Nearly 40% of UK businesses are using telematics systems, according to a new survey by RAC Business.
Around the UK, 45% of businesses in London said they have telematics, above the national average of 38%, followed by Scotland and the North East of England, which both report telematics levels of 44%. Parts of the UK with the lowest take-up include Northern Ireland, 27%, Wales 30%, and the North West of England 30%.
The study of businesses across all sectors of industry said that 68% of businesses using telematics saw a reduction in fuel bills, while 55% saw a reduction in wear and tear and 48% said there was a reduction in downtime for their vehicles, contributing to further savings.
As well as driving up efficiencies in terms of cost savings, the RAC Business research found that 43% of firms said the use of telematics supported their Duty of Care policies, while more than half (58%) saw a reduction in speeding incidents and fines, and 52% claimed a reduction in accidents involving staff. In addition one in 10, (11%), said insurance premiums had decreased as a result of installing telematics.
In terms of size of business, just 11% of firms with 10 or fewer employees said they have telematics fitted, compared to 25% of firms with 50 or fewer staff, and more than half, (55%) of firms with up to 500 employees.
Businesses in the manufacturing sector are among the highest users with half (49%) of those surveyed saying they have telematics, followed by the transport and distribution sector with 45%, and the automotive and FMCG sectors both at 44%.
The sectors with the lowest take-up include communication services at 31%, then retail at 36% and construction at 38%.
RAC Telematics managing director Nick Walker says the results of the research confirm a significant shift in the use of telematics in business away from a ‘Big Brother’ tracking function, to being much more concerned with vehicle health, driver information and keeping staff safe.
He said: “The results of this research very much endorse what we’re hearing from businesses about how they are using the technology with many seeing fuel savings of between 10% and 15%, as well as many other efficiencies.
“The potential for telematics in terms of looking after a fleet of vehicles is enormous as there is so much information that can be extracted and used by the business owner or fleet manager.
“The idea that businesses are using telematics just to track their staff is really quite outdated now, they are much more interested in information about how the vehicle is performing and getting alerts about parts that need replacing, or vehicles that need servicing.
“Telematics is a key aspect of Duty of Care policies now, helping to promote safer driving so there are fewer speeding fines or accidents, which all contributes to less downtime and therefore a much more efficient business.
“Investment in a fleet and the ongoing running costs are significant for any business, and with the kind of information now available through telematics you can ensure those valuable business assets are being properly maintained wherever they are in the country, that is extremely valuable insight for any business owner.”