1 in 4 HGV fleet operators 'still not using telematics'

1 in 4 HGV fleet operators ‘still not using telematics’

Fleet managers can gain a range of benefits from introducing telematics across their vehicles, including more efficient route planning and safety improvements through effective driver monitoring.

The latest research has provided insights into how widely this technology is being adopted across the fleet industry, with some (predominantly smaller) firms yet to recognise the benefits of telematics.


An ‘exciting new chapter’

A fleet management study supported by Commercial Motor and Motor Transport found that a quarter of operators have not yet introduced telematics across their HGVs.

Those reporting that they didn’t use this technology at all were mainly smaller operators running up to five vehicles.

All companies that were managing fleets of 500 trucks or more had deployed telematics at some level.

There was an even split in responses when companies were asked whether they used a single telematics provider for their fleets, or a combination of different systems.

A third of respondents that were using more than one supplier said this approach made it more difficult for them to gain maximum benefits from the data available.

Lorraine Sculley of Fraikin, which commissioned the research, said telematics systems have developed well past the point of simply being used for vehicle tracking.

“They are now providing access to incredible amounts of data designed to maximise operational efficiency, increase driver safety and improve vehicle reliability,” she added.

“We are at the beginning of an exciting new chapter where data, and how we use it, will make the difference in efficiency and profitability.”

Adoption of telematics is also on the rise among consumers, with recent research by Compare the Market predicting a “boom” in car insurance policies based on the technology.

Jenny Smith, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “Given the wide range of benefits and opportunities it offers, telematics could shape the future of fleet management in the UK. The businesses that are quickest to adopt this technology could see the biggest advantages.”


Your business can benefit from affordable telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at www.tele-gence.com


More than 30 vans stolen every day

More than 30 vans stolen every day, study finds

Fleet managers have been warned how many vans are stolen in the UK every day, with many potentially at risk because they’re not fitted with an alarm as standard.

What Car? Vans submitted a Freedom of Information request to the police and found that more than 43,000 vans have been stolen since 2016, which equates to more than 30 a day. A further 117,000 have been broken into over the same period.


‘Cause for concern’

These crimes are thought to have cost drivers and businesses nearly £62 million in lost tools and other items.

One of the potential risk factors for drivers and fleet managers is the fact that four out of ten new vans don’t come fitted with an alarm as standard, while just over a third (36.5 per cent) offer a factory-installed alarm as an optional extra.

Only 5.5 per cent of vans on sale today are not available with an alarm at all. These tend to be older models that are due to be replaced.

Other security features are better represented, with more than 90 per cent of vans featuring remote central locking as standard. Four out of five vans on sale (80 per cent) come pre-installed with deadlocks, which don’t use a spring, making them harder to pick.

The data also showed that London is the worst area for van thefts, with 14,263 vans stolen in the capital since 2016.

Jim Holder, editorial director at What Car? Vans, said the relatively low number of new vans that don’t come with a factory-fitted alarm is “a cause for concern”.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “Countless small businesses and trade professionals up and down the country rely on their vans for their livelihood, so these figures are concerning. If your van doesn’t have a pre-installed alarm, it might be worth investing in one to protect your vehicle and its contents.”

UK on course for telematics insurance boom

UK on course for telematics insurance ‘boom’

The coming years could see a major boom in the use of telematics solutions for car insurance in the UK, with 3.8 million British motorists likely to switch to ‘black box’ policies, according to new research.

A survey by Compare the Market found that the increasing interest in the technology has coincided with growing concern among many people about the future cost of car insurance.


Realising the benefits of telematics

Telematics systems can have big benefits as far as insurance costs are concerned. The technology tracks driving behaviour habits and, for safe drivers, can lead to reduced insurance premiums that reflect their good habits.

Compare the Market pointed out that telematics policies are not yet the norm in the insurance industry, but forthcoming trends suggest that telematics devices could become increasingly common and familiar in the near future.

The company’s research showed that only two per cent of people are currently using this technology, but ten per cent of drivers are expected to switch to insurance cover that uses telematics in the near future.

Opportunities to lower policy costs will be welcomed by drivers and fleet managers across the UK. The survey found that more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of people expect the price of car insurance to increase over the next three to five years.

Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at Compare the Market, said introducing telematics technology is a “great way to reduce the cost of insurance”.

He added: “It can also make drivers more conscious of their driving habits, which can only improve road safety. It has taken some time, but telematic policies will become a lot more common and could well become the standard across the UK in future.”


Overshadowing other technologies

Another finding from the study suggested that telematics is capturing more interest than other innovations that could benefit drivers and the environment.

Three-quarters (75 per cent) of the 2,000 motorists surveyed said they have no intention of using ride-sharing apps, despite the green advantages they offer.

Subletting or renting out a car can help to offset the overall cost of owning a vehicle, but only one per cent of people have tried it, and 85 per cent have no intention of doing so in the future.

Similarly, less than one per cent of respondents said they were taking advantage of subscription-based insurance. This system sees drivers pay monthly premiums based on how much they use their car, rather than a flat annual fee.

Jenny Smith, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “There are certainly some interesting developments taking place in the car insurance space at the moment. It seems that the UK public still needs some convincing where ride-sharing and car subletting are concerned, but it’s exciting to see that telematics is on course for considerable growth in the near future.

“This can only be a good thing for drivers and fleet operators.”


Your business can benefit from affordable fleet telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at www.tele-gence.com.

Telematics boost safety and efficiency for fleets

Telematics ‘boost safety and efficiency’ for fleets

Safety and security should always be a top priority for fleet operators, while enhancing the efficiency of your vehicles and drivers can only help to improve your bottom line.

As a result, it’s important for organisations operating any type of fleet to have full visibility into how their vehicles and trailers are being managed, stored and secured. This is where telematics could prove to be a crucial step forward for many businesses.


Security and peace of mind for fleet managers

Often, fleet operators will have vehicles out on the roads for a prolonged period, perhaps for days or weeks at a time. As a result, they can quickly become a target for criminals if they are not parked in highly-secure locations.

Unfortunately, vehicle theft remains a lucrative trade for criminals up and down the country, with figures from Verizon Connect showing the typical UK business has at least one vehicle stolen each year, with a resulting cost on average of £16,253.

Verizon Connect spokesperson Derek Bryan commented: “For many businesses across the UK, vehicles and the equipment inside are their livelihood – theft represents a huge cost. Fleet and business managers need to be extra vigilant.”

The ability to easily track the location and status of any vehicle within your fleet can therefore provide crucial in ensuring tighter security of loads, staff and vehicles themselves, and this is where telematics can play a crucial role.

Telematics devices can even be calibrated to immobilise a vehicle should it be targeted by criminals. In this way, people and loads can be more secure; it can also act as a significant deterrent if thieves know they won’t be going far and are more likely to be caught.


Improved efficiency through vehicle tracking

Knowing precisely where your vehicles are located at all times can be a great benefit that allows fleet operators to maximise the efficiency of deliveries and always be up to date with where their vehicles are at.

Whether it’s informing customers about the status of their goods and providing updated arrival times, through to tracking your vehicles to ensure members of staff are taking the most efficient route when faced with possible traffic and delays, telematics devices can be crucial in saving time and expense, both for the business and drivers themselves.

Built-in telematics can also help to monitor things like fuel consumption and driver behaviour, meaning there is always data available to help to provide best practice training to staff in terms of making their journeys as efficient as possible.

This, in turn, can lead to lower costs and safer journeys all around, making it a win-win in our eyes.

Jenny Smith, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “As we’ve discussed, in-vehicle telematics can be a powerful tool for fleet managers to both boost efficiency and the safety/security of their vehicles. Have you considered the use of this technology for your vehicles?”


Your business can benefit from affordable telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at www.tele-gence.com

Study shows impact of theft on fleets

Study shows impact of theft on fleets

New research has shown the huge cost to businesses of vehicle theft, with hundreds of fleet cars being stolen by criminals every year.


Counting the cost

A Verizon Connect poll found the average company has at least one vehicle stolen annually, with theft of vehicles and equipment costing firms a collective £16,253.

For companies that operate large fleets, the impact rises exponentially – indeed, those with 101 to 250 cars are facing annual losses of as much as £50,000.

Unfortunately, only 44 per cent of those who reported having vehicles or equipment stolen were able to recover it in a useable condition, which means dozens of cars are undoubtedly having to be written off by insurance firms.

However, the poll also showed 58 per cent of the fleet managers surveyed are not using technology like immobilisers to help them in the battle against theft.

Verizon Connect spokesperson Derek Bryan said: “For many businesses across the UK, vehicles and the equipment inside are their livelihood – theft represents a huge cost. Fleet and business managers need to be extra vigilant.”

He also recommended making better use of devices that can track or disable vehicles remotely, as this could help with finding cars that have been stolen and act as a deterrent to criminals.

The news comes after the most recent data from the Office for National Statistics showed vehicle theft increased by seven per cent in the year to June 2019.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “This new research really is shocking and shows the collective cost to businesses of having a car stolen is higher than most of us probably thought. It’s important to do all you can to protect your fleet from such unscrupulous individuals.”