A Guide to Vehicle Tracking Costs

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The cheapest fleet tracking systems cost £7.20 per vehicle, per month, while very advanced options can cost up to £79. But for a quality system that caters to all your needs, you should expect to pay £15 to £30 per vehicle, per month.

With rising fuel prices and inflation, having a reliable fleet tracking system that will help you optimise your routes and avoid wasting time and petrol is crucial. Therefore, having a clear outlook of your expenses and taming your fuel expenses should be the first item on your priority list as you look for your next fleet tracking system.

As with most things, exact tracking system costs depend on a number of factors. But don’t worry: this thorough breakdown will give you a clear picture of what you can expect to pay. And if you’d like to get prices straight from the system suppliers best suited to you, try our free quote-finding tool to receive tailored quotes.


Vehicle Tracking Costs(per vehicle):

  1. Entry level – Lease from £7.20pcm / Buy from £50
  2. Advanced level – Lease from £15pcm / Buy from £200
  3. Expert level – Lease from £20pcm / Buy from £300

The links above will allow you to compare quotes to find the right vehicle tracking system for your business.

how much does a tracker cost

How much does a tracker cost?

The most basic vehicle trackers start at around £7.20 per vehicle, per month to lease.

To buy an active tracking system outright, you’ll spend upwards of £200 per unit, plus installation costs of £50 to £100. Passive tracking systems can cost as little as £100 upfront.

Factors that can influence vehicle tracking costs

  • Your fleet (size and type of vehicle)
  • Your choice of tracker (active or passive?)
  • Your tracking system needs (location-based or Telematics?)
  • The tracker installation type (wired or plug-in)
  • Whether you buy outright or lease

The easiest way to compare tracker costs is to split the market into three tiers: entry-level, advanced, and expert. Each tier is associated with a particular fleet size and has a certain cost range, which you can see in the table below:

TierFleet SizeKey FeaturesCost
Entry Level1 – 20 vehiclesRoute mapping,
Fuel tracking
Lease from £7.20pcm
Buy from £50
Advanced Level21 – 50 vehiclesLive route tracking,
Live vehicle diagnostics,
Reporting tools
Lease from £15pcm
Buy from £200
Expert Level50+ vehiclesDriver management,
In-depth live tracking,
Sophisticated reports
Lease from £20pcm
Buy from £300

Note: Prices are ‘per vehicle’.

Check out the sections below for a more detailed breakdown of each tier.


Prices accurate as of  last update.

vehicle tracking costs by fleet size

Vehicle tracking costs by fleet size

Larger fleets generally require more in-depth tracking and telematics data than smaller ones, so will need a more sophisticated system.

As you can see from the table above, fleet size is the main factor in pushing up a fleet tracking system cost. Nearly all contracts are on a per vehicle basis.

We recommend different vehicle tracking solutions for different sized fleets. Larger fleets generally require more in-depth tracking and data than smaller ones, so will need a more sophisticated system. This applies to fleets of all types of vehicles, including lorries, vans, cars and motorbikes.

Pricing will also depend on the package you sign up for. For example, Trackit 247 charge £10 per month for basic tracking and £12 per month more advanced tracking. Radius provide different prices based on the length of the contract. A 12 month contract starts from £14 a month, a 36 month contract from £10.99 a month, and a 5 year contract from £8.99 a month.

All tracking systems should include route tracking and route mapping as standard. Let's see how the different levels of vehicle tracking compare after that:

Vehicle tracking features comparison
Traffic UpdatesReportingAuto AlertsGeofencingMaintenance TrackingDriver Safety Analysis
Entry-level
Advanced
Expert
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Entry-level fleet tracking costs (1-50 vehicles)

Entry level vehicle trackers are often plug-and-go options that you can buy off the shelf from around £50, depending on the manufacturer.

As you’d expect, they are a basic option. They’re usually passive, meaning they collect data but it won’t update automatically or be visible in real time.

If you have a smaller fleet and only need to map and track vehicles, then great – opt for a simple, entry-level tracker. If you’re after more specialised functionality – think traffic updates, fuel tracking and driver alerts – you’ll want something a little more hi-spec. Read on.

Did You Know?

32% of GPS tracking users reported a positive ROI in less than 6 months in 2021

Advanced level fleet tracking costs (50-100 vehicles)

You can rent more advanced fleet tracking systems from around £15 per calendar month, or buy for around £200 per device. Depending on your fleet size, this means costs can quickly build up – so make sure you’re getting the best deal you can. If you’re unsure about the best option for you, we can help.

Advanced trackers are typically active – they collect a whole host of data and feed it back in real time. And this works both ways – with an advanced system, drivers can receive alerts from HQ as well as traffic updates.

Of course, this added functionality bumps the price up. But larger fleets in particular find they can recoup this expense quickly as they become more efficient.

Expert level fleet tracking costs (100+)

If you have a fleet of 100 vehicles or more, it’s worthwhile investing in the highest tier of fleet management. These trackers are active, can track individual vehicle and driver performances, and are backed by a range of sophisticated reporting software. They are easily the best option for larger fleets, who face their biggest expenses in terms of fuel, vehicle maintenance and labour costs.

Expert level devices cost upwards of £300. It’s much more common – and cost-effective – to rent one. When leasing, you’ll be looking at a monthly cost of around £20 to £50+ per vehicle, as well as potentially paying for installation too.

This may seem expensive, but the level of sophistication in these devices mean they can provide real, tangible cost-saving benefits to your business, which can more than justify your outlay over the length of the contract.

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fleet tracking should you buy or rent

Fleet tracking: should you buy or rent?

There’s no right or wrong answer. Buying makes sense for some businesses, while others would do better to rent.

So, you’ve decided you need a vehicle tracking solution, and you’ve got a rough idea of how much one might cost. Now, to buy or to rent? That’s the question.

Both have their own benefits and drawbacks. Consider these carefully in order to maximise your return on investment:

Buying a vehicle tracking solution

If your business isn’t likely to change a lot in the near future, and you have the budget available, buying a vehicle tracking system often makes the most sense. Even with the additional costs that can occur, it will almost always work out to be the most cost-effective option over time.

Pros

  • Normally cheaper in the long run

Cons

  • Technology can become obsolete, meaning replacing your system
  • High initial cost, starting at £50 per tracker
  • Less ongoing support

Leasing a vehicle tracking solution

If you decide to rent a vehicle tracking system then you’ll have to pay less initially. However, this comes at the price of ongoing monthly fees, usually for a minimum of 24 months, which can rack up over time.

Renting will make more sense for companies that need the most up-to-date software, or which don’t currently have the budget required to purchase a system outright.

Pros

  • Cheaper initial cost
  • Free ongoing support and maintenance from supplier

Cons

  • Normally more expensive in the long run

Did You Know?

64% of fleet managers are currently using a GPS fleet tracking solution in their organization

Fleet tracking contracts

To get the best deal for your business, pay close attention to the type of vehicle tracking contract you’re signing. Some companies offer flexible pricing, where you pay slightly more upfront for the devices and subsequently pay a lower monthly fee. Likewise, the opposite is also true, so talk with your provider to find the right deal for your business.

There are two main options available to you: perpetual licenses and subscription-based licenses. Both have pros and cons, which we’ll look at in more depth below:

Perpetual licenses

Perpetual licenses require you to buy the fleet tracking devices and software upfront with no restrictions on use.

Pros

  • You can use the fleet tracking device and software forever
  • Low monthly costs
  • Can work out cheaper than a subscription over the course of the contract

Cons

  • Very high initial costs
  • Would still need to pay for support and maintenance

Subscription-based licenses

With a subscription-based license, you pay a monthly fee in order to continue using the fleet tracking software and devices. Many fleet tracking providers will charge you a modest upfront fee for the devices and then pay the monthly fee afterwards.

Pros

  • Significantly lower upfront costs
  • Typically free device and software upgrades
  • Maintenance and support is often covered in the monthly costs

Cons

  • Need to budget for monthly charges, that can start at £7.50 per vehicle, per month
  • Financial investment can build up significantly over the length of the contract
  • May need to return the devices and software at the end of the contract
  • Potential device removal / contract termination fees
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Additional fleet tracking costs

Regardless of the contract you sign, keep an eye out for these extra costs:

  • Setup and installation costs
  • Customisation or bespoke design costs
  • The cost of integrating the fleet tracking software with existing systems and software
  • Outside technical support for software systems
  • Incurring charges if your vehicles travel outside of a certain area, e.g. city limits
  • Roaming charges for vehicles using GPS signals outside of city limits
  • Termination fees – although these vary by supplier

You can easily identify and budget for these extra costs, just be sure to ask the right questions and read your contract thoroughly.


6 tips to save money on your vehicle tracking

1. Compare quotes

Yes, it’s an obvious one – but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t collect a variety of tracker prices before making their choice. It could save you money, and needn’t be a hassle. Fill in our free comparison form to get quotes from up to four Expert Market-approved suppliers — hassle-free!

2. Be wary of longer contracts

If you do opt for renting, look at how long you’ll be tied into a contract for. If it’s a number of years, think about looking for a different option, or reconsider buying a system outright. Also be wary of contracts that renew automatically.

3. Check your tracking system is scalable

Your vehicle tracker should help your business grow, not become an obstacle. Check out the prices and protocol for adding more vehicles to your system. If it seems complicated or costly, it might be better to look elsewhere.

4. Double check the equipment

This doesn’t mean manually examine every tracking device you’ll be using, but check whether the SIM cards in the GPS trackers are locked to a single network. Locked SIMs can struggle for signal in remote areas, making your vehicle tracking system redundant. A SIM card that works with multiple networks should have no trouble finding signal whenever, wherever.

5. Check how often the GPS ping updates

An industry standard GPS updates itself with a fresh location ping about every two to five minutes. However, opting for slower pings can result in a cheaper monthly bill, although at the cost of reduced tracking and location accuracy. Higher frequency pings increase accuracy and the amount of data tracked, but will be more expensive in the long run – think about which should be a priority for you.

6. Find out what training is provided

A tracking system that seems cost effective can quickly become less appealing if you can’t get it to work properly! Most suppliers tend to include some complimentary training as standard, but it’s good to be clear on how many employees this extends to, and whether support will be ongoing.


Next steps: how to get your fleet tracker

When it comes to choosing and paying for a vehicle tracker, you’ve got plenty of options. Expert Market is here to help find the right choice for you.

Our team fully researches all articles and has an excellent relationship with some of the best suppliers around. We can help you find the best deal for your fleet.

Start saving money on fuel costs and improve productivity by getting your free vehicle tracking price quotes today. Simply fill in our free comparison tool with information about your fleet, and we'll match you up with the vehicle tracking system companies that can best cater to your needs. They'll then be in touch directly with tailored, no-obligation quotes, and answers to your questions. It's a fast and easy way to compare the right systems for you.

Written by:
Julia Watts author headshot photo
Specialising in business software, Julia writes jargon-busting guides about VoIP, fleet management, dash cams, fuel cards, and more. Having spent almost a decade writing for entrepreneurs and reviewing business solutions, she loves helping exciting ventures – big or small – to flourish.
Reviewed by:
Picture of Chris Demetriou
Chris is Head of Corporate Fleet, Transport and Accessible Community Transport at the London Borough of Islington, where he is responsible for over 500 vehicles and 150+ staff as the local authority’s licence holder. With more than 20 years of overall public sector experience, he has extensive knowledge of all things fleet management and vehicle tracking, with a specialist interest in fleet electrification. Chris is also reviewing Expert Market’s vehicle tracking articles with a keen eye to everything from fleet and driver risk compliance to forward-looking trends like V2G (vehicle-to-grid).