radically reduce your fleet based costs over their months of use.
For example, if your biggest outgoing, as with many UK fleet based businesses, is fuel, then a vehicle tracking system can help you save costs easily. Reports and route alerts will help you reduce your mileage, and reduce harsh fuel-thirsty driver behaviour, which will very quickly offer you an excellent return on investment.
The quickest and most reliable way to get a positive ROI is not necessarily to buy the cheapest GPS tracker, but to buy the one that matches your fleet’s needs the best.
The cost-savings aren’t as up front as selecting products from the shelf, but it won’t take long till you can start quantifying them in terms of cost savings.
An excellent and cost-effective vehicle tracking system should offer you a complete range of benefits including:
- Fleet Cost Savings
- Improved Driver and Vehicle Safety
- Increased Productivity
- Increased Reliability
- Improved Customer Service and Business Reputation
- Operational Efficiency
- Reduced Carbon Footprint – Become a Greener Fleet
- Improved Responsiveness to Demand
- Reduced Insurance Premiums
- Less Vehicle Downtime and Improved Maintenance Scheduling
- Reduced Mileage
There are a huge range of features that will help to bring about a worthwhile and sizeable return on your investment. Vehicle Tracking Systems should pay for themselves fairly quickly. Let’s look at those features:
Driver ID & Vehicle Security – Some vehicle tracking systems come with features such as driver ID key fobs or pins, as well as alarm and immobilisation devices for the vehicle.
Driver Management – Complex vehicle tracking systems are capable of recording minute-by-minute information about driver behaviour, for example: excess speed; harsh braking and cornering; unnecessary idling. This can be presented in different ways, for example as Driver Scorecards.
Technology Used – Typically, a more complex system will combine both RFIS and GPS to ensure coverage when ‘out of reach’ and whether this is important will depend on the areas in which your fleet operates.
Reporting Functionality – : The data collected by your vehicle tracking system is only as useful as the reporting capabilities. Therefore what standard and customisable reports available with a system are worth considering?
Cloud-Based & Apps – Consider whether the information is available via a web-based platform, as well as via Apple and Android apps.
Real-Time Capabilities – Check what real-time means for a particular system, and the precision you need. Usually, real-time can be accurate from upwards of 30-second intervals, but is still used to describe systems that can be 3+ minutes.
Incident and Accident Tracking – Being able to monitor what was happening at the time of an incident or accident can help enormously in the aftermath, to reduce both costs and liability.
Live Mapping – Used for routing, tracking, route replay, traffic monitoring, and geo-fencing can help reduce fleet based costs by delivering efficiencies.
Dispatch Management – Some vehicle tracking systems can be combined with dispatch management features, work order features, and benefits such as proof of delivery signature capabilities.
On-Board Diagnostics – Working with the vehicle’s OBD port, maintenance monitoring and scheduling can be a feature of a vehicle tracking system.
Communications – Some vehicle tracking systems offer auto alerts and two-way comms between the fleet management department and the individual driver.
Making sure that your chosen vehicle tracking system has all of the features that you both want, and that will benefit your fleet-based business, but doesn’t cost you in terms of features you don’t want, will help you get the best return on investment. Therefore, knowing what you want, before you approach suppliers, will make it easier for them to meet your needs and for you to understand what you are getting for the cost.
Bear in mind some vehicle tracking system manufacturers and suppliers are so sure of the return on investment their system will bring you that they are even prepared to offer you a money-back guarantee. Telogis, for example guarantees a positive return on investment within 120 days.
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Vehicle Tracking Systems – Low Cost Solutions
Whatever the nature of your fleet-based business, there are affordable vehicle monitoring systems available which can be installed in your vehicles. These systems can be rented, leased, or purchased from different companies in the UK specialising in fleet management systems.
The Best Cheap Car Tracker Systems
Some of the most renowned vehicle tracking suppliers therefore offer cheap tracking systems whilst also maintaining their long-term record of creating positive ROI for their clients.
Here we compare some of their product offerings to help you identify the differences in benefits and return on investment.
Innovation leaders Teletrac Navman provide excellent fleet solutions which offer far more than most GPS navigation and vehicle tracking products. The ability to track fleets in real time combined with a cloud-based fleet management software delivered as SaaS is a sophisticated solution that should cover all the requirements of any businesses operate fleets.
Not to mention that these systems offer substantial cost savings and are available for any size of fleet or industry.
Teletrac Navman products include advanced tracking tools for real-time tracking, optimising fuel efficiency, safety, and business intelligence. With the aim to decrease fuel waste, overtime, and increase productivity across your fleets, all the data is cloud based allowing customers to access detailed information through a dashboard. The flagship product of the merged companies is Teletrac Navman DIRECTOR – a single smart platform connecting fleet management to their drivers and vehicles.
Award winning Fleetmatics Reveal offers its customers impressive stats with over £1265 million in fuel savings totalled in their 826,000 vehicles worldwide. This is a real-time vehicle tracking system with no hidden data charges and free upgrades included in your contract. As such, Fleetmatics Reveal offers excellent value.
Fleetmatics are well-known for their above-and-beyond customer support and the Reveal product aims to bring fleets huge savings on their fuel economy largely by improving routing and driver behaviour. The live mapping function is exemplary and there is valuable payroll integration. Fleetmatics Reveal is available for a free demo and it’s a simple call to request a quotation. Prices depend on the number of vehicles in your fleet and the length of your chosen contract.
Movolytics understand that customers don’t want to be locked-in to contracts with no guarantee of ROI. That doesn’t mean you should sacrifice the best technology for your fleet. Movolytics uses the most accurate fuel-tracking technology on the market. Your drivers are measured in real-time against 150 driving manoeuvres and behaviours. By recommending improvements to drivers and fleet managers whenever possible, Movolytics customers can reduce fuel spend by up to 30%.
Thanks to patented technology, Movolytics can promise high-end quality with low-end cost. Whether you want real-time vehicle tracking, driver reporting or dispatching tools, Movolytics won’t leave you wanting. A sign of confidence is the fact that there are no upfront costs, no installation fees and no shaky warrantees. If hardware is damaged, it’s replaced free of charge and you can access complimentary training any time you need it.
Webfleet Lite with Link 201 from TomTom Telematics
The TomTom name is instantly recognisable with vehicle tracking, and this system is definitely a good one to consider for small businesses looking to get started with vehicle tracking. You’d be joining 45k other businesses by getting TomTom on board and can expect to enjoy a range of features that bring you excellent return on investment.
The LINK 201 tracking device is simple to install yourself and integrates with the Webfleet Lite Software. Prices start from £11.95 per vehicle per month and Webfleet claims to save you up to 20% of fleet costs associated with fuel and maintenance outlays. This is a real-time ‘Track and Trace’ system which integrates with cloud-based software for reporting and routing, as well as integrating with other software, dispatch and tachograph data.
FleetManager OBD II from AMS
AMS have over 15 years in the vehicle tracking system market and offer a range of ‘plug and go’ options that are easily accessible for a range of smaller fleets looking for a fast solution. Their vehicle tracking systems are accurate to 1-minute real-time recording, and can be used in a range of vehicles from cars and vans, to motorbikes, lorries, plant machinery, and even boats.
AMS focus very much on vehicle security features such as immobilisation, as well as other features including driver identification (including business and private hours recording), driver behaviour monitoring (such as harsh braking), vehicle monitoring (for example temperature probing), and offer an internal back-up battery. In addition to being web-based fleet managers can also use RFIP driver tags to add additional tracking information. This is a fairly straight-forward system which won’t break the bank.
Cheap Vehicle Tracking Systems – Summary
Finding the Right System for Your Business
Whether you’re a regional taxi company or national haulage business, cost is an important consideration when choosing a vehicle tracking solution. But how do you know that you’re getting a good deal?
Defining a cost-effective vehicle tracking system depends on a wide range of information.
Make sure you:
- Understand the functions available to you, and their benefits
- Decide which functions your business needs most
- Understand varying terminology to describe functionality from supplier to supplier
- Consider how to future-proof your business
- And think about the ROI in the long term, not just the short term
before selecting a supplier to buy from.
Our team can help you gain a better insight into which system will be best for your business. We’re here to help you make sense of this valuable purchase and can assist you with comparing prices accurately across systems. Our experience and expertise makes the hard work easier.
Enter a few basic details into our form, such as the number of vehicles in your fleet, and we will get in touch. We’ll suggest the best products and providers for you, in your area. This means you can make the most informed decision.
Gain insights in to the best and cheapest vehicles tracking system for your specific business. We work with a broad range of suppliers across the vehicle tracking market to bring you the very best for your business, ensuring you install a vehicle tracking system with the features you need at the best price for you. We can offer special offers and discounts alongside the most competitive quotes for your business.
You can be sure that whichever vehicle tracking system you choose, you’re investing in your future business success, productivity and profitability. Vehicle tracking systems can save your business thousands of pounds in cost-savings due to fuel usage reductions and more.
Get in touch today.