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Vehicle Tracking System Information

Vehicle Tracking System - making the right choice.

Finding the best vehicle tracking system for your business can be difficult, especially as there's plenty of vehicle tracking solutions to for you to choose from.  Making the right choice can be daunting and time consuming.

In fact, there probably isn't one particular tracking system that is definitely the best. But there will be a vehicle tracking supplier whose products and services meet your particular needs and who're reliable, well established and offer good customer support at the right price.

Almost any business that has a mobile workforce - sales people, delivery vans, engineers - can benefit from utilising a vehicle tracking system in there fleet.

Your starting point is deciding what you want the vehicle tracking system to do and then comparing that with the potential vehicle tracking solutions available.  It'd be wrong for you to believe that Vehicle Tracking is a commodity product i.e. that they're all offer the same features and differ only by price.

Using a vehicle tracking system, in isolation, won't provide financial benefits to the business, but the data produced by the system and how you use it will affect performance.

Questions you should ask yourself before you start searching for a vehicle tracking system should include:

  • Is the business prepared to take appropriate action using the data provided by a vehicle tracking system? Disciplining drivers who aren't performing or who abuse their vehicle for example
  • Is the business prepared to use the information to make changes to fleet strategy, customer services, health and safety etc ,or does it simply want to know where it's vehicles are? If they're stolen for example?

What you should do is to build a wish-list of the things you need vehicle tracking to do.  What you'd like to improve and how improvements would financially impact the business.

Some reasons why you might implement vehicle tracking include:

  • Increased driver productivity.  Vehicle tracking permits you to monitor time spent travelling to and from destinations, time spent with customers, breaks and stoppage time.  You could also incorporate vehicle tracking into bonus schemes - rewarding fuel efficient drivers, drivers who are most effective.  Then the tracking system can be seen as a benefit to the driver and not "big brother".
  • You can reduce your insurance premiums.  You can train your drivers using best-practice data, make them more aware of their driving habits (over revving, heavy breaking etc)  and reducing accidents
  • Your maintenance and repair costs should reduce too through improved driver habits, better journey planning etc

When it comes to considering the vehicle tracking companies, obviously you'll want the solution that closely matches the benefits you need.   It's probably important not to buy without looking around and getting several options before making a decision.  In order to make the most appropriate decision get a range of prices and solutions from between three to five vehicle tracking suppliers.

Make sure you get terms and conditions, warranty details and finance options from each one.

Finance options are going to be an important consideration.  Most vehicle tracking companies offer purchase and lease or finance options and these tend to have 3 or 5 year terms.  However some tracking companies now offer more flexible options such as "pay-as-you-go".  When selecting your method of payment, you should be fully aware of what the costs include.   Some vehicle tracking providers offer an all-inclusive price, while others charge separately for the various elements such as hardware, installation and data.

So what do you need to consider when looking at tracking companies?

  1. The level of customer service provided - what actually is available; what assistance is provided to make sure the system integrates successfully into your business; what happens if there's a problem after-hours.  Do they offer service level agreements?  Don't just take the sales person's word - make an out-of-hours call and find out for yourself if someone answers.  You might not be best pleased if you find that the reason one company is "low" on price is because they don't support the product.
  2. What is the coverage for the vehicle tracking system - does it cover the whole country?  Are there any black-spots?  Is data backed-up if the system goes down for a time?
  3. What are the terms of the contract? Do they update the product throughout the contract period so you keep up with technological developments?
  4. Are there any additional costs? These might include:
  1. Installation costs or user fees - what happens if you increase or decrease your fleet size and more users to the tracking system?
  2. Monthly subscription costs
  3. Annual software licence fees over and above hardware costs
  4. GPS data transfer - are there costs involved in getting the real-time data
  5. What call-out costs are there for repairs/maintenance
  6. Software updates - what does it cost to keep up with the potential developments in vehicle tracking technology

Finally make sure that you ask for a demonstration.  A vehicle tracking company should be able to offer you a live demonstration that shows their product, its features and quantify some benefits.  Often they'll provide a tracking unit for one of your vehicles so you can see first hand how the system functions.  Ideally they'll provide you with login details so that you can fully review the system, its functionality and its reporting capabilities.

Many businesses are already benefiting from vehicle tracking. By simply making one extra delivery or service call a week, or reducing fuel consumption, a business can quickly generate a return on their vehicle tracking investment.

For more information on vehicle tracking please read our buying guide.

If you would like to get quotes from up to five leading vehicle tracking suppliers click here.


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