Installing car trackers in leased vehicles
Having done lots of research into the pros and cons, weighing up the costs versus the benefits, you have now made up your mind that installing a GPS tracking system into your vehicle is actually a great idea. If you own your vehicle, this is usually a pretty straightforward task of buying the tracker and arranging installation. But what if the vehicle that you want to track is leased? If you are installing a car tracker into a leased vehicle, there are several considerations to bear in mind to ensure compliance with the lease agreement and applicable laws. Here we outline some important factors to consider:
Review the Lease Agreement
Carefully read the terms of the lease agreement to determine whether the installation of a car tracker is permitted. Some lease agreements may prohibit modifications or additions to the vehicle without prior consent from the lessor. At the end of the day, the leasing company owns the vehicle and has the ultimate power to decide whether to allow this or not.
If the lease agreement does allow for modifications or additions, contact the lessor or leasing company to obtain their expressed consent for installing a car tracker. They may have specific requirements or guidelines for such installations. It is better to have this in advance and not put yourself in a position to be caught out by any small print within the terms and conditions later.
Choose a tracker installer that can install the tracker system using methods that can be reversed and do not cause permanent damage or alter the vehicle's original components. This is particularly important as leased vehicles must typically to be returned, subject to fair wear and tear, in their original condition at the end of the lease term. Heavy financial penalties are usually applied if there is any permanent damage such as holes, rips and cuts to the trims, panels or dashboard.
Legal Compliance and Data Protection
Vehicles taken through a lease agreement are frequently done so by businesses that operate within the logistics sector or run fleets for employees with duties that require transportation outside of the office. Because of this, it is important to consider the privacy implications of tracking the vehicle. Ensure that the installation and use of the car tracker comply with privacy laws and data protection regulations. Should it be necessary, inform drivers and users of the presence of a tracking system and obtain their consent as required by applicable laws.
Clearly define the purpose of the car tracking system. Determine whether it is solely for asset management, theft recovery, monitoring driver behaviour, or other specific reasons. This will help ensure that the tracking system is used responsibly and within legal boundaries.
Implement appropriate security measures to protect the data collected by the vehicle tracker. As the data could be related to an employee’s movements, it is important to ensure that the tracking system is secure from unauthorised access and that the data is transmitted and stored in accordance with relevant data protection laws.
Consider any additional costs associated with installing and maintaining the car tracker such as monthly subscription fees, data charges, platform usage policies or servicing requirements. Evaluate these costs in relation to the potential benefits and make an informed decision.
Communicate the presence of the car tracker to employees or individuals who use the leased vehicle. Make sure they understand the purpose and implications of the tracking system to avoid any misunderstandings or privacy concerns.
Removal at the end of the Lease
Plan for the removal of the car tracker at the end of the lease term to avoid any potential disputes or damages. The lease company will usually arrange an appointment with the lessee to have the vehicle collected from them. It is therefore important to book an engineer in good time to ensure that the removal takes place before collection and that the process does not leave any lasting marks or damage on the vehicle.
Hopefully this article has answered most if not all your questions regarding the installation of car trackers into a leased vehicle. However, it is advisable to consult with the lessor, legal professionals, or fleet management experts to ensure that you meet all the necessary requirements and obligations when installing car trackers into leased vehicles.