Vehicle Tracking Guides | GPS tracking laws UK

GPS Tracking Laws in the UK for Company Vehicles Explained

Vehicle tracking privacy laws are complicated. Understanding company vehicle tracking and the law mix can help you build a data protection strategy.

Good vehicle trackers make it easy to protect the data and send relevant information to the drivers to keep them updated. Follow the law and GPS trackers can be very helpful to improve your business. Read on as we break down vehicle tracking laws and how they apply to businesses.

Using a vehicle tracking system helps improve business performance, but it can get your company in trouble if you don’t follow the law.

There are some important things you need to do to ensure your business uses fleet tracking legally. Here, we explain exactly what they are, so you can stay on the right side of the law.

Discover the key legislation of GPS tracking and find out where you can get the right devices for your business.

Is a GPS tracker legal?

GPS tracking laws in the UK vary depending on how you use the tracker and who owns the vehicle.

  • Tracking your own vehicle is perfectly legal. There are no laws against it
  • If you’re tracking company cars or fleet vehicles, let your employees know and make sure you’re following the Data Protection Act law

What is GPS vehicle tracking?

Vehicle tracking is the monitoring of vehicles and/or other moving assets. A vehicle tracking system uses a transmitting device in the vehicle together with a website or app and other data to show you where the automobile is on a live map, in real time.

GPS technology is a vital part of vehicle tracking. A GPS device is fitted inside a vehicle and linked to satellite receivers, which transmit the location of the automobile to a tracking provider. This then transfers the information to the device that displays the vehicle position for you.

A delivery driver takes a package to a customer
Credit: Pixabay

What is a GPS jammer?

GPS jamming is the process of using a device to block communications and your business cannot employ this. While it’s legal to buy GPS jamming devices, it’s illegal to use them. Under GPS tracking laws in the UK, you could face a £5,000 fine if you use a jammer.

Company vehicle tracking laws UK explained

As long as the following apply, it’s legal to track the company vehicle:

  • The employee driving the vehicle is aware of the tracker and data it collects
  • The employee consents to the vehicle tracking being used
  • Tracking is only used during work hours and personal use is not tracked

Do employees have to know about vehicle trackers?

The GPS tracking employees law in the UK is clear. Employees must be aware of any vehicle trackers. Installing vehicle trackers without letting drivers know is only going to cause you trouble!

iCompario tip: help your employees understand company vehicle tracking and the law

Vehicle and car tracking aren’t just good for your business. Tracking can benefit your drivers too. Address concerns about privacy and follow the law by giving regular updates on what and how the data is being used.

What vehicles can I track in the UK?

If you own the vehicle or your company does and you inform the employee, then you can track any vehicle type according to UK GPS tracking laws.

Different vehicle types will need different types of trackers. Van tracking for delivery drivers and couriers may benefit more from accurate mileage, while HGV tracking needs a detailed report system.

What are UK vehicle tracking laws?

Vehicle tracking is legal in the UK, following certain conditions of some surveillance and data laws. The law that affects how you may track vehicles in the UK is GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

These laws cover all kinds of telematics including vehicle trackers and management systems.

iCompario tip: track the vehicle, not the person

The quickest way to explain UK vehicle tracking laws is this. You are allowed to track the vehicle, but not the person driving it. GPS tracking benefits your business and improves costs.

But people have a right to privacy, so consent is needed and drivers should know what’s happening with the data. This intention is the key to all GPS tracking employees laws.

How vehicle tracking privacy laws work

Cloud security for online data to protect vehicle tracking data following privacy laws

Data protection laws let businesses know how to handle and store data. These laws also make it clear who needs to know about their data being used.

Employees want to know their data is safe. Mishandling or misusing data will break UK vehicle tracking privacy laws.

What is the UK GDPR 2018?

UK GDPR affects all businesses—big and small. The law lets businesses know how to handle data and what data can be collected. For the full details, see the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) guidance on GDPR.

How to follow GDPR vehicle tracking privacy laws

In short, UK businesses should keep these things in mind when following GPS tracking laws including GDPR:

  • Fairness and transparency: the vehicle tracker should collect fair data and avoid personal data
  • The driver: they should be kept informed about the data collected and how it’s used
  • Any changes: if you update the trackers or start collecting more data, consent will be needed once again
  • Limit storage time: data should be held for as long as the business needs it, then removed
  • Protect the data: data gathered from vehicle tracking should be protected against unlawful or unauthorised access, destruction or damage

Does Brexit change GDPR for my business?

GDPR was created in the EU. However, the UK government created UK GDPR during the transition period. This law is like the EU version in how it works and is in effect as the first major vehicle tracking employees laws in the UK.

For most businesses in the UK, leaving the EU shouldn’t have affected your data protection protocols.

If you are collecting data by tracking drivers in EU, follow GDPR guidance until the EU makes a statement declaring otherwise. See chapter 5 of GDPR for further details.

The best thing you can do is keep an eye on what’s happening and follow the guidelines available.

iCompario tip: store your dash cam data with your vehicle trackers

Get a fleet management system with dash cam integration. Using this system, businesses can check their camera video alongside their tracking data. This puts important data into one, so you have less systems to keep an eye on and fewer logins to worry about.

What is the Data Protection Act?

The Data Protection Act 1998 was replaced by GDPR in 2018. It is no longer in effect. Businesses should look at GDPR and consider data protection training to ensure their employees understand their responsibilities.

What is the Human Rights Act?

Article 8 protects “your [the employee’s] right to respect for your private life, your family life, your home and your correspondence (letters, telephone calls and emails, for example)”.

It is illegal for your business to misuse personal data obtained through data such as vehicle tracking because of GPS tracking laws in the UK.

What GPS tracker should I get?

Getting a GPS vehicle tracker with good security features and a management system can help you follow company vehicle tracking laws in the UK.

Here are just some of the vehicle trackers features you should look for:

  • Driver app: share the tracker data with your drivers easily by giving them an account. Apps can let them check their data and performance from their phone whenever they’d like.
  • Management systems: create an account. Add and remove drivers as needed to comply with GDPR.
  • Driver key fobs: improved security for company vehicles and fleets can help to prevent theft and ensure data protection.

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