By Julia Watts | Content Manager | Updated: 15 February 2021
Tap your way to the top with tracking tech that's in your hands
The iPhone. Formerly a domain of hipsters and the tech-savvy, now everyone’s go-to gadget for calls, messaging, and… vehicle tracking. Wait, what?
Yep. It’s true what they say – these days, there really is an app for everything, especially in the wake of several lockdowns that made us turn to technology with renewed necessity. And it turns out vehicle tracking is no exception. Whether you’re in charge of a more established fleet or a smaller selection of cars, you can run your business via an iPhone, Android, tablet – or, as it happens, through any smart device you’ve got lying around.
These apps will let you stay in touch with your fleet from wherever you are. React faster, cut down your fuel costs, and stay on top of your business – all from the illuminated oblong of your phone screen.
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The top 6 vehicle tracker apps
We tracked down the best vehicle tracker apps available for your smartphone. Strictly speaking, some of them aren’t designed specifically to track vehicles. But they’ll do the job – and well! We looked at the user-friendliness, efficiency, and online customer approval ratings to bring you the best apps available in 2021.
Our top apps for vehicle tracking include Google Maps, Life360, Quartix, Verizon, Kinesis, and Masternaut. And while a couple do sound like they could moonlight as Power Rangers, they are some of the most intuitive vehicle tracking apps on the market. Some are standalone (all you need is the app), while others are integrated (part of a full vehicle tracking system, complete with desktop software and tracking hardware). We'd always recommend full systems, but have included standalone apps here too as they're good entry-level options for brand new fleets.
Without further ado…
The best vehicle tracker apps for UK businesses:
Best for ease of use
For simplicity, familiarity, and basic effectiveness, you can’t look past Google Maps. It works well as a standalone solution from your phone. But it also offers integration with vehicle tracking apps like Quartix and Teletrac Navman for bigger fleets. Its advanced technology lets you zoom in to the extent that you can see what your driver sees. You’ll also be first to know about any route disruptions, and can let your drivers know instantly. Not bad for a free app!
- Communicate with drivers via SMS
- See traffic updates in real-time
- Play back routes at a later date
- Won’t provide driver behaviour analysis or fuel consumption data
- Very basic – only suitable for brand new fleets
Best for driver safety
Life360 is a family networking app released a decade ago, designed to help families keep up with each other’s movements. A couple of years ago it launched ‘Driver Protect’, an app that detects if the user has been in an accident on the road. The app alerts emergency services to the location and lets family members know. It also gives its users access to 24/7 roadside assistance, and delivers weekly reports with safety insights for drivers. So if Andy’s been speeding or Becky’s too heavy on the brakes, you’ll know about it. This means you can rest easy, knowing your team are getting from A to B safely – and efficiently.
Pricing is £3.99 per month or £39.99 for the year.
- Store location history for 30 days
- Get notifications when employees arrive at or leave a certain location
- Phone to phone real-time tracking
- Designed primarily with families, not businesses, in mind
- Doesn't come with as many useful features as full vehicle tracking systems
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Do you already have a vehicle tracking system?
Best for driver and journey reporting
With over 500,000 vehicle tracking units installed since 2001, Quartix is a big name in the industry – and with good reason. It offers one of the best vehicle tracking apps on the market, with no hidden costs and short contract lengths. This makes it a great place to start if you’re new to vehicle tracking. You’ll get data about all journeys and stops made by your drivers in a given day, as well as the routes they took to get there. The Quartix mobile app also lets individual drivers view reports about their own styles and habits. All in all, it’s a sharp and intuitive app that’ll save you time and give you greater control over your fleet.
Still not convinced? Let’s drop in to Marcia’s Kitchen to see how they benefited from Quartix’s mobile solution to vehicle tracking.
Pricing comes in a three tiered plan. It ranges from £9.90 to £16.90 per month, per vehicle, depending on the type of tracking device used.
- Integration with Google Maps
- Excellent online approval ratings
- Quick and easy to use
- Cheapest package excludes some key features
Best for reliability
Verizon’s mobile app does what it says on the tin… it connects! One of the world’s most trusted vehicle tracking apps, it’s a glitch-free, reliable way of bringing you up to speed with what’s happening out on the tarmac. Verizon Connect offers colourful dashboards to interpret data in moments, and it’s great for motivating your employees. Its smart driver education tool inspires your team to jostle for positions on a leaderboard to be the safest or most economical driver. This means a bit of fun, healthy competition for your team, and more growth and efficiency for your business.
As with most of the best vehicle tracking apps, pricing is dependent on the package you choose. Exact prices are available on request from Verizon. Or, If you’d like to compare quotes from other top vehicle tracking suppliers, fill out our short form and get started.
- Well-suited to businesses of any size
- High-res maps have smart clustering feature
- Free app download
- Can be a long wait time for customer support
Best for small businesses
As the name implies, Kinesis is a quick and dynamic vehicle tracking app. With a half hour device installation time and seamless app connection, you’re good to start tracking before your first sip of morning coffee – and by lunch, you’ll already be seeing how it can benefit your business. The Kinesis mobile app is a complete solution offering tailored alerts about fuel usage and driver behaviour across your fleet. Kinesis’ award-winning approach will help you optimise your routes and scrap unnecessary overtime, meaning more money (and energy!) saved.
Pricing starts from £14.50 per month, per vehicle. There’s also device and installation fees that apply to the lower-commitment plans, so keep your eyes peeled.
- Text or call your team directly through the app
- Create striking reports in moments
- Visual interface not as attractive as some other vehicle tracking apps
Best for fleet maintenance
The Masternaut Connect app brings you crucial insights based on location, as well as speed, fuel use, and vehicle data. This makes it easier to monitor the life cycles of your vehicles, helping with maintenance. And with emissions standards tightening up across the UK and Europe, it’s now even more vital to know if your vehicles are pulling their weight. Masternaut’s vehicle tracking devices also come with an ‘in car coaching’ feature. This system provides your team with instant verbal feedback when it detects any risky or fuel-wasting driving – which saves you having to do it!
Pricing for Masternaut Connect starts from £10 per month for each of your vehicles. The Pro Edition will set you back an extra £4 per vehicle. If neither of these appeal, you can go for Masternaut Go, a more basic, self-install option available for £4.99 per month (plus a £25 activation fee).
- Customisable dashboard
- Interactive map and accessible interface
- Custom alerts and reports
- API integration available
- App can be prone to crashes
Do you own a business that, even in a minor way, relies on vehicles? If your answer is yes, then you need a vehicle tracking app. They’re not hard to use, and are essential for the growth of your business.
Start with a standalone app to get you going, or explore the more advanced features – and bigger benefits – of an integrated system. With prices starting at around a tenner a month, they’re surprisingly cheap. But hey, don’t just take our word for it. Start comparing quotes and find out for yourself.
How do you track a vehicle through an app?
Smartphones have GPS tracking. Every time you open up Google Maps and see that glowing blue dot, you’re using it. And with the expansion of 4G coverage and nationwide hotspots, tracking a car with a smartphone has literally never been easier.
All you need to do is download a vehicle tracking app – either one that shows location, or one that can connect to a device placed in a car. The option you go for will most likely depend on the size of your fleet.
What are the benefits of using an app to track my vehicles?
Vehicle apps bring ultimate portability to the management of your fleet. You can do everything from your own mobile – no matter where you are, you’ll still be at the centre of your business. Plus, there’s so much you can deliver with a vehicle tracking app, like:
✔ Reduced fuel consumption
✔ Improved driver efficiency
✔ Optimised routes
✔ Upgraded customer service
✔ Lower insurance premiums
✔ Promote responsible driving
✔ Enhanced record keeping
✔ Manage life cycle of vehicles
Are these apps suited for businesses with larger fleets?
Many apps impose limits on the numbers of cars that you can track, so bear this in mind. If you have a larger fleet, a standalone app won’t be suitable. And if your vehicles are travelling all over the country and beyond, you can’t risk your drivers’ phones losing connectivity or battery.
The most intuitive vehicle tracking apps belong within fully-realised integrated vehicle tracking systems. These are tailored to the demands of your business and provide advanced data on a day-to-day basis. To compare quotes from these vehicle trackers, click here to get rolling.
Is vehicle tracking with an app legal?
In principle, yes. Your drivers will just need to sign a contract specifying the extent of the tracking. What is illegal is tracking your team without their knowledge, and outside of their working hours.
So, if you’re relying on a standalone app, you’ll have to make sure your drivers disable the app when they clock off. They can do this by switching off the phone, or altering their location preferences.
If you're working with a full vehicle tracking system, you should invest in one that has tracking devices that can be remotely disabled by you at a particular time, or switched off by your drivers when they clock off.
How does the GDPR affect my right to track my fleet?
As of May 2018, businesses all over Europe have had to meet new standards regarding privacy and compliance. To make sure you’re still making the grade legally, you need to be answering ‘yes’ to the following:
- Is my vehicle tracking necessary?
- Is it fair, with a solid legal basis? Do I have a legitimate interest in the collection of this data?
- Have all my employees been informed and understand?
GDPR means you’ll have to be completely transparent with your employees about your vehicle tracking. You’ll need to tell them the reason for the tracking, the extent of the surveillance, and how the data will be used. Basically, give them the what, the how, the why, and the who, and you can’t go wrong!