GPS fleet tracking systems give small businesses the technology they need to scale up, increase productivity, and compete in their market. These systems allow you to do your job with more ease while increasing data collection accuracy and providing the best possible experience to your customers.
When choosing a GPS fleet tracking system for your business, it’s important to measure the cost against the value. This blog will provide you with all the information you need to make the right buying decision for your fleet. We’ll outline the cost of GPS tracking devices, the cost of fleet-specific GPS tracking systems, and list the price ranges and average costs for each. This blog will also discuss the direct and indirect value of fleet tracking solutions.
How much does a GPS tracking device cost?
GPS tracking devices are an option for people who need to track just one vehicle. The average price for a standalone GPS vehicle tracking device in America is around $60. Devices can range from $10 all the way up to $200 and more. Prices will vary depending on device brand, quality, and features.
While lower-cost GPS tracking devices can work well for some people and some vehicles, they’re known for being fairly unreliable. These standalone GPS trackers can be “incompatible” with certain vehicles—even if they say they are universal. They may lag and provide inaccurate tracking information or only work for a short period of time.
Higher quality GPS trackers will have better compatibility with vehicles and show more accurate, real-time tracking data. The device hardware is usually more durable as well, so you won’t need to replace them any time soon.
Standalone GPS devices are great for tracking the whereabouts of a single vehicle but that’s usually where their functionality and range of features ends. They will display one vehicle’s location on a map and may assist with navigation and directions; however, their fleet management capabilities are limited. This is why it’s smart to invest in an asset tracking system that is designed specifically for fleets. If your company wants to run smoothly, compete, and scale up within your industry, it’s a must.
How much does a GPS fleet tracking system cost?
GPS fleet tracking systems range from $0 to $700 in upfront costs and $18 to $65 per vehicle in monthly costs. But it’s important to consider more than just the price tag when looking for a fleet tracking system. Added values like functionality, location and data-collection accuracy, and customer service all translate to ‘cost’ when looking at the big picture.
Fleet tracking system cost will vary depending on:
An upfront cost can save your business hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year in fuel savings, repairs, and administration. See how much money your business can save simply by monitoring and reducing idling.GO TO COST SAVINGS CALCULATOR
Setup, install & activation
Depending on the tracking system you select, there may or may not be an upfront cost associated with setup, installation, and device activation. These one-time fees can range from $0 to $100 or more and will usually be applied to each device.
When budgeting, take these costs into consideration and multiply them by the number of fleet vehicles you’re wanting to track. If you own 10 fleet vehicles, an initial setup fee could add up quickly and blow your budget—meaning you may feel pressure to compromise on the quality of the device you choose.
Pro tip: When looking for the right GPS tracking system for your fleet, look for companies who offer free installation and setup, with no activation fee.
Upfront hardware costs are not uncommon for fleet tracking services. The average cost for a fleet tracking device can range from $100 to $200 or more.
Depending on the provider, these prices may not always cover the cost of shipping. Some tracking systems will have an additional shipping fee associated with the purchase of each device. They may also require you to cover the shipping costs if you reduce your fleet number and no longer require all the devices initially purchased.
Be aware that hardware costs are not universal across the fleet tracking industry. There are companies who don’t charge for hardware. Be on the lookout for competitive fleet tracking businesses when doing your research.
Pro tip: Look for fleet tracking services that offer free shipping—both during purchase and return—and do not charge extra for their hardware.
Fleet management is done best when using a comprehensive and advanced GPS tracking software. The best fleet management software systems are ones that are built alongside the hardware. This makes for a seamless management experience, digital cohesiveness, and device compatibility.
This ongoing, monthly software cost should fall in a normal range. Most subscription-based fleet management software ranges from $18 to $80 per month, per vehicle.
Pro tip: Look for fleet management software that’s easy-to-use, collects valuable data that’s relevant to your company, comes as a package deal with the tracking hardware, and can be used on all devices (e.g. smartphone, tablet, and desktop).
Fleet tracking features are what really set the systems apart. A basic GPS tracking device will only show one vehicle on the map, but advanced fleet tracking systems will show all vehicles on the same map. This gives fleet managers full visibility so they can easily see the exact location of their vehicles relative to each other and to each job in real-time. Some tracking systems will allow for geo-fencing to be set up so managers can get notified when vehicles enter or exit a predetermined area.
When looking for the right GPS tracking system for your fleet, look for additional features like:
- Vehicle health monitoring: This should monitor things like fuel consumption, DTCs, recalls, and battery health.
- Driver behavior: This includes information such as rapid acceleration, time spent over the speed limit, harsh braking, and sharp cornering.
All of this data is valuable when it comes to preventative fleet maintenance, driver training, and effective fleet management. The amount saved in fuel costs, vehicle maintenance, administrative tasks, driver misbehavior, and more should not be forgotten when looking for the right fleet tracking system. Gathering this type of data can save a company money, both in the short-term and in the long-term, during forecasting and scaling.
Most fleet-specific tracking systems will include a range of the features listed above. Be sure to consider all of the available options when searching for your system and select one that provides your company with the specific features you need.
Pro tip: Look for a fleet tracking system with the following features: real-time visibility on one map, geofencing capabilities, vehicle health monitoring, and trip detail data collection and reporting.
Once you’ve purchased the tracking device and software, you may find some fleet tracking services don’t offer very good customer support. Say, for example, a tracking device stops working, do they have a support team you can call to troubleshoot? Will they send you a new device promptly and wave the shipping cost?
An out-of-order device can cost your company valuable administrative time. If that device isn’t tracking, you may have to go back and log the information manually. A broken device can also create communication delays and a dip in productivity.
Pro tip: Look for a fleet management system that offers great customer service and has plenty of good reviews in this area.
Some GPS fleet tracking companies on the market ask for a commitment or contract of one, two, or even three years! Others offer monthly, pay-as-you-go options with no contracts.
A longer commitment may result in lower costs but that’s not always a guarantee. Contracts can cause complications down the road. There may be fees if the contract is broken before the term is up. There may also not be as much flexibility, should the number of vehicles in your fleet change during the year.
Pro tip: Look for fleet management services that don’t require you to sign a yearly contract. A lot can change in a year; your fleet size may change, your tracking needs may change, etc. You’ll want to go with a fleet management system that understands your dynamic industry.
Summary of fleet management hardware costs
Here’s a fleet management system price range and average cost breakdown:
- Installation: $0 to $100+ (upfront)
- Hardware: $0 to $200+ (upfront)
- Software: $18 to $65 per vehicle, per month (ongoing)
In total, this equals $0 to $700 in upfront costs and $18 to $65 in ongoing, monthly costs per fleet vehicle.
GPS fleet tracking for small businesses
Force Fleet Tracking is GPS fleet tracking software that offers fleet tracking solutions for small businesses across North America. We charge just $20 per month, including the GPS devices. There are no setup, installation, or activation fees, and we cover the cost of shipping.
Force’s fleet tracking software is easy for small business owners or managers to use. You can set up custom alerts to be notified if the device has been unplugged or stops working.
Our in-house customer support is available by phone or email and this service is provided to all customers at no added cost. You can contact the support team if you need help setting things up, if you need clarification on how something works, or when you want to change the size of your fleet. Whether you’re increasing or decreasing your vehicle count, we’ll cover the cost of shipping the GPS tracking device both ways.
Try Force for 30 days with our free trial. This extended trial allows you to experience our wide range of fleet tracking capabilities before making a final decision. Get started today, risk-free, and start saving on your fleet tracking costs.