Tuesday 3rd April
GPS Tracker for Car Dashboards – 5 Things to Look For!
Would you like to install or upgrade your GPS tracker for car and other vehicle dashboards, but are struggling to know what to look for?
Vehicle tracking has been one of the biggest changes to occur in the fleet management industry, providing in-depth data of vehicle movements, driver behaviour and communication between the team and their manager. It’s an addition many fleets have made to create efficient processes, improve customer service and save money on large expenses such as fuel.
When looking for the right vehicle tracking device, it can be frustrating when you can’t seem to find what you’re looking for. This becomes even more difficult if you’re not sure which are the most important factors to consider when looking at all the varying models to choose from.
Reduce your stress by knowing exactly what to look for. We’ve broken down some of the main factors to think about when choosing the best GPS tracking device for your needs.
GPS Tracker for Car Dashboards – 5 Things to Look For!
Top Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right GPS Tracker for Car Installation
Factor 1: Size
- FLEET SIZE: From a single taxi to a large fleet of trucks, business vehicle tracking is open to all. That said, it’s important to find the best deal for your needs, so if you’re looking to install car or van trackers in a large number of vehicles, you may be able to find a discounted deal for investing in a bulk package.
- VEHICLE TYPE: While some businesses are looking for a simple GPS tracker for car dashboards, others need more specific devices. This may include small tracking devices such as a motorcycle tracker which may be suitable for couriers.
- TRACKER SIZE: Different trackers will take up varying amounts of space depending on whether you want drivers to have in-cab features (such as planning their route or finding points of interest via a satnav-integrated tracker), if you need the device to be portable (plug and play devices require use of a vehicle’s OBD port) or whether it requires integration in the vehicle’s electrical system (hardwired devices). Check how large the device is, how it will be installed and whether it’s suitable for the type of vehicles in your fleet. Some trackers may get knocked out of place easily, so secure fitting is also essential.
Factor 2: Installation
- EASE: How easy the device is to install should be part of the decision-making process. Some trackers are easy to install yourself such as plug and play trackers which can be easily moved from vehicle to vehicle (ideal for rentals and infrequently used fleet). For those fleet managers requiring more advanced data, wider coverage and greater integration capabilities, hardwired tracking devices are required which will need to be professionally installed. Luckily, many suppliers offer this as part of their service when you buy from their brand.
- POWER: Battery life is another aspect to consider if using the device as a vehicle tracking system. This is important to remember if asking drivers to download a vehicle tracking app rather than using additional tracking equipment in each vehicle. Continued coverage will be reliant on sufficient battery power on their phones which may also cause issues if it’s their personal property (not to mention data usage!). For other tracking devices, check whether they’ll need charging or if they have a continuous power-connection.
- SECURITY: Consider how easily each tracker can be seen from the outside of the vehicle and how difficult they are to remove. Hardwired devices are more secure, but portable trackers can be removed from the vehicle when not in use. Many trackers also have anti-tamper alarms and unauthorised vehicle movement alerts.
Factor 3: Cost
- CONTRACT: Much like a phone contract, it’s important to know how long you’re locked into a deal for and how much you’re required to pay monthly. Also look for any one-off expenses involved such as installation and the cost of the device itself. Some devices will be more expensive than others as you add more features or require more advanced data. This will give you a good idea of the overall cost of using a tracking system in your fleet and whether it meets your budget requirements.
- WARRANTY: Always check the guarantee on any car tracking device you have installed to ensure you’re covered should you discover any faults or the tracker breaks down in the time after installation. This can save you stress, hassle and costs associated with holding tracking companies to account. Hopefully, the risks will be minimal if using a reputable brand, but it’s always wise to give yourself the peace of mind that you’re protected.
Factor 4: Data
The data you want to collect will also influence the type of tracking device most suitable for your business.
- REAL-TIME DATA: One of the functions of many types of GPS tracker is the ability to provide real-time information on the location of your vehicles. It’s beneficial to choose trackers which have been specifically designed for GPS live vehicle tracking if you require fleet management software which has the capabilities of providing location tracking in real-time rather than updates at specific intervals. This type of advanced tracker will connect to multiple satellites for enhanced accuracy. Some trackers also have the function of providing live traffic updates which can help drivers to avoid areas of congestion to plan the quickest route to their destination.
- INTEGRATION POSSIBILITIES: When looking at the main features you want for your trackers, ensure they have the relevant integration capabilities you require. This includes for features such as fuel card integration and mechanisms of the car such as ignition, steering, braking, locking, engine idling and speeds. This is particularly important if looking to monitor driver behaviour more closely.
- MOBILE APPS: Some types of vehicle tracker have tracking available through smartphone apps (e.g., Android/IOS) as well as a web portal. This is great for fleet managers who are on the move or not always in the office, and you can even set up alerts on some apps. This can send you an automatic message such as excessive speeding alerts so that you can address behaviour quickly or geo-fencing alerts if a driver goes out of a designated zone they’re assigned to.
Factor 5: Brands
- REPUTATION: Ensure you always use a reputable brand who have a reputation for excellence in the car tracking industry. Some of the most notable brands include TomTom, Teletrac Navman, Crystal Ball, Quartix, RAM Tracking and Fleetmatics – which is now known as Verizon Connect.
- PACKAGES: If there’s a specific brand you like, don’t just get the first tracker of theirs you see. Many car tracking device UK companies will have various packages you can choose from. For example, TomTom has three vehicle tracking packages which range from entry level (self-installation and basic reports) through to their expert tracking system which is built-in with a driver terminal for navigation, live traffic and communication features. Other brands such as Crystal Ball allow you to customise your own package with additional bolt-on features.
- FEATURES: The functions of each device will differ depending on the brand you choose. Teletrac Navman is great for things such as two way messaging, mapping and compliance functions. Crystal Ball has camera systems and journey playback. Verizon Connect has hardware diagnostic alerts. Ensure you understand the difference between the various brands and what they bring to the table.
Use the VTC to Find the Best Device for You
Finding the best car tracking device depends on your needs and the time and resources you have to dedicate to researching the different systems available. One of the easiest and most hassle-free ways to do this is by using a vehicle tracking channel such as the VTC. By speaking to one of our knowledgeable experts, they’ll establish the purpose of your tracking system, your business setup and features you want such as a car dash cam or accompanying mobile app.
How do we make your life easier?
- We have all the information at hand which would take you hours to collect yourself. This helps you to avoid wasted time spent researching devices which aren’t suitable for your needs.
- We’ll easily narrow down your options based on your individual requirements, pinpointing products which suit your needs and explaining the difference between them.
- We provide a personalised service, offering the chance to speak with an expert who will talk you through your choices, rather than trying to interpret results on a screen.
- We will identify which packages will provide you not only with the best value system for your circumstances, wish lists, budget and setup but also those which will provide the biggest ROI.
- We only recommend reliable products from trusted brands, giving you the peace of mind you’re getting a high quality system for your fleet.
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