Adding a GPS phone tracker for your small business vehicle fleet can save you money and help you better manage your personnel and assets to provide a better customer experience. But, if this is your first time using a GPS tracking app for business, you may feel overwhelmed with the options and uncertain if they’ll work for your unique business.
There are several free GPS tracking apps you can use for your small business, and while many work well, there are a few things to look for to choose the right free tracking solution.
In this article, we’ll review how to use GPS location apps to manage your small business vehicle fleets, what to look for when evaluating a GPS tracker app, and explore the best tracking apps you can use to manage and track your vehicle fleets.
How GPS devices work for businesses
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It helps you track the coordinates of an enabled app or device using trilateration data from GPS satellites. Small businesses can use GPS to track their fleet vehicles to keep tabs on their vehicles’ whereabouts and drivers’ habits, to ensure they’re performing their job efficiently and safely.
Modern GPS phone tracker apps also incorporate data about vehicle health and operation. This helps business owners predict vehicle maintenance needs, track fuel consumption, provide geofence location alerts, and record real-time location (and history) for their vehicles, often as accurately as within 5-10 meters.
Business owners and fleet managers can track their GPS-enabled vehicles and driver mobile phones via Android and iOS devices or web-based applications. You can also get a free trial or feature-limited free version of a GPS phone tracker app to try in your business.
What to look for in a free GPS tracking app
The first step is to manage your expectations because your free location tracker app may be missing several useful or advanced features that you need as a business owner. Many features are more suited for personal use (like a family tracking app or an app to recover a lost or stolen phone) than business and fleet management purposes.
When looking for a free GPS tracking app, look at what their paid plans offer. It’s often helpful to start with a free or trial version of the plan you intend to use if you upgrade in the future. Evaluate the free app features and compare them with the paid or upgraded versions to select the best GPS tracking solution for your small to medium-sized fleet.
Also, consider any hardware costs that may be involved. While many free GPS tracking apps are managed and tracked through a cell phone, iPad, or tablet, others may require purchasing a small tracking device.
Features that may be limited on free or free trial accounts include:
- Number of drivers or devices per account
- Accuracy of GPS location
- Limited time to try (e.g., 30-day free trials)
Features often available for paid upgrade plans include:
- Speed and driving habits
- Detailed trip history
- Location alerts
- Vehicle health monitoring and alerts
- Vehicle maintenance records tracking
- Fuel efficiency tracking
- Disturbance alerts
- Faster data refresh rates
Next, we’ll look at the best free GPS phone tracker apps available for your small business.
Is there a free GPS tracker?
There are many free GPS tracking apps for your small business, but they come with limitations. Choose a top free location tracking app from this list to find one that works for your business:
The Detrack App offers a free plan for one driver. Its key features include real-time monitoring of vehicles and the ability to capture real-time electronic proof of delivery using their app. Upgrade to their paid plan starting at $24 US per month, per driver.
- No hardware required
- Captures proof-of-delivery
- Per-driver pricing can get expensive for companies with mid to large fleets
- Only guaranteed to be accurate to within 50 meters
- Requires drivers to carry a mobile phone with the app installed
The Hubstaff GPS tracking app is available for iOS and Android and offers a GPS tracking solution with automated time cards for drivers. A free feature-limited version is available for one user, and they offer a 14-day free trial of their paid plans. Paid plans are based on the number of users and range from $14-20 US per month.
- Integrates employee timesheets automatically generated in-app
- Provides a detailed list of software integrations available.
- Feature set focused on time tracking. Fleet management is secondary.
- Customers complain about lack of customizability
- GPS and fleet vehicle management is limited
With MyCarTracks, you only need a mobile phone and a plan to get started tracking your fleet drivers. A unique feature of this phone tracker is that it will continue monitoring, even if the phone loses data coverage (it will sync when an internet connection is available again). Their free version includes up to 2 vehicles.
Their phone tracker pricing starts at $3.50 US per plan per month, up to $8 per vehicle per month for their highest features set plan.
- The “Business” plan includes complete location history.
- They offer customized integrations and feature development for an extra fee.
- The free version only saves two weeks of location history
- Most features are not included until you pay for the “Business” plan (highest-priced plan)
- Requires dependence on drivers installing a phone tracking app
For those with an Android phone, this Android tracking app from Corvus helps you track your vehicle fleets, assets, and people in an easy-to-use interface. If your company transports temperature-sensitive deliveries or supplies, the app can also aggregate your temperature sensor data.
Their GPS phone tracker app pricing is set up differently than other GPS phone tracking software. Their business plan is based on the number of units or sensors you use, and then you’re charged $0.50 per day, per device that you use. Corvus GPS also has a 14-day free trial.
- Daily fee structure means you’re only charged for the days you operate
- Includes intelligent activity recognition (walking and driving detection)
- Location update intervals long (30 seconds)
- Only available for Android phones
- It can get costly as you add additional sensors and devices to a vehicle
What’s the best Free GPS tracker for iPhones?
For iPhones and iPads Hubstaff offers free GPS tracking software that links to employee timesheets. This is a good option for iPhones if you have one employee and require the additional administrative features offered by their software.
What’s the best Free GPS tracker for Android phones?
Tracksolid is a good free choice for a GPS tracker app for Android phones and via your web browser. It monitors alerts, device management, and multiple reports all in one place. You can upgrade to a pro version for additional features.
Best overall GPS tracker app for businesses with a free trial
For the most advanced features set and easy-to-use mobile apps and browser dashboards, Force Fleet Tracking provides everything you need in one package. Unlike the free GPS tracking apps we’ve mentioned, Force doesn’t have multiple plans to choose from, and you’re charged based only on the number of vehicles you’re tracking per month. That means no extra or hidden fees for advanced features. This includes every feature from Force, including advanced GPS tracking, vehicle health and maintenance, and driver and vehicle safety.
While free GPS tracking apps and devices seem to focus on one key feature set, Force has integrated an entire fleet management system into its app. It also doesn’t require your drivers to use their own cell phones to be tracked for business purposes.
Force GPS fleet tracking also comes with a free trial to test the solution yourself. Your GPS tracker device will be shipped to you with free 2-day shipping, and if you don’t like it, we’ll pay for you to return the device. Request a demo or start your free trial today.