According to the FBI, there were 765,484 vehicle thefts in 2016. That works out to 237 thefts per 100,000 inhabitants resulting in $5.9 billion in losses. For locally stolen motor vehicles, only 42% were ever recovered and those that were recovered were often damaged. Fleet owners can avoid tremendous losses in terms of assets and lost productivity if thefts can be identified quickly and the vehicle recovered before being damaged. Of course, if the theft can be avoided completely, the savings are massive.
Many insurance companies offer discounts of up to 15% for companies whose vehicles have GPS trackers. The insurance companies know that, with a GPS tracker installed, a stolen vehicle can be more quickly recovered and the potential insureable loss will be reduced. Depending on your insurance company and your premiums, installing a GPS tracker could result in a reduction in insurance costs that could pay for a large portion of the monthly service for the tracker. Read more here.
While the insurance savings are nice, the real benefit of GPS Fleet Tracking is in preventing the theft completely or recovering the vehicle more quickly. Since a GPS unit is often hidden you might wonder how a theft can be avoided since the potential thief wouldn't know that a vehicles has a tracking unit installed. The answer is that better driver behavior can lead to less of a chance that vehicles are in locations that they shouldn't be. We've all seen service vehicles parked at entertainment locations during work hours or after work hours. Certainly if a vehicle was just used to make its service calls and then was returned to the lot or to the driver's home, it is less likely to be the target of a theft. We typically see reductions in driving of about 20% after the implementation of a GPS Tracking system. If the vehicle is away from its more secure base location for longer, it is more likely to be the target of a theft.
If a theft does happen there are two features of GPS tracking that can help reduce the time required to locate the vehicle and recover it before damage. First, the geo-fencing functionality can be used to "fence in" the vehicle at its base location at night and on weekends, send an alert if it is moved. Law enforcement can be dispatched immediately once you confirm that the vehicle has not be moved for a legitimate reason. Second, it is more obvious that with GPS tracking, the location of the vehicle is tracked in real time and this information can be used to "vector in" the police, leading to a quick and hopefully damage-less recover.
While we tend to focus on fuel savings and productivity increases associated with GPS tracking, theft mitigation is also an important benefit of the system.