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Compare Vehicle Tracking Systems

Discover all you need to know about vehicle tracking devices and find the right system for your fleet with SpotDif.

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SpotDif's guide to comparing vehicle trackers

Welcome to the world of vehicle tracking—a key tool for improving fleet management and operational efficiency. The SpotDif guide to vehicle tracking is here to inform you of your options. Vehicle trackers and tracking systems offer more than just monitoring your fleet's daily routes. Looking to manage fuel costs, enhance security, and boost driver productivity? The right tracking system is key.


Why should you consider a vehicle tracking system for your fleet? While your cars and vans are on the move, you can stay updated with real-time information through your software dashboard. It's an effective way to observe driver behaviour and maximise the efficiency of your business vehicles. Plus, a fleet tracker becomes invaluable when you need that extra layer of security or to deter potential thieves.


With fuel costs on the rise, having a reliable tracking system is more important than ever. A vehicle tracker helps you streamline routes, cut fuel costs, and manage your expenses more effectively. Thinking about setting up a fleet tracking system might seem overwhelming, but don’t worry. Our free, no-obligation quote system lets you easily compare the best deals on tailor-made GPS fleet tracking solutions in your area. Once you know which tracker is best for you, you can use the SpotDif comparison platform to find the perfect solution. As operational costs climb, can you afford not to invest in a vehicle tracking service?


Save on vehicle tracking costs for your car or fleet with SpotDif. We’re your trusted comparison tool, making it easy to compare suppliers and secure the best deals on vehicle tracking systems.


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How many vehicles are in your fleet?

vehicle tracking on map

What is vehicle tracking?

Vehicle tracking is a straightforward yet powerful tool that helps you monitor and manage the whereabouts and activities of your vehicles. 


At its core, it involves installing a device in each vehicle, which then sends data back to a central system. This information typically includes the vehicle’s location, speed, and travel route, accessible to you in real time.

Types of vehicle tracking technology

When you’re looking to enhance the management of your fleet, understanding the different types of vehicle tracking technology can be a big part of choosing the right system for your needs. Let's explore three key tracking types: GPS, geofencing, and telematics.


GPS


GPS — or Global Positioning System —  is the most widely recognised form of vehicle tracking. This technology uses satellites to pinpoint the exact location of a vehicle. 


GPS Benefits 


You gain real-time data on every vehicle’s location, which is perfect for urgent dispatch updates, ensuring drivers stick to their routes, and for monitoring arrival times. It’s particularly useful for businesses that rely on precise timing, like delivery services or utility companies.


Geofencing


Imagine drawing a virtual boundary on a map — that's geofencing. When a vehicle enters or exits this boundary, you receive an alert. 


Geofencing Benefits


This technology is fantastic for enhancing security and operational efficiency. For instance, if a vehicle deviates from its designated area, you'll know immediately. It's ideal for businesses that need to control vehicle movements strictly, such as securing valuable cargo or ensuring drivers remain within certain operational zones.


Telematics


This technology combines telecommunications and informatics to provide insights beyond simple tracking. Telematics collects data on vehicle behaviour, including speed, engine start-up and shut-down, idling time, and more. 


Telematics Benefits


Improved safety, reduced maintenance costs, and better fuel management. This data helps you to manage driver performance and vehicle wear and tear, which is vital for long-term cost savings and safety compliance.

Looking for vehicle tracking hardware? We can help

At SpotDif we compare vehicle tracking hardware from a variety of suppliers and offer you a free quote, so you know you're always getting the best deal.  

Why consider vehicle tracking?

Are you looking for ways to make your fleet operations more efficient and secure? Let's explore how vehicle tracking can be a smart choice for your business.


1. It allows you to monitor and improve driver behaviour


Understanding how your drivers handle the road is key. A vehicle tracking system helps you identify and correct risky driving habits, like harsh braking and speeding. This leads to safer driving and fewer vehicle repairs.


2. Efficient route planning


Ever faced sudden road closures or traffic jams? Fleet tracking systems allow you to adjust routes on the go. This keeps your drivers on track and can help maintain your delivery schedules.


3. Your drivers can reduce their fuel consumption


Want to cut down on fuel costs? A GPS fleet tracking system can help you choose the best routes and promotes good driving practices that save fuel. This means lower operational costs for your business.


4. Enhanced security and safety


Along with dash cams, a tracking device can help keep your vehicles and drivers safe. Vehicle trackers can provide instant alerts for speeding, out-of-hours use, or movement outside designated areas. It’s like having a watchful eye on your fleet at all times. 


5. Compliance and reporting


Need to keep up with regulations? Our systems make it easy to track driver hours, vehicle use, and maintenance. This helps you stay compliant and avoid fines.


6. Improved customer service


Real-time tracking means you can offer customers accurate ETAs. This transparency builds trust and can improve your service reliability.


7. Increased productivity


According to the 2024 Fleet Technology Trends Report, higher productivity was the primary goal of 55% of businesses when looking to utilise fleet tracking systems. 

And, indeed a fleet tracker can help boost productivity by optimising routes and minimising downtime. This helps you keep costs down and ensure your operations run more smoothly.

van on bridge being tracked

Is vehicle tracking legal?

Yes, it's legal to fit a tracker for personal use or to track your fleet. However, you need to be mindful of the laws surrounding vehicle tracking to ensure you stay compliant.


You can legally install a tracker in any vehicle you own but it's illegal to:


  • Track someone without their knowledge.

  • Share tracking information if you own the vehicle but don't drive it.

  • Use tracking to engage in controlling, abusive, or coercive behaviour.


If you're implementing a fleet tracker system, it’s important to handle it correctly. We recommend being transparent with your team about the use of tracking technology. Explain how it benefits both the business and their own safety and efficiency. 


This approach not only builds trust but also enhances cooperation. Moreover, emphasising the security and efficiency benefits to your drivers can foster a positive reception towards the technology. We suggest the following steps:


  1.  Draft a policy that outlines how you'll collect, use, and store data.

  2.  Inform your employees about the vehicle fleet tracking system.

  3. Obtain their consent to be tracked.

  4. Restrict tracking to work hours only.

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How much do fleet tracking systems cost?

Wondering about the cost of fleet tracking systems? They can be more affordable than you might think. Fleet trackers start at just £5.99+VAT per vehicle, per month. 


However, depending on the features and complexity of the system you choose, prices can vary. For more advanced tracking solutions offering extensive analytics, real-time updates, and comprehensive reporting, you might see costs increase significantly. Some trackers may reach as high as £75 to £100 per vehicle, per month.


For a reliable system that covers most business needs, we recommend budgeting between £15 and £30 per vehicle per month.  


It’s important to consider the long-term value these systems bring. By optimising routes, improving driver efficiency, and reducing fuel consumption, the higher upfront costs can be offset by the substantial savings and productivity gains your business experiences.


Factors affecting the cost of fleet tracking devices 


We’ve looked at the fact that more advanced features can bump up the price of a vehicle tracking device. But what are these features, and what other factors impact the cost of a tracking system for your fleet?


Feature set


Systems with more features, like real-time tracking, route optimisation, and driver behaviour monitoring, tend to cost a bit more. These additional functionalities can greatly enhance fleet efficiency but do come at a premium.


Hardware quality


The build and sophistication of the tracking device matter too. Tougher devices that can handle rough conditions usually have a higher price tag. Investing in high-quality hardware ensures reliability and longevity, reducing the need for frequent replacements.


Software capabilities


If the system offers comprehensive data integration, an easy-to-use interface, and customisable reports, it might be on the pricier side. Advanced software capabilities provide deeper insights into your fleet operations, helping you make informed decisions.


Subscription services


Many systems come with a subscription for ongoing service support, data storage, and regular software updates. The cost varies based on the level of service. Subscriptions ensure your system stays up-to-date and fully functional without additional large upfront costs.


Installation complexity


Does it need professional installation? How complex is the setup? These factors can influence the overall cost. Professional installation ensures the system is set up correctly, but it can add to the initial investment.


Scale of deployment


How many vehicles are you tracking? Often, larger fleets can secure a discount. Bulk buying can significantly reduce the per-unit cost, making it more economical for larger operations.


Type of vehicles


The kind of vehicles you have could dictate the type of tracker needed, impacting the cost. For example, tracking heavy machinery or specialised vehicles might require more robust systems than standard cars.

What is the best type of vehicle tracking system in the UK?

Selecting the right vehicle tracking system depends largely on the specific needs of your vehicles and the nature of your business. So let’s break down what we feel are the best options for various types of vehicles and fleet sizes in the UK.


Best GPS tracker for lorries and trucks


For lorries and trucks, the ideal GPS tracker needs to withstand the rigorous demands of long hauls and constant use. We recommend a robust system that offers not only real-time tracking but also features like route logging, fuel monitoring, and advanced alert systems for unexpected events like deviations or unauthorised stops. 


These trackers help ensure that large vehicles are used efficiently and safely, reducing operational costs and enhancing security.


Best vehicle tracker for vans


Vans require a versatile tracking solution that balances functionality with cost-effectiveness. The best vehicle trackers for vans are those that offer real-time location updates, geofencing to alert when the van enters or exits predefined zones, and the ability to track driving patterns to improve fuel efficiency. These features are invaluable for businesses like delivery services or tradespeople who rely on timely and efficient operations.


Best tracking device for independent business drivers


Independent business drivers, such as freelancers or those in the gig economy, need a straightforward and affordable tracking solution. A compact, easy-to-install device with basic tracking capabilities and a user-friendly app is ideal. 


We suggest looking for devices that provide essential data like travel history and mileage logs — this can be helpful for managing schedules and maintaining accurate records for expense reporting.


Best vehicle tracking system for large fleets


Managing large fleets demands a comprehensive system that can seamlessly integrate with existing fleet management software. The best vehicle tracking systems for large fleets offer extensive customisation options, allowing fleet managers to tailor the system to their specific operational needs. 


These systems should include features like driver performance monitoring, maintenance scheduling, and extensive reporting tools that provide insights into fleet efficiency and help reduce costs. Additionally, top-tier systems often come with professional support and training to ensure that fleet managers can maximise the benefits of the tracking system.

See how much you can save with SpotDif

We can increase the efficiency of your vehicle fleet through assessing the best options for you from our range of suppliers. Get in touch to find out more.  

Installing a vehicle tracking device

As you can see, investing in fleet trackers smart move to boost your vehicle's security and efficiency. Whether it’s for keeping tabs on your own work car or managing a fleet, getting the installation right is key.


Where to install a vehicle tracker


Modern tracking devices are compact, so you have plenty of options for installation. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:


  • Keep it discreet: Position your device where it's hidden from view to prevent thieves from spotting and disabling it.


  • Keep it accessible: Ensure your vehicle tracking device is reachable in case you need to fix an issue or change its battery.


  • Security is key: If you're mounting the device on your car’s exterior, make sure it’s secure and weatherproof.


  • Don’t interfere: Avoid placing your tracker too close to other electronic devices in your car to prevent signal interference.


  • Test before you drive: Always check your device’s functionality before you secure it permanently.


Some ideal spots to install your vehicle tracking device include:

  • Under the car body

  • In the glove compartment

  • In the boot

  • Under a seat

  • Behind the radiator

  • On the front and rear bumper

  • In tyre wells

  • Behind the dashboard


DIY vs professional installation


Should you install the tracker yourself or call in a pro? Here’s what you need to think about:


  • Skills and tools: Have you got the technical skills and tools? If you’re comfortable with basic installations, DIY could save you money. But remember, a poor job might lead to issues later.


  • Installation complexity: Is the tracker a simple plug-and-play, or does it need wiring into your car's system? If it’s the latter, we suggest a professional might be best to handle it.


  • Warranty and support: Check if DIY installation affects the warranty. Some warranties remain valid only if a professional installs the device.


  • Time and cost: Yes, getting a professional might cost more, but think of it as investing in peace of mind. They’ll make sure it’s set up right and working perfectly.


  • Legal considerations: For business fleets, staying on the right side of the law is vital. A professional can help ensure your installation meets all legal requirements.


Still unsure? If your setup is straightforward and you’re handy with tech, a DIY installation could work. Otherwise, we recommend going professional to secure the best performance from your tracker.


Tips for installing vehicle trackers


If you are keen on fitting a tracker yourself, here are some important points:


Before you start


  • Check the device to determine if it’s a plug-and-play that connects to the cigarette lighter or OBD port, or if it needs to be hard-wired.


  • Make sure your device is suitable for DIY installation. 


  • Read the instructions — always refer to the manual included with your tracker, or find it on the manufacturer’s website.


  • Carry out legal compliance. If you’re installing fleet trackers, your employees must be aware and consent to tracking during work hours. 


Installing your tracker 


  • Check that it’s impossible to see or find the tracking device. 


  • Ensure the installation leaves no trace and your car looks the same as before. 


  • Make sure the tracker is compatible with your car’s electronics and that it works before you install it. 


  • Check the software security protocols before you connect your GPS tracker to your vehicle tracking system; otherwise, you could get hacked.

two vans being tracked on country road

Compare the best vehicle tracking deals in the UK with SpotDif

Now that you're clued up on vehicle tracking devices, it’s time to snag a fantastic deal. Finding the best fleet tracker for your business is fast and straightforward with our handy tracking device comparison tool.


We'll ask you a few simple questions to match you with the best deals and financing options. Once we’ve got your answers, you’ll get to compare the top offers that fit your budget and meet your specific needs. And the best part? You can take your time to make sure everything lines up just right for your business.

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Tansy Dando
Wealth and Business Writer
I aim to bring clarity to the complex sectors of wealth and business with researched content designed to help you make the best financial decisions for your needs.
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