Vehicle tracking systems come in various shapes and sizes, from small dashboard trackers to advanced internal trackers. They can provide data ranging from simple location updates every few hours to real-time telematics tracking and reporting. This gives insights into everything from vehicle location and speed to fuel consumption and driving behaviour
Which system is right for your fleet? It depends on the size and industry of your business.
What Is A Vehicle Tracking System? Why Use One?
Service oriented businesses such as taxi companies companies and couriers can benefit hugely from the insights vehicle tracking can provide. The tech allows for more efficient dispatch and better customer service communications.
Haulage businesses and long distance drivers can also use the technology to maximise route efficiency and save on delivery time and fuel costs.
Most vehicle tracking systems will use satellite GPS technology to pinpoint the location of a vehicle. There are active and passive tracking systems.
Active systems will relay the gathered information in real time. Fleet managers can then access it via an online interface. This means they will receive immediate updates about any issues.
Passive tracking means vehicle data is collected and can be downloaded later. Although real time updates are not provided, this information is useful for long-term efficiency analysis and data backups.
GPS vehicle tracking gives fleet managers a competitive edge. Besides being able to know where all vehicles are at any given time, tracking can help cut fuel costs, improve safety, and reduce vehicle wear and tear.
Functionalities of Vehicle Tracking Systems
Tracking your fleet with a GPS vehicle tracking system can help you save on fuel costs both directly and indirectly. Using GPS tracking lets you plan routes more efficiently and ensure that drivers stick to the predetermined routes. This is especially useful for long distance drivers and HGVs, where fuel costs add up due to the length of undertaken journeys.
In addition, tracking your fleet gives you insights into the driving behaviour of your drivers, with the option of providing trainings or other correctional measures for drivers who don’t drive in a fuel efficient manner. Many tracking systems will output your fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and many will integrate seamlessly with fuel management services such as those provided by fuel card suppliers.
Vehicle tracking systems enable you to plan routes efficiently, both for short and long distances. HGVs can benefit from careful route planning, ensuring that their route does not contain toll roads or small streets that are unsuitable for large vehicles.
Vehicle Tracking System Components
There are a wide range of vehicle tracking system suppliers on the market, with some supplying hardware or software only, and others providing basic packages or bespoke integrated systems. The type and number of components you need depends on your business requirements.
Factors that can affect the components you need are:
- The size of your business
- The industry you are in
- What analytics functionalities you demand of your software bundle
Smaller businesses might be adequately served by less sophisticated software, as almost all basic packages will provide real time vehicle tracking with basic reporting capabilities.
Businesses with larger fleets might need more complex tracking devices which can track not just location and speed but also driver behaviour, and which have geofencing features.
Typical vehicle tracking system components include:
- In-car GPS trackers (fitted into the vehicle and powered by the car battery)
- Covert GPS trackers (hidden under the chassis, tamper proof and can be activated remotely)
- Asset trackers (powered by their own battery and designed for rugged environments)
- Tachographs (for HGVs)
- Fleet management software (to access the relayed data)
- A telematics black box
Most vehicle tracking systems will offer many or all of the following features:
✔ GPS tracking dashboard
✔ Route replay
✔ Reports – performance & maintenance
✔ GeoFencing & landmarks – designate where vehicle are allowed/not
✔ Fuel card integration – control over fuel spending
✔ Integration with Garmin navigation units
✔ Mobile Application
✔ Driver ID – keeping record of individual driver routes
Vehicle Tracking System Prices
The price of a vehicle tracking system including all hardware and software components can vary from almost free to many thousands of pounds. Small fleets with technologically savvy drivers may be able to get away with using smart phone apps for their fleet tracking needs. Larger fleets and those including lorries will probably need to invest more money to install physical tracking devices in the vehicle – usually under the dashboard – to take advantage of advanced tracking features.
Obviously larger fleets will need to buy more tracking devices for their vehicles, but many suppliers offer bulk discounts on trackers. In addition to this there will often be monthly fees for the tracking system.
Most Australian suppliers don’t publish how much their vehicle tracking systems cost and will instead give you an individual quote, based on the needs of your business. This is helpful in negotiating a good deal but it can be difficult to know what prices are available.
Anti-Theft Vehicle Tracking Costs
This is the simplest type of tracker, made to prevent theft. This device uses VHF or GPS and is able to tell the location of the vehicle. This can then be found by the authorities.
- Around $500 – $900 per vehicle
- Lease for $250 per annum
GPS Fleet Tracking System Costs
These systems are for a business fleet. Information is stored on the internet and can be accessed by mobile phones.
- You pay for a subscription and this depends on how many vehicles you have
- Expect to pay around $18 per month
- Pay-as-you-Go service options
- Additional charges for adding or removing a unit ($180) or setting your business up with software, alerts or reports
- Deposit of $90 per unit fitted (refundable)
Fleet Management System Costs
This combines GPS vehicle tracking with additional features and tools. Examples of these features include route planning, reports on fuel efficiency and driver IDs.
- Paid on a subscription basis (depends on number of cars/features)
- Extra charges (same as GPS tracking systems)
- Lengthier contracts & no Pay-as-you-Go option
Finding the right GPS tracking system for your business can be confusing. With so many options, it’s hard to discover the best one for you. To take the hassle out of buying a vehicle tracking system for your fleet, simply fill in our web form and let us help you!
We will provide you with free quotes from top Australian suppliers. Taking into account your answers to the web form questions, we will forward you the quotes best suited to your business needs. It’s quick, stress-free and easy, and you can start saving money today.