Samsara Review and Pricing 2023: The Best Fleet Management System for Managing Vehicles

Samsara logo
Laurice Zapanta

Samsara may be fairly new to the fleet management industry, but it already outranks its competitors, scoring 4.6/5 in our in-depth research and taking the title of the best system for managing vehicles. 

In this review, we’ll discuss the key factors you need in a fleet management system: locating vehicles, reducing fleet costs, and vehicle management and monitoring. We’ll also look at Samsara’s pricing, pros and cons, standout features, and more

Here at Expert Market, we’ve been helping our readers find the right business solutions for over 10 years. Read on to learn more about Samsara and why it might be a good fit for your fleet.

With many options available, finding the right fleet management system for your business is a challenge. Our quick and free quote comparison tool will help you compare quotes from top providers to help you make the right choice.

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Samsara

4.6
Pricing (Software)

From $27 to $33/month

Best For

Managing vehicles

Samsara’s Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Superb vehicle management features
  • Top-tier vehicle tracking
  • Efficient driver management system

Cons

  • No installation support
  • Not cost-effective
  • Strict data limit on hotspots

Pro: Superb Vehicle Management Features

With a perfect 5/5 score in our vehicle management analysis, Samsara takes the top spot alongside Verizon. As one of the best products for managing vehicles, Samsara gives you the complete fleet management experience. You can:

  • Track the fuel usage of every vehicle. You can sort by vehicle name, driver, the amount of fuel used, estimated fuel costs, runtime, and idle time. 
  • Review vehicle diagnostics by producing automatic reports. You are also alerted whenever a faulty system is detected, which Samsara will automatically sync with your data. 
  • Schedule regular maintenance checks and review maintenance records.
  • Track how fast your driver is going. For easier interpretation, you can review this data using convenient graphs to see the speed your drivers are currently going.
  • Review your total distance traveled and evaluate the average usage of all your vehicles. This feature is handy for fleet managers as they can easily track return on investments and know which equipment is worth investing in in the future. 
  • Summarize your equipment by sorting them based on specific tags, like active engine hours. You can also generate high-level reports about this. 
  • Prevent theft attempts by sending alerts if the vehicle is unplugged from its gateway. 
  • Monitor engine and cargo temperature to prevent damage and loss of product.

Pro: Top-tier Vehicle Tracking

Samsara scores 4.9/5 in our vehicle tracking analysis, second to Verizon, which ranks first with a perfect score in this category. 

Samsara helps you track your drivers and vehicles better by showing all information about live/active locations. Its traffic alerts efficiently overlay your maps to know which roads currently have heavy traffic, so you can avoid these roads and save time. For geofence alerts, you can customize these settings to help you monitor if your driver enters or exits a geofence area.

Pro: Efficient Driver Management System

Samsara scores a perfect 5/5 for driver management analysis. Its driver portal gives you an overview of your drivers’ active driving times, start and end locations, distance, and driver information. It has Kiosk Mode, where drivers can edit their on and off-duty statuses for accurate logs. 

If you need to send an urgent instruction to your driver, you can easily send them a direct message on the dashboard. Samsara will notify your driver, but they cannot open messages while in Driving Mode. If your driver attempts to access the messages while driving, Samsara will send a warning message. 

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Con: No Installation Support

Samsara is a powerhouse in fleet management systems, but one of its drawbacks is that it does not have installation support, ending up with a score of 4/5 in our help and support analysis. You will have to install the entire system yourself. It does have a Knowledge Centre you can refer to for videos and articles, but that’s it. In case you need more assistance, it offers 24/7 phone support.

If this is something you absolutely need, then your best bet is RAM, which scores 4.4/5 in our help and support research. RAM schedules set-ups with its engineers at your most convenient time. 

Con: Not Cost-effective

Pricing is also a defining factor for most customers, and this is where Samsara drops to sixth place, scoring just 2.5/5 in our pricing analysis. 

Samsara’s average starting price is $27 to $33 per vehicle, per month. The pricing depends on the contract length, fleet size, and the features you want. Another reason why we scored it down is that you have to pay extra for some of its features, such as the Driver ID token.

Though it keeps up with the industry norm of setting bespoke price plans, it is not as cost-effective as RAM and Quartix, which score 4.6/5 and 4.4/5, respectively for pricing in our research. RAM offers bespoke pricing plans based on fleet size and contract length. Quartix, on the other hand, offers $14.90 per vehicle, per month as their entry pointwhereas the most expensive price plan starts at just $22.90 per vehicle, per month. However, their cheaper price also accounts for the features they are missing out on, such as vehicle diagnostics. 

Con: Strict Data Limit on Hotspots

Samsara’s Data Usage Report feature summarizes your monthly fleet Wi-Fi usage. You can use this to examine Wi-Fi data usage trends and determine whether your fleet requires Wi-Fi driver training or requires different coverageAs helpful as this is for drivers and fleet managers, Samsara has a strict data limit. Once you breach this, you can no longer connect other applications to the Wi-Fi hotspot (other than the Samsara app),which could hinder your data reports and monitoring. 

How Much Does Samsara Cost?

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Samsara

Pricing (Software)

From $27 to $33/month

While Samsara does offer bespoke pricing depending on your contract length, fleet size, and chosen features, there are more affordable options. This is backed up by our research and brand analysis, where Samsara’s value for money scores 2.5/5, falling to sixth place behind RAM (4.6/5), Quartix (4.4/5), GPS Trackit (3.9/5), Teletrac Navman (3.4/5), and Linxup (3.2/5).

For starters, Samsara has a relatively higher entry point at an average of $27 per vehicle, per month. RAM, which tops our pricing analysis, offers affordable bespoke price plans, whereas Quartix offers a starting price of $14.90. Additionally, Samsara’s prices exclude hardware and accessories. 

To unlock features that will add convenience to your fleet, you need to upgrade the subscription by adding tokens and accessories. This includes Driver ID, a wearable key fob that allows you to track driver vehicle usage without signing into the Samsara Driver App. It costs an additional $9.99. 

For a quick way to compare quotes from top fleet management providers, use our free quote comparison tool, and we will match you up with the best suppliers for your needs. They’ll then be in touch with free, no-obligation quotes tailored to your business.

Samsara's Standout Features

Samsara gives you complete control over your fleet through various intelligent tracking devices, safety cameras, and industry-leading reporting features.

Swift Data Refresh

When it comes to tracking, you want to get as close to real-time updates as possible. Good news: Samsara has one of the fastest data refresh rates in the industry! It refreshes data every 30 to 60 seconds, giving you the most up-to-date information about your vehicles and their locations, driver behavior, and distance. 

Excellent Route Optimization

Route optimization allows for less driving time, which eventually means lower fuel costs – a great perk, especially in this economy. You can also increase the number of daily stops and decrease the time between deliveries.

Our research into Samsara shows that it stands out when it comes to route optimization. This is available for a maximum of 20 stops, helping your drivers take the most efficient routes by setting stops with the minimal driving time. 

Comprehensive Fuel Usage Reports

Samsara’s fuel monitoring feature is convenient and comprehensive, and it’s what every fleet manager needs to stay on top of fuel usage and to cut down costsUnlike Teletrac, it provides a detailed breakdown of the fuel usage of all the vehicles in your fleet. The details include the vehicle name, current driver, current fuel level, amount of fuel used, estimated fuel costs, idle time, and runtime. You can also run these reports automatically on your most convenient setting, be it per day, week, or month. 

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What Kind of Business is Samsara Best For?

Our in-depth research into Samsara singles it out as the best for managing vehicles. Vehicle management features help you track your drivers and vehicles, manage fuel and labor costs, and plan the most efficient routes for your drivers and customers, to make your operation run smoothly.

As such, we recommend Samsara for fleets with many vehicles to manage and those who rely highly on deliveries. Its vehicle management features will help you run your business smoothly and efficiently.

Want to know if Samsara is suited for your business’ needs? Try our free quote comparison tool. We will match you up with top fleet management providers so you can find the perfect one for your business.

How Does Samsara Compare with Other Fleet Management Systems?

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Samsara

Verizon Connect

Teletrac Navman TN360

Azuga

RAM

GPS Trackit

Linxup

Quartix

Spireon

4.6
4.7
4.5
4.4
4.3
4.2
4.0
3.5
4.1
Pricing (Software)

From $27 to $33/month

Pricing (Software)

From $20 to $40/month

Pricing (Software)

From $25/month

Pricing (Software)

From $25 to $35/month

Pricing (Software)

Available on request

Pricing (Software)

From $23.95

Pricing (Software)

Starts at $25 per month

Pricing (Software)

From $14.90 to $22.90

Pricing (Software)

Bespoke pricing depending on fleet size, contract length, and features

Best For

Managing vehicles

Best For

Construction industry fleets

Best For

Managing drivers

Best For

Efficient routes

Best For

Affordability

Best For

Smaller fleets

Best For

Minimizing downtime

Best For

Fleets of cars

Best For

Fast updates

Samsara ranks second overall in our market analysis with a score of 4.6/5. Here’s how Samsara matches up with other fleet management systems in the US:

Samsara’s Vehicle Tracking Features

Samsara, with a vehicle tracking score of 4.9/5, is the second-best overall in our tracking analysis and has everything you need to track your drivers and vehicles efficiently. It has one of the fastest refresh times, refreshing data every 30 to 60 seconds. However, if you want quick refresh rates at a lower cost, then go for RAM. It’s almost at par with its 60-second refresh rate. However, it misses automatic route optimization, theft prevention, and fuel efficiency, among other features.

In terms of alerts and notifications, what sets Samsara apart is that you can create webhooks in your account, which helps integrate alerts into different vehicles. Its live/active tracking features are also more detailed compared to Verizon. Verizon allows you to track all vehicles on the map by color: green is for driving; red is for stopped; blue is for no GPS; and orange is for idle. Samsara, on the other hand, lets you filter by driver, vehicle, or gateway, and it will produce all the information from the current location to the driver’s name. 

Samsara’s Ability to Reduce Fleet Costs

Having features that can help you cut down your fleet costs is a significant benefit, especially considering the current economic state. As such, our research asked our readers to determine which factors they look at to reduce their management costs. This led us to automatic route optimization, traffic alerts, and mileage. 

Among all the providers we’ve looked into, only Verizon and Samsara offer automatic route optimization. However, Samsara, with a score of 4.9/5 in our independent vehicle tracking analysis, provides a more thorough and accurate calculation of start and stop points. It optimizes a route with a maximum of 20 stops to reduce driving time. Then, it analyzes which order of stops yields the shortest distance traveled while keeping the Start Location and Last Stop constant. After determining the optimal order, it computes the Time on Site report to determine the average stop duration based on the recent driving history.

It also provides mileage data to enhance maintenance reporting, as it factors in your mileage to automatically determine whether it’s time for you to get your vehicles checked. It is more intuitive than RAM, which provides maintenance scheduling based on your total mileage but does not have automatic options. Instead, it only allows you to set self-reminders for your maintenance.

Traffic alerts are also a yes for Samsara, as it gives you the convenience of overlaying your tracking map to help you avoid jam-packed roads on your journey. However, it is worth noting that Verizon also has this feature, with other side benefits. Aside from overlapping your maps, you can also check if there are road closures along the way.

Samsara’s Vehicle Management Features

Our in-depth research into fleet management systems shows that Samsara is the best for managing vehicles. With a perfect 5/5 score in our vehicle management analysis, it checks all the boxes to help you manage your fleet smoothly, from fuel monitoring, automatic data integration, maintenance scheduling, and theft prevention.

Verizon, its closest competition, offers these too, but you have to upgrade your subscription. Certain Verizon subscriptions (depending on your tailored quote and business needs) can schedule automatic maintenance and maintain these records. As for theft prevention, Verizon only sets time limits to detect theft attempts. 

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Does Samsara Have Good Customer Reviews?

To back up our claims, we checked Samsara’s customer reviews on Capterra, Trustpilot, and G2, where we got an average customer score of 3.8/5. While most of its users applaud its stellar tracking features, this also proves to be a point of improvement for Samsara. Some users report having difficulty driving in traffic as it can be too sensitive. Here’s what they have to say:

Customer review

I enjoy having the insight that it provides us. Literally, with what I can see on the road and all of the back-end data, it can provide us. Samsara helps us remain compliant in our industry. So its routing functions are a leading example of what vehicle tracking should look like. Lastly, the driver app is what comes in the clutch to wrap it all up. Our staff finds the app very intuitive, and it rarely faults. It is official and its documents function helps us log valuable information that we turn into presentable data! (sic)

L. Houston S., Fleet Manager
Logistics & Supply Chain -
Customer review

Our experience with Samsara has been wonderful thus far. Their products are easy to use, a breeze to install, and training our drivers on how to use the Samsara Driver app has been smooth as silk. We did not previously have camera systems installed in our vehicles but both the drivers and management immediately saw the utility, and Samsara's pricing made it an easy decision. (sic)

Mike G.,
- January 14, 2022
Customer review

Real-Time tracking is helpful in our business to have our vehicles location for giving delivery times to customers that aren’t present when the deliveries are made, giving the time/date and a picture of our vehicle at their facility helps with proof of delivery.Maintenance tracking is helpful for keeping vehicles service intervals to be done on time with the alerts to show up before mileage has been reaching.

Following distance notifications can be annoying when driving in heavy traffic because the settings are fairly sensitive. Downloading footage from cameras can be very slow at times, not sure if that has to do with the cellar service or if there could be an update to improve that retrieval. (sic)

Loren M., General Manager
- October 27, 2022
Customer review

Samsara is a great way for companies to keep a watchful eye on their transit fleet and what is going on with each and every vehicle. This program includes quite a bit of detailed information, very informative reports, statistics, analytics, and so much more. You can use the GPS feature to see exactly where specific fleet vehicles are at so that you can reroute them if you have something unexpected come up, or you can keep an eye on which routes they are taking to help maximize efficiency which has been a huge help. (sic)

Tim B.,
- April 2021
Verdict

Our research shows that Samsara is the best system for managing vehicles, scoring an overall 4.6/5 in our independent research into fleet management systems. We’d strongly recommend it if you want to level up your fleet efficiency and reduce fuel expenses. Any fleet manager would benefit from its automatic alerts, synchronized reports, and detailed fuel monitoring functionality. Similarly, drivers also get their jobs done much safer, faster, and smoother because of their driver safety and behavior features. They link you up with your drivers, which is super helpful for urgent instructions, and they also employ driver safety alerts. 

However, its price points may not fit into every business’s budget. So if you’re looking for something nearly as powerful as Samsara but will cost less, then your next best option is Teletrac Navman TN360. At a starting price of $25 per vehicle, per month, it offers top-of-the-line driver management features to keep your drivers safe and ensure utmost operational efficiency. 

To help you find the right fleet management system, try our free quote comparison tool. It’s quick and simple. All you need to do is answer a few easy questions, and we’ll match you up with the top providers that will match your business needs. They’ll then be in touch to provide free, tailored, no-obligation quotes for you to compare.

Written by:

Laurice first fell in love with words at seven years old. Today, she drives her passion by writing informative content about fleet management systems and vehicle tracking solutions for Expert Market. When she’s not writing, she’s indulging her profound love for all things pink or caffeine-infused.