The GPS fleet tracking system sounds like a costly luxury for most small business owners.
However, mostly tracking solutions result in a cost savings right out of the gate. Even when you take into account the upfront and/or monthly service charges, fleet tracking has emerged as a proven cost-cutting strategy for companies who rely on fleet and driver resources for day-to-day operations.
Studies indicate that when you implement a GPS vehicle tracking system, you can expect to achieve a 15% reduction in fuel costs. If that doesn't sound reasonable, consider this: Whether you know it or not, fleet personnel have a tendency to make unscheduled or unauthorized stops and do other activities that create gross inefficiencies in your fleet. Either passive or real-time tracking eliminates these inefficiencies because drivers know their activities are being monitored.
Combined with a reported gain in productivity of 40 minutes/day per driver, fuel savings make it easy to justify the expense of a fleet tracking solution. If you're in the market for a vehicle tracking system, here's what you can expect to pay upfront and on a monthly basis (real-time systems only).
The initial cash outlay is similar for both passive and real-time fleet tracking systems. In addition to purchasing the tracking software, you'll need to buy hardware – primarily the devices that will be installed on your vehicles. While some devices are clip-on or magnetic, others are hardwired, under-dash devices that integrate with the onboard computer. For real-time tracking, each vehicle also needs an antenna that is either attached to the roof or built-in. Startup equipment costs range from $200-$600 per vehicle, including hardware and installation.
Ongoing monthly fees are only an issue with real-time fleet tracking systems. Passive tracking systems are fully functional with your initial equipment purchase. Real-time tracking service fees vary based on additional features. Some dealers make it possible to include GPS navigation or two-way communication features in your system. Monthly fees for real-time tracking range from $15-$50/vehicle per month. However, the average business can expect to pay between $25-$35/vehicle per month. As an additional cost-saving strategy, some dealers will waive the cost of the initial hardware if you are willing to sign a multiyear contract.