RAC highlights telematics usage

More than two thirds (68%) of businesses in the UK are saving money on their vehicle fuel bills due to adoption of telematics, according to research by RAC Business.

The study of businesses across all sectors of industry also suggests that 55% saw a reduction in wear and tear and 48% said there was a reduction in downtime for their vehicles, contributing to further savings.

The results of the survey have been released at a time when increasing numbers of businesses are installing telematics in their vehicles, and show more than one in three (38%) are now making use of the devices, many for a variety of reasons beyond simply tracking vehicles.

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.

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%.

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.