Every industry that relies on a fleet, from one vehicle to thousands, is touched in some way by vehicle tracking systems. Being ahead of the game, maintaining profitability and your competitive edge often comes down to how good your vehicle tracking systems is. However, the vehicle tracking system market has a vast array of choice, from cheap vehicle tracking systems that you can plug and go with, to more expensive complex vehicle tracking systems.
It’s not a straightforward comparison. You are rarely comparing like with like, and what works and is most economical for one fleet could well be the wrong choice for another. This guide will help you make sense of the cheap vehicle tracking systems market so that you can choose the right one for your business.
Cheap Vehicle Tracking Systems – The Basics to Look For
Firstly, you need to consider some basic points about both your individual fleet, as well as vehicle tracking systems generally. In order to get the most economical, and therefore cheapest, vehicle tracking system for your fleet you need to first understand your fleet and exactly what you need from a vehicle tracking system.
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? These are all questions that need answering, and in so doing 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 system 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 the systems can therefore be notoriously tricky as you need to be sure you are comparing like for like in the context of the functions that will be used, and are needed, by your fleet based business. Therefore it is useful to think in terms of what is essential, what would be beneficial, and what is not relevant.
The cheapest GPS tracking systems on the market will typically only measure the basics of location and speed. They may well be passive systems (meaning you can only access and view the location and speed details once the vehicle has completed its journey).
At the other end of the scale you’ll find more expensive GPS tracking systems which offer complex levels of functionality, may well be bespoke, and offer features such as RFID (radio frequency identification), temperature and pressure monitoring and driver safety features, alongside an excellent real-time GPS tracking system.
Costs Breakdown - Contracts
There are a multitude of suppliers and manufacturers of cheap vehicle tracking systems in the UK. The price of the system will be dependent on factors including brand reputation, specifications and features, the size of your fleet (and therefore economies of scale) and the type of contract.
In the UK you can opt to buy a vehicle tracking system off-the-shelf, ready to plug and go. Alternatively, and particularly for more complex systems, you can also opt to hire a vehicle tracking system on a contract basis.
It is important to consider the nature of contracts. Different suppliers offer different length and features of the contract as well as the specifications of the system itself. For example, how are you 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 flexibility to allow you to make changes as both your business and technology flourish can be more cost effective in the long run. Contracts can often work out much more economical 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, the greater the functionality of the vehicle tracking system, and the nature of the contract, deliver the greatest returns on investment. Vehicle tracking systems have the ability to radically reduce your fleet based costs. For example, if your biggest outgoing, as with many UK fleet based businesses, is fuel, then a vehicle tracking system which allows you to reduce mileage, and reduce harsh fuel-thirsty driver behaviour, will very quickly offer you an excellent return on investment.
The fastest, 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 is 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.
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
Therefore, what constitutes a cheap car tracking system for one individual or fleet manager will vary from what constitutes a cheap vehicle tracking system for another. The good news is that 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.
Webfleet Lite with Link 200 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 200 tracking device is simple to install yourself and integrates with the Webfleet Lite Software. Prices start from £13.95 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.
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.
Telogis Standard Edition
Telogis is a big name in vehicle tracking solutions, and indeed is frequently pre-installed in well-known brands such as Ford and Volvo. This is a web-based scalable vehicle tracking system that bills itself as being suitable “from logistics and maintenance through to payroll and dispatch”. The Telogis system aims to deliver safer driving through insights such as speeding and this information is displayed via a dashboard where you can monitor individuals or the entire fleet.
Various reporting features enable you to identify where cost savings can be made. Mapping is integral to the system and you receive valuable maintenance alerts ensuring the fleet doesn’t waste time to maintenance, both preventative and scheduled. As this system is scalable, fleet managers can add a range of different features as required, for example, dispatching.
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 – Finding the Right System for Your Business
Defining a cost-effective vehicle tracking system depends on a wide range of information. You not only need to understand what your business needs, as well as identifying functions you don’t know exist, or how to be future-proof, but you also need to understand the very different and complex market of vehicle tracking systems. You need to be able to understand terminology that varies from supplier to supplier, as well as which features will deliver the best return on investment in your individual case.
To gain an insight in to which systems will be most suitable for your business, and help find the right vehicle tracking system for you, speak to a member of the team at ExpertMarket.co.uk. 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 can make the hard-work considerably easier.
Enter a few basic details such as your location, number of vehicles in your fleet, and what you think you are looking for, and we will get in touch with the best products and providers in your area. You’ll be supplied with contact details and prices and valuable information that will help you make the best choice for your fleet.
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.