Is it Legal to Track a Vehicle?

There are multiple ways your business benefits from fleet tracking. However, stay aware of the legal issues surrounding its usage.
Is it legal to track a vehicle?

When it comes to tracking company vehicles, there are quite a few laws to consider. From tracking company cars versus pool cars to tracking business miles versus personal trips, businesses need to ensure they are adhering to the UK’s strict privacy laws. After all, installing company vehicles with a fleet management system will grant businesses access to each vehicle’s real-time location, route history and more. 

The aim of this article is to familiarise you with the most common legal guidelines and best practices of tracking vehicles. 

Download a Memo to Communicate Vehicle Tracking To Your Employees


FAQ’s About Vehicle Tracking 

Is it legal to track a vehicle that belongs to your company? The answer isn’t a clear-cut yes or no, as it depends on the reason the vehicle is being driven. The following section will review the most frequently asked questions regarding vehicle tracking. 

1. How Does Vehicle Tracking Work?

How can you track a vehicle with GPS?

Fleet tracking utilises GPS technology to track where each of your vehicles are in real-time. This information is recorded within your fleet tracking software and can be viewed on a map or as geographical information.

By tracking the real-time location of company vehicles, you can set alerts to be notified when a vehicle is being used outside of working hours, determine when vehicles are in the company car park and more. 

Read more: The Best Car Trackers Have Accurate Data

Tracking individual employees by GPS is not legal. However, tracking an employee’s vehicle is legal so long as it’s a company car and the employee is aware that a GPS tracking system has been installed. 

Note that employees have the right to know about the information being collected and processed about them. It’s recommended that businesses create a policy document that outlines exactly how the GPS tracking system works and the type of information that’s being collected. 

3. Can My Company Use a Tracker Against Me?

No, UK companies may only track vehicles, not individual employees. Tracking an individual rather than a vehicle is against the law. 

Note that there are several laws in place that protect employees’ personal data. 

4. Can a GPS Tracking Device Be Hidden in a Vehicle? 

It is only ok to track a vehicle if the employee is also aware.

Yes, the GPS tracking device may be hidden in a company vehicle so long as the employee is aware that the vehicle is being tracked. Hiding a GPS tracker within a company vehicle is not allowed if the employee hasn’t been informed first. 

Pool vehicles are company vehicles that are made available to more than one employee. Because pool vehicles are being driven by multiple drivers, it is legal to install a GPS tracking system in them. The data collected isn’t considered “personal data” since more than one driver may use the vehicle. 

Again, note that it is only legal to track pool vehicles so long as every employee who uses the vehicle is aware that a GPS tracking device has been installed. 

Read More: FORS online

A company car is a vehicle that’s used by a single employee but that is leased or owned by the company. It is only legal to track company cars when they are being used for business purposes. 

If a company car will be driven outside of working hours or for personal trips, businesses are legally required to ensure that the installed car tracking system has a privacy setting in place. Employees should be instructed on how to turn the privacy setting on and off. 

Read more: Guide to Claiming Back Business Miles

Still Have Questions About Tracking Vehicles? 

For even more information about whether it’s legal to track a vehicle, the privacy laws in place that protect employees’ personal data and more, please reference this guide to car tracking laws and best practices

Vimcar’s team of fleet support experts are also on call to answer any questions you may have about tracking company vehicles. 


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