Mar 18, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Commercial Vehicle Tracker for Your Business

In order to stay at the forefront of your industry, it’s essential for your business to stay up to date with the latest in technology. For fleets, this is advanced vehicle tracking.

These systems not only provide real-time location data but also deliver insights into vehicle usage, driver behaviour, and operational efficiency. Implementing a commercial vehicle tracker can significantly reduce operational costs, improve safety, and ensure customer satisfaction by enabling timely deliveries and services.


How Do Vehicle Tracking Systems Work?

Vehicle tracking systems utilise Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to monitor the location and movements of vehicles in real time. These systems use a GPS device installed in the vehicle, which communicates location data to a central server. The information is then processed and visible to fleet managers via specialised software applications or web-based platforms.

Beyond location tracking, modern systems offer a suite of features designed to optimise fleet management, enhance safety protocols, and provide comprehensive insights into fleet operations.

Real-Time Tracking Capabilities

The main feature of commercial vehicle tracking is the ability to see live updates on the whereabouts and status of each vehicle in your fleet. Real-time tracking is critical for operational efficiency, allowing fleet managers to make informed decisions on routing, dispatching, and managing emergencies.

This immediacy not only streamlines operations but also supports dynamic scheduling and route optimisation, leading to reduced fuel consumption and improved customer service.

Geofencing Features

Geofencing allows you to create virtual boundaries around a geographical area. When a vehicle enters or exits this area, the system sends an alert straight to your mobile device. This feature enhances security by monitoring unauthorised vehicle use and helps in asset protection.

From a productivity standpoint, geofencing can automate timekeeping for drivers, track time spent at customer sites, and improve route planning, thus enhancing overall operational efficiency.

Driver Behaviour Monitoring

Monitoring driver behaviour is essential for maintaining safety standards and reducing the risk of accidents. Vehicle tracking systems can analyse driving patterns, including speeding, harsh braking, and rapid acceleration.

What’s more, the above are all highly inefficient driving techniques which burn through fuel at a quicker rate, in turn costing the business hundreds of pounds.

Insights from this data can be used for targeted training and feedback, promoting safer and more efficient driving habits.

Fleet Analytics and Reporting

The power of data cannot be overstated in fleet management. Advanced vehicle tracking systems offer comprehensive analytics and reporting tools, providing fleet managers with actionable insights into fleet performance, efficiency, and areas for improvement.

These reports can cover aspects such as fuel usage, idle times, maintenance schedules, and driver performance, enabling strategic decision-making and operational optimisation.

Maintenance Alerts

Proactive maintenance is crucial for minimising vehicle downtime and extending the lifespan of your fleet. Fleet tracking systems can be configured to send maintenance alerts based on mileage, engine hours, or time intervals.

These alerts ensure that vehicles receive timely service, reducing the likelihood of breakdowns and costly repairs. By keeping your fleet in optimal condition, you can avoid disruptions and maintain a high level of service reliability.

Assessing Your Business Needs

Size and Type of Fleet

When selecting a vehicle tracking system, the size and diversity of your fleet are key considerations. A small fleet of delivery vans will have different tracking needs compared to a large, mixed fleet of trucks, vans, and cars.

Larger fleets may benefit from more sophisticated systems offering a wide range of features, such as detailed analytics and driver management tools.On the other hand, for smaller fleets, simpler systems that focus on essential tracking and reporting might be more cost-effective and straightforward to manage.

Specific Business Operations

The specific nature of your business operations should dictate the features you need in a vehicle tracking system. For instance, if timely delivery is critical to your business, look for systems with advanced route planning and traffic information, such as ours at Fleetsmart.

If you're in the construction industry, you might prioritise tracking systems that offer rugged plant tracking devices for heavy machinery and the ability to monitor equipment usage. Assessing your business objectives and daily operations will help you identify which tracking system features are essential, nice to have, or unnecessary for your business needs.


Your chosen vehicle tracking system should be able to grow with your business. Scalability is crucial, as the addition of new vehicles or the expansion into new areas of operation should not necessitate a complete system overhaul.

Look for solutions that allow you to easily add more devices or features as your fleet expands. Additionally, consider whether the system can integrate with other business management tools you might adopt in the future, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems or logistics software.

Cost Considerations

Initial Investment vs. Long-Term Value

Understanding the cost breakdown of vehicle tracking solutions is vital to making an informed decision. The initial investment includes the cost of hardware (the tracking devices) and any installation fees.

However, the long-term value comes from the return on investment (ROI) these systems can provide. Effective vehicle tracking can lead to significant savings in fuel costs, reduced overtime claims, lower insurance premiums, and less wear and tear on vehicles. When evaluating systems, weigh the upfront costs against the potential bottom line benefits your business could realise over time.

Subscription Services and Fees

Most vehicle tracking solutions come with ongoing costs, typically in the form of monthly or annual subscription fees. These fees often cover access to the tracking software, data storage, technical support, and system updates. The pricing structure can vary widely depending on the provider and the level of service.

Some may offer tiered subscription levels, with more advanced features and analytics available at higher tiers. It's important to understand what is included in your subscription and whether there are any additional costs, such as for extra users or data overages. Evaluate the ongoing costs in the context of the benefits each system offers to ensure it fits within your budget while meeting your fleet management needs.

At Fleetsmart, our vehicle tracking prices start from £6.95/month.

Installation and Integration

The installation process of vehicle trackers can vary significantly between providers and can have a notable impact on your fleet operations. Some systems require professional installation, which may result in vehicle downtime but ensures the device is correctly integrated and fully functional from the start.

On the other hand, many providers offer self-install devices that can be quickly and easily set up by your team, minimising disruption to your daily operations. When evaluating options, consider the logistics of installation for your specific fleet size and vehicle availability to ensure minimal impact on your business activities.

At Fleetsmart, we offer both professionally installed and self-fit vehicle trackers to suit your business no matter what.

Choosing a Provider

Reputation and Reviews

Selecting a reputable vehicle tracking provider is vital to ensure you receive a reliable, high-quality service. Research the provider's track record, industry reputation, and customer reviews to gauge their reliability and the effectiveness of their solutions.

Look for testimonials from businesses similar to yours in size or industry to better understand how the provider’s system could fit your specific needs. Reputable providers are often recognised through industry awards, certifications, and positive feedback from current users, indicating their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

At Fleetsmart, we have over 200 five star reviews on Trustpilot, rating us ‘Excellent’. Check out what our customers have to say here.

Commercial Vehicle Tracker FAQs

How do vehicle tracking systems work?

Vehicle tracking systems use GPS technology to monitor the real-time location of vehicles. They collect data on vehicle movements, speed, and direction, which is then transmitted to a central system. Fleet managers can access this information via a web-based interface or mobile app to monitor their fleet in real time.

Can I install a vehicle tracker myself, or do I need a professional?

The level of support needed during installation depends on which type of vehicle tracker you opt for. At Fleetsmart, we offer both self-fit and professionally installed commercial vehicle trackers. With your self-fit trackers, we include detailed instructions on how to install the device, with a helpful video for added instruction.

How can vehicle tracking systems improve driver safety?

Vehicle tracking systems monitor driving patterns and behaviours, such as speeding, harsh braking, and rapid acceleration, which can be indicators of unsafe driving practices. Fleet managers can use this data to identify drivers who may need additional training and to implement policies that promote safer driving habits.

Will installing a vehicle tracker lower my insurance costs?

Many insurance companies offer discounted premiums for vehicles equipped with tracking systems because they can help recover stolen vehicles more quickly and encourage safer driving behaviours. Contact your insurance provider to discuss potential discounts for implementing a vehicle tracking system.

Can I track my vehicles outside of the UK?

The ability to track vehicles internationally depends on the coverage provided by your vehicle tracking system provider. At Fleetsmart, we offer European Tracking, allowing you to track your vehicles anywhere in Europe.

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