It seems as if the concept of privacy, something our ancestors fought very hard for, is something that barely exists nowadays.  With the PRIMS scandal proving that the UK and US government is spying on all our online activity, the last thing we need is more spying closer to home.  Yet that is exactly what is happening with vehicle tracking.

Vehicle Tracking and Spying

For many employees, vehicle tracking is a form of spying and a real show of distrust.   Whether it is a vehicle that is used for work only, or a vehicle that can also be used privately, it seems that employers are making it clear that they don’t trust the people that work for them.  After all, why else use a vehicle tracking system?

What A Vehicle Tracking Systems Does for Those who Believe it Is Spying

If you are on the spying side, you will think that a vehicle tracking system is installed for one thing and one thing only: to know where you are and when you are there.  This means that employers must believe you will be enjoying yourself rather than working, otherwise there would be no point in tracking vehicles at all.

What A Vehicle Tracking System Does for Employers

For employers, it is very different.  Yes, the added benefit is that you can keep track of employees’ whereabouts, but the more important issue is that it leaves a fantastic audit trail.  When petrol receipts come in, it can be checked whether the cars are still driving efficiently, for instance.  It is also useful for insurance purposes, as you can give a far more accurate estimate of the amount of miles driven each and every day.  Furthermore, if an accident ever does occur, it is easy to check whether the vehicle was even at the site of the incident.

How to Bring the Two Together

Clearly, an employer has mainly good intentions when they install vehicle trackers.  However, since employees don’t tend to agree, it is very important for an employer to understand how to actually bring the positive message across.  Making it very clear and transparent how the system will be used is hugely important.  Also, try to discuss any concerns employees may have, and send employees monthly reports of the data you access so they know exactly what you do and don’t look at.  Last but not least, if your employees are allowed to use the vehicle for personal use, give them the opportunity to switch off the tracker.  As an employer, you have no right to know what they do or where they go in their personal time, even if they drive a company vehicle (so long as their contract stipulates they can use their business vehicle for personal use).  One option is to include a simple on/off button, or to include a code, thereby ensuring the tracker doesn’t get switched off accidentally.  Naturally, you will have to trust that your employees do not switch it off when it should be on, but any blanks will show up in your monthly audit.

Olivia Lazenby is a well-known author of all things automotive related. When getting the latest information on vehicle tracking, Olivia visits

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