Tag: car tracking device

Car Tracking Device UK Facts vs. Fiction – Debunking the Myths

Car Tracking Device UK Facts vs. Fiction – Debunking the Myths

Car Tracking Device UK Facts vs. Fiction – Debunking the Myths

Vehicle Tracking / Friday 20th April

With so much information about the different types of vehicle tracking system out there, it’s no wonder that trying to work out the best tracking device for your fleet has become a mammoth challenge.

With conflicting information from different sources, as well as constant changes in the car tracking device UK industry, it’s not unusual for fleet managers to become overwhelmed when trying to look for the most suitable software for their fleet.

To help you, we’ve put together the following vehicle tracking guide to sort the truth from the fake news.

The Car Tracking Device UK Guide to the Truth About Telematics Software

Dilemma 1: “Vehicle tracking costs too much”

One of the most common reasons we hear for not wanting to invest in telematics software is the worry that it’s too expensive and the benefits aren’t worth the time and money required to make it a success. It’s true; the initial outlay is something you’d need to look at, including the cost of purchasing the software, installation costs and also monthly fees attached to contracts which provide you with the access to your data and reports.

Luckily, many brands offer a range of packages, so if your budget is small, you could start off with a basic GPS tracker for car dashboards and upgrade at a later time. For those who do have more they can invest, the opportunities to make money are great. Advancements in fleet management technology, including integration with vehicle hardware, extensive journey planning, financial data (e.g., accurate costing of each job) and monitoring of vehicle conditions has allowed businesses to become more cost-efficient than ever. This means that the cost savings they make by minimising expenses such as excessive fuel, labour and overtime claims, as well as repairs and breakdowns, can far outweigh the cost of the software.

OUR VERDICT: Business vehicle tracking isn’t something which comes for free, but the ROI achieved can cut your costs considerably and improve those all-important profit margins.

Dilemma 2: “Fleet management software is a lot of hassle to install”

The first thing to consider with any concerns is that there are different forms of installation based on the type of vehicle tracker you choose. We mainly see three different types of
GPS tracking device and each has their own merits and drawbacks.

 

  1. Hardwired devices: These advanced trackers are required for the widest coverage and more advanced data collection, hardwiring the device into the electrical system behind a vehicle’s dashboard. This makes it difficult to tamper with and can be integrated with other systems such as fuel sensors, alarms and ignition. This type of car tracking device will need installation by a trained engineer, and many brands include this in their packages. The downside becomes apparent if you have a setup which requires you to change vehicles often or you have fleet which isn’t always in use.
  2. Plug and play devices: Many vehicle trackers can simply be self-installed into a vehicles OBD II socket as long as its compatible with the device. This is great if you want to move the tracker from vehicle to vehicle or remove it at the end of each day, and while less secure than hardwired systems, can be fitted with anti-tamper alarms. The drawback of plug and play devices is that they don’t have as many integration possibilities so the data and reports you can produce will be much more basic.
  3. Satnav integrated devices: Built into satnav screens, this type of device is ideal for those who want basic tracking with all the benefits of satnav technology. This includes in-cab routing and finding points of interest during the day such as petrol stations and rest stops.

OUR VERDICT: While some trackers can be simply plugged in to start working, for more advanced options, you’ll need to have them professionally installed. This may seem like a hassle, but is something most manufacturers offer as a service.

Dilemma 3: “Installing a vehicle tracking device is just an excuse to spy on people”

Some businesses worry about the reaction of their workforce when implementing fleet management live systems. It’s true that some companies wish to start monitoring driver behaviour, but this may be for practices which are using excessive fuel or damaging the condition of the vehicles as well as the reputation of your company. This can be for actions such as harsh braking, excessive engine idling and speeding. Explaining the reason behind the software is a great way to get your staff on board and can be used as an educational tool for all. Those who persist in inappropriate behaviour and unsafe practices may face action, but appropriate management is the key here to ensure safety (drivers and the public), your reputation, vehicle conditions and efficient operations are made a priority.

Some teams may find morale increases after installing the software with many benefits on offer to drivers as well as the business and customers. Functions can include journey planning – plotting the best routes for them to take, using GPS live traffic information to avoid congested areas, automated submission of driver hours and vehicle condition reports which means less time travelling back to base and car dash cam technology which can provide video evidence in the event of an accident. Lone workers have also found the benefits of the technology with the peace of mind someone always knows exactly where they are and how long they’ve been there. Drivers may also find themselves dealing with happier customers, who can also track where they are via a vehicle tracking app if this is something you want to implement.

OUR VERDICT: Car tracking device UK products are not used to “spy” on people. Their primary function is to improve the business and help improve the way operations are run, enhancing efficiency and helping drivers to have smoother journeys. This leads to higher productivity, satisfied customers and a happier workforce all round!

Dilemma 4: “It’s impossible to find the best car tracking device without having hours to spend on research”

This is something which puts many fleet managers off looking for the right GPS tracker system for their vehicles. When they see the amount of information out there, as well as a wide range of companies offering similar products and varying packages, it’s no wonder the thought of spending hours trawling through research is turning managers away. After all, you could spend a lot of time researching a product which isn’t the right fit for your business or doesn’t meet all your requirements.

Car Tracking Device UK Facts vs. Fiction – Debunking the MythsAn easier way to approach the issue is to first define your needs. Think about what data you want to collect, who you’re tracking, the benefits you want to get out of using the software and where you want to take your business. Having defined goals and outcomes will make it easier to identify the right small tracking devices to install in your fleet. You should also have a clear budget, but if you plan to upgrade your system as you achieve greater returns or your business grows, ensure you select a scalable option.

 

One of the best solutions available to fleet managers is the use of a comparison channel which provides services for businesses who don’t have the time to look for the right software or would rather have a specialist find them the best deal. If you shop around for fleet insurance or new vehicles, why would you not do the same for your software? Vehicle tracking experts have all the information you need at their fingertips, and they’ll only require a few details about your setup and needs to identify packages which suit your requirements. It’s one of the fastest, hassle-free ways to find the right fleet management solution, whether you need one motorcycle tracker or 50 van trackers.

OUR VERDICT: While you may be lucky enough to quickly stumble upon a solution which ticks all your boxes, whether it’s the most suitable tracker for your business and one which will provide you with the best ROI is another matter. To be sure, use the services of an expert such as those at the Vehicle Tracking Channel.

Ready to Take the Leap? Speak to An Expert Now

If you now understand that installing telematics software isn’t the costly, stress-filled experience that you feared it might be, it’s time to find the right solution for your fleet. Get in touch with the experts here at the VTC for simple, personalised services to identify the most suitable tracker for your fleet. We only recommend quality products from trusted brands, look for the best deal (including those which can provide with great returns) and talk you through your options step by step.

When you make initial contact, we’ll just need a few details about the size of your fleet, type of vehicle you want to track and whether you would like dash cam technology included in our search. We’ll then find some of the best car tracking device UK packages which meet your requirements. Easy!

For a free consultation and quotation, get in touch with the vehicle tracking experts.

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Small Tracking Devices: Questions to Ask Yourself Before Investing

Small Tracking Devices: Questions to Ask Yourself Before Investing

Small Tracking Devices: Questions to Ask Yourself Before Investing

Vehicle Tracking / Wednesday 18th April

If you’re a business that employs one or more drivers on their taskforce, you will have probably heard of fleet management software and how it can make your operations more efficient than ever. However, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to leap straight in and buy the first GPS tracker you can find without understanding why you want a tracking system installed.

When investing in small tracking devices for your fleet, you’ll come across many different types of tracker, and some of these won’t be suitable for your business. It’s important to identify which vehicle tracking system will meet your needs.

One of the first steps on your road to success is to establish what these business needs are. This will help to easily narrow down your options, saving time and money by only investing in a product which will give you a great return while ticking all the boxes.

To make things easier for you, here are some questions businesses should be asking themselves BEFORE they begin their search.

8 Questions to Help Identify the Right Small Tracking Devices for Your Business

When searching for the best car tracking device for your fleet, some of the most important factors to consider are what your business needs are, your goals and the elements stopping you from reaching these aims. A fleet manager should ask themselves throughout the process, “will this vehicle tracking system make life easier and help us reach our business goals?”

To establish the full picture of your business needs, ask yourself the following questions.

What type of information do you want to track & how will this help your business?

This is the most important question as it will define what you’re trying to achieve by implementing vehicle tracking. This can be factors such as:

  • Real-time vehicle locations
  • Log of driver routes
  • Driver behaviour (e.g. speeds, steering, braking)
  • Driver hours
  • Live traffic
  • Geo-fencing zones
  • Car dash cam footage
  • Engine idling
  • Maintenance plans & repairs
  • Mobile tracking with a vehicle tracking app

While you may start making your own list of aspects you want track and data you want to collect, ensure you understand how you will use this information to benefit your business. There’s no point investing in features for the sake of it unless you can understand how you’ll use each one for the good of your fleet. For example, a fleet manager may decide that they struggle to meet delivery targets and want to ensure drivers can plan the shortest route. Features such as journey planning and live traffic reports (to avoid areas of congestion) may become a priority to improve efficiency and reliability.

You should also think about how each feature will affect the day to day running of your fleet. Do you need accurate, to-the-minute tracking or regular updates at set intervals? Do you want to analyse data after its been collected or receive alerts so that you can communicate with your task force in real-time?

Create a list of what you need to track and how you’ll use that data to your advantage, whether it’s motorcycle, car, lorry or van trackers.

Which expenses are denting your profits?

One of the main reasons many companies opt for business vehicle tracking is to improve their profit margins by cutting down on unnecessary expenses which are costing them money. This is often factors such as:

  • Excessive fuel costs
  • Vehicle insurance premiums
  • Maintenance & servicing
  • Breakdowns & repairs
  • Driver hours & overtime claims

Fleet management live systems can help in a variety of ways. Firstly, the data collected may help you to identify where you’re spending too much money. For example, by integrating with other systems within a vehicle such as fuel sensors and ignition, you may find that those drivers who have excessive engine idling times are using the most fuel. This is invaluable information for fleet management who can then address practices which are costing the business money. Specific brands of software can also double as organisational programs for implementing robust, efficient servicing of your vehicles so that maintenance doesn’t interrupt your business operations while monitoring the conditions of your vehicles for timely repairs to occur. You may even find when speaking with some vehicle insurance providers that they’ll lower your premiums if you have a vehicle tracking device professionally installed and even further if adding in dash cams to your package.

What processes can you automate?

It may sound clichéd, but the saying ‘time is money’ couldn’t be more apt for fleets, especially where manual tasks carried out by drivers require submission. This can be anything from delivering their timesheets to manually checking the condition of the vehicle. Tracking device software can help digitise tasks as well as implementing automation into many of your processes. Tacho integration, for example, can create an accurate record of driver hours. Take a look at your manual processes and which ones take the most time. Is this something a GPS tracking device can help with? You can also decide whether you want software which can integrate with other software systems. This helps to avoid double entry of information, share common data within your company and minimise errors.

How much do you want to spend on upfront costs & monthly fees?

Defining your budget is an important step to take before undertaking your search. It’s not just the upfront fees to think about but also any monthly costs, length of warranty and how long your contract lasts for. This will set your expectation for how much you can spend. However, don’t always just look for the cheapest option when selecting a vehicle tracker. Often, it’s worth investing more to get the best deal and maximise your ROI. If you can afford a system which provides more cost-savings, for example, you may find you achieve a more impressive return.

What type of installation do you want?

There are different types of tracker installation and which one you choose depends largely on the data you want to collect and the setup of your operations. The three main types of car tracking device UK installation are:

 

  • Hardwired: These small tracking devices will integrate with other systems in your vehicles, collecting advanced data over wider coverage. However, they need to be professionally installed (this may come included in your package), and you won’t be able to move them easily from vehicle to vehicle.
  • Plug and play: This type of tracker is ideal for those who need to move their tracker around (perhaps you use rentals or have fleet which is only used occasionally). They’re usually self-installed in the OBD II socket, but may be more susceptible to theft and will only collect basic tracking data.
  • Satnav integrated: This type of tracker is in-built within satnav screens, so is ideal if your fleet mainly uses satnavs for their primary in-cab routing functions.

Are you concerned about the security of your vehicles?

Stolen vehicle tracking is something many businesses choose to invest in, especially if their fleet contains a number of motorcycles which are at higher risk of being taken. A motorcycle tracker not only acts as a deterrent but can even be linked to an off-site facility who monitor vehicles for unauthorised movements 24/7. If this is a priority for your business, think about finding a system which specialises in police-approved systems and tracking for stolen vehicles.

Where do your customers fit into this picture?

When making any business changes, the effect on your customers should be considered and how you can use this to your advantage. They may be a large part of the reason for implementing trackers in the first place, especially if you’re struggling to keep up with your competitors. Some systems can even be used by customers, giving them access to GPS live information about the whereabouts of their delivery or pickup driver. This is a great way to enhance the customer experience while reducing your time spent tracking down drivers for your customers. When mapping out your expected changes, consider the impact on your customer base and how you can improve their experience, even if it’s something as simple as 100% success at fulfilling delivery times.

What changes do you perceive for your fleet?

When making any investments in your business, it’s essential to think ahead about where your business is going, its goals and also any changes to come. Are you looking to grow your business and use car tracking device software to help with this? If so, look for a system which is scalable, i.e. it will easily cope as your business grows and can add more vehicles to its system.

Get a Free Consultation & Quotation

If you’re looking for the best small tracking devices to track your fleet, the VTC is here to help. Our experts have the right knowledge and expertise to easily identify which GPS tracker for car, van, motorcycle or lorry dashboards will meet all your needs. Save time and hassle with a comparison expert.

Get in touch now for vehicle tracking help and advice.

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Get your free quote here

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One of our experts will take you through your options step by step, making sure we’ve identified trackers which meet all your needs.

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Car Tracking Device Software: Can It Lower Your Insurance?

Car Tracking Device Software: Can It Lower Your Insurance?

Car Tracking Device Software: Can It Lower Your Insurance?

Vehicle Tracking / Friday 13th April

Cars and other vehicles are often expensive to run even if you only have one for private use. So, if managing a fleet, it’s important to control expenses. This includes costs such as fuel consumption, driver hours and maintenance. Fleet managers can often forget that insurance also plays a part in maximising their profit margins, and there are various ways to keep premiums to a minimum. One of these is by installing a car tracking device into each vehicle in the fleet.

What Is a Car Tracking Device?

Vehicle tracking is possible through the power and intelligence of GPS live technology. The Global Positioning System is created from a constellation of 24 satellites orbiting the Earth. Each one of these transmits radio signals which can be received by a GPS tracking device. This is anything from a mobile phone to a satnav. By connecting with several satellites, the tracker measures how long the signals take to reach the receiver, forming an accurate position in real-time. This clever technology has been used to evolve fleet management software like never before with businesses using the data to improve their operations while reducing costs. While many choose to make an initial investment to install the system as well as pay monthly fees with some packages, the ROI they receive is what makes installing the technology so worthwhile.

Cost-cutting benefits include:

  • Reducing insurance premiums
  • Monitoring the excessive consumption of fuel and addressing behaviours which may be causing this such as harsh braking and long engine idling times
  • Saving time with automation of administrative tasks, including the collection of driver hours with tacho integration technology
  • Ideal monitoring of vehicle conditions to schedule timely repairs, reducing breakdown costs and limiting business interruptions
  • Keeping on top of annual maintenance schedules for your fleet to minimise downtime
  • Enhancing the productivity of your fleet with better journey planning, live traffic and reduced journey times
  • Increase the security of a vehicle and improve the chances of recovery should it be stolen
  • Accurate billing of customers with evidence of pick up and drop off times
  • Reducing fraudulent overtime claims and increase the accuracy of reclaiming costs of fuel consumed (where employees are using their own vehicles, for example)
  • Enhance mobility within a fleet to improve cost-efficiency, including fleet managers who can supervise easily while on the move

Implementing such processes has been advanced by using hardwired trackers to integrate with other systems in the car such as fuel sensors. Connecting with car aerials has also allowed for wider coverage and real-time tracking so that you never have to spend time trying to trace a driver’s location again. This has also proved valuable in providing a first class customer experience in which they can track a vehicle for themselves. For example, customers can now see when their taxi may be arriving through a vehicle tracking app or even check how many stops away a delivery driver is with their parcel.

 

How Can a Vehicle Tracking System Reduce Insurance Costs?

So, how and why do insurance companies look favourably upon those who invest in business vehicle tracking for their fleet. One of the largest risks of cars is their ability to be stolen. However, by installing a car tracking device into a vehicle, it not only improves the chances of locating and recovering the vehicle should it be stolen but also act as a deterrent too. This means it lowers the risk for insurers in having to pay out large amounts to replace an entire vehicle. Some brands of tracking device include anti-tamper and unauthorised use software as well as triggering alerts as soon as an engine is started without the use of a key. This will activate the vehicle tracking device to send out a signal to the owner, a monitoring facility or even the police. Geo-fencing can also help with this by forming virtual zones which you want your vehicle to stay within.

Increasing the security of your vehicle by installing a GPS tracker for car and other vehicles will help you find cheaper insurance. However, before investing in any system or new device for your fleet, it’s important to speak with your insurer to see what their policy is, as well as terms and conditions which may affect your choice of tracker.

4 things to check with your insurance provider:

  • How does the vehicle tracker need to be installed? An insurer may require professional installation of the device in order to activate discounts on your premium. Professional installation is usually required with hardwired devices, and you can check with the manufacturer if pro-installation comes included in your package. However, if choosing portable devices for your tracking such as plug and play products or those integrated with satnav screens, self-installation is usually easy to do. Therefore, it’s important to check with your insurance provider if this will negate any chance of receiving a discount.
  • Do they offer telematics insurance? This involves the insurer providing small tracking devices which build up a history of data about the vehicle’s behaviour, status and movements, including braking, accelerating and swerving. Essentially, it allows insurers to monitor driver behaviour and hopefully reduce premiums. This may be more suitable for those drivers who are using their own cars.
  • Which brands do they recognise? Always check with your insurance provider which GPS tracker manufacturers they recognise and trust before investing. If you don’t use devices from a reputable brand, your insurer may not apply discounts.
  • What else can help lower your premiums? You may find there are other devices which can help reduce your insurance costs which can be integrated with certain fleet management systems. For example, a car dash cam can decrease premiums considerably, with insurers able to easily establish who’s liable for an accident. You can choose trackers which come with camera technology which also gives lone drivers peace of mind as well as providing managers with visual access to a vehicle if needed.

 

One of the factors which may also increase insurance premiums is accidents and claims. Many car tracking device UK systems also focus on improving driver safety and the ability of fleet managers to address inappropriate behaviour. This includes speeding, harsh steering and harsh braking. Implementing tracking systems can act as a deterrent to such behaviour, but also gives managers peace of mind they’ll receive alerts or reports if there are actions to be addressed. By educating your driving force about the correct standards to uphold, businesses can implement systems which ensure insurance costs are kept to a minimum.

Find the Best Tracker for Your Fleet

Every company is different. Whether a one-man band or an entire fleet of lorries, fleet management systems can help improve the cost-efficiency of your operations. It’s important to find the best car tracking device for your business, including one which suits your setup and specific vehicles in your fleet.

Unfortunately, with so many models on the market, it can result in companies using much time and resources to locate the right one. It’s not just about finding the cheapest device. Sometimes it’s worth paying more for quality of output, features included and the return on investment it’s likely to provide you with.

What’s the solution?

Here at the Vehicle Tracking Channel (VTC), we do all the hard work for you, narrowing down your options so that you don’t have to waste time doing it yourself.

Personalised Service

When you use the VTC, you’ll actually be able to speak to an expert who can take the time to talk you through your choices and how each one can help your business. Each recommendation has been customised to your needs as we’ll take information from you such as the size of your fleet, features you want and the type of vehicles the device will be fitted to. There are some great van trackers on the market, for example. We may also ask you what the trackers will be used for (such as a motorcycle tracker system for a group of couriers) and explain which features will be most suitable for this.

Expert Knowledge

Our specialists understand the tracker industry and the best trackers on the market for each type of business setup. Perhaps you use rental cars and require portable plug and play trackers or maybe you need a hardwired tracker for an advanced system which integrates with other devices and systems within the vehicle. There are many reputable brands out there, but each brings something different to the market. Our experts have the knowledge to recommend manufacturers which fit your specific needs. Top names include Crystal Ball, Teletrac Navman, Verizon Connect (Fleetmatics), TomTom, RAM Tracking and Quartix.

Simple Process

Using a comparison channel such as the VTC makes life simple for those looking to implement fleet management live software. We’ll guide you through the process from start to finish, taking information about your needs and finding the best matches for your business. It’s the most hassle-free way to find the most suitable car tracking device for you.

For a free consultation and quotation, get in touch with the VTC experts today.

Also find this post on our Google+ profile.

Get your free quote here

Get Your Free Quote

One of our experts will take you through your options step by step, making sure we’ve identified trackers which meet all your needs.

Get Quote Now

About VTC

About VTC

Vehicle Tracking Channel is the go-to website for the Telematics industry.

Click here for more info

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