What telematics solutions are available for your fleet?

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We take a look at the pros, cons and potential cost of some of the telematics solutions available for your fleet.

The telematics solutions available for your fleet are now more varied and more sophisticated than ever before. As a result, it is now possible to optimise the efficiency of your vehicles in ways that were simply unimaginable in the past.

In our last post, we focused on why you should consider telematics for your fleet, breaking down how you can use the data these telematics devices collect to stay on top of your fleet and gain better insights into your fleet operations.

But with so many different solutions available, you may be left wondering which one is right for you. In this post, we’ll explore the pros, cons and estimated cost of each option, so you can start thinking about which solution works for your fleet.

On-board Diagnostics (OBD)

An on-board diagnostic, or OBD for short, is a device that plugs directly into your vehicle’s OBD-II port. It communicates wirelessly with a network to relay important information about your vehicle’s health and performance, but also the driver’s behaviour when they’re behind the wheel.

Because an OBD-II port has been mandatory in all petrol vehicles in the EU since 2001 and all diesel vehicles since 2004, it is a highly compatible telematics solution. The simple plug in installation process makes it an ideal solution for those fleets that want a simple plug and play device with maximum data collection capabilities.

To get started with OBD telematics, you can expect to pay anything between £80-£150 for the hardware and software in the first year and then between £50-120 per year for the data.

Black Box

With a black box telematics solution, a small box is covertly fitted inside your vehicle, which makes it a suitable option if you’re concerned about vehicle theft. This requires professional installation, which can cost anywhere between £80-150 per vehicle. Once this is completed, the box communicates via a SIM card to provide a stream of data collected by GPS and motion sensors.

The data captured and transmitted by black boxes can offer valuable insights into your drivers’ behaviour and keep track of your vehicles when they’re in use. Due to the covert nature of its installation it can be a valuable tool in ensuring the safety of your fleet by preventing theft and enabling recovery.

Battery Mounted

Battery mounted telematics devices are a very secure option. The device is usually self-installed and is secured to the vehicle battery, which helps minimise the risk of removal. Because the device is discrete, it is especially useful if you’re concerned about vehicle theft.

The device captures information about driving behaviour, location and journey analysis and is likely to cost anywhere from £80-£200 in the first year for the hardware and data.


Smartphone telematics solutions have evolved rapidly in recent years, providing fleet managers with a cost-effective way of understanding their drivers better. One of the great benefits of choosing a smartphone solution is that you can avoid the device and installation costs associated with other forms of telematics.

However, issues can arise where a smartphone is switched off or network connectivity is lost, resulting in no data feed. Similarly, smartphone data can be very noisy as it is not secured to the vehicle, as such, the data would not be reliable enough to perform accurate crash detection for your fleet. Additionally, smartphone data is limited to driver behaviour and cannot relay the vehicle information without a paired telematics device.

Dash Cam

Dashboard cameras can capture videos of any incidents that occur while your drivers are out on the road, making them extremely useful for crash detection and fraud prevention. The camera itself costs anywhere between £150-£400, however some models will require professional installation to get you up and running.

Once the cameras are installed in your vehicles, they have the added benefit of acting as a deterrent against theft, whilst also providing driving safety insights and assisting with claims management. The exact type of information a dash cam collects varies from device to device, so it’s always worth making sure you choose a model that works for you.

Windscreen Tag

A windscreen tag is a small device which can be self-installed. Because there is no fitting appointment required, you can save on installation costs. The device is then attached to the windscreen and paired with a mobile phone via Bluetooth.

The data collected by windscreen tags can then provide information used to create performance dashboards, where drivers can view their stats. This helps your drivers to keep track of their safety on the road and understand how to improve.

There are hundreds of different options available for your fleet, which vary widely in their quality, cost and the data they collect. That’s why it’s important to carry out thorough research and approach your decision with a clear decision on what you want to get out of telematics. Coupled with this is the ability to select from a variety of payment options. For example, an OBD solution (device, data and software) can be purchased upfront for year one at £96 with £60 annual data cost for year 2,3, etc. or it can be direct debited on a monthly subscription of £8.

At Zego, we understand that every fleet is different. That’s why we provide fleet insurance products that are as unique as your business. You can find out more about how we help you get the most out of your chosen telematics solution, optimise your efficiency and manage the risks associated with your fleet and drivers by visiting our fleet insurance page