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Samsara GPS Fleet Management Review

Updated Sep 11, 2023

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Editors Score:9.2/10

Samsara is our pick for the best GPS fleet management service for small businesses because of its intuitive interface, advanced fleet management features and real-time visibility. It has everything you need to maintain ELD, IFTA and DVIR compliance.

Plus Sign Pros
  • You can track your fleet in real time.
  • Samsara can serve various industries and help them maintain compliance with all relevant regulations.
  • The software integrates with a variety of third-party applications, making the platform even more valuable to small businesses.
  • Samsara also offers maintenance and management tools for buildings, equipment, staff compliance and other related areas.
Minus Sign Cons
  • Samsara doesn’t list pricing online, so you’ll need to fill out an online form or contact a representative for a quote.
  • There are no free trials.
  • Clients must sign up for at least three years, with a minimum of three vehicles.
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  • Samsara offers a wide variety of hardware including tracking devices, cameras, environmental monitors, temperature probes, asset trackers and card readers.
  • Its intuitive software offers real-time tracking and live alerts.
  • Samsara’s GPS fleet tracking solutions can be customized to suit the needs of many businesses, with both small companies and Fortune 500 clients on their books.
  • This review is for small business owners and fleet managers who want to understand Samsara’s fleet tracking solution.

Samsara is our choice as the best GPS fleet tracking system for startups. Small businesses with limited resources need a GPS fleet tracking system that’s easy to use and affordable to both purchase and maintain. Samsara’s intuitive, easy-to-use platform provides real-time tracking and customizable contracts, alongside industry-specific tracking plans. This ensures every dollar counts, as companies receive software (and a service) that meets their needs, rather than paying for generic packages potentially aimed at bigger firms or companies in different industries.

This platform simplifies the process of complying with safety regulations through a robust set of fleet safety and compliance features. A unified compliance dashboard lets companies manage fleet and maintain compliance with electronic logging device (ELD), hours of service (HOS), International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and Driver’s Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) regulations.

Samsara GPS Fleet Management Editor's Rating:

9.2 / 10

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Why Samsara Is Best for Startups

Samsara is the best option for startups and small businesses because of its scalability and advanced feature set. It’s one of the most comprehensive tracking solutions we reviewed and it offers truly real-time visibility, giving employers and fleet managers the data they need to make critical decisions as soon as possible. Samsara clearly understands that every small business is unique and their GPS fleet tracking systems reflect that. Instead of cookie-cutter packages designed for a wide audience, Samsara offers custom fleet tracking plans based on specific needs.

Did You Know?Did you know

Many companies claim to offer real-time visibility, but Samsara is one of the few companies we reviewed that offers to-the-second updates and full visibility.

Samsara has all the features small businesses need to track their fleets successfully, optimize vehicle performance and improve driver safety and behavior. You can access dashcams for complete fleet visibility, integrate fuel cards for optimal fuel performance and view a plethora of alerts and reports for overall fleet management. Samsara can also help you maintain compliance with a variety of important legal regulations, which can be a major benefit to startups and small to medium enterprises that don’t yet have a compliance manager on their payroll.

Samsara legal compliance

Samsara can help you maintain legal compliance with a variety of regulations, such as DVIRs. Source: Samsara


Although Samsara can service various business types, it best serves clearly defined industries like transportation and logistics, food and beverage, construction, government or passenger transit. The company has industry-specific solutions in mind, so it can tailor your system to best match your specific fleet needs, increasing overall usability for you and your team. That’s good, since many of the packages in today’s $28 billion global fleet management market feel generic and may not suit smaller firms in particular.

We found Samsara’s software intuitive and easy to navigate, which is another benefit for time-poor startups with numerous other pressing tasks in their in-trays. You can build mobile-friendly monitoring dashboards that display the information most pertinent to your business, while live tracking enables real-time fleet management. We especially like the available map overlays, from traffic and weather to dedicated terrain and satellite versions. For the first time, it’s now possible to customize the home screen, giving managers and admins more granular control over how information is presented.

We also like some of the additions Samsara has made over time. For example, it’s mobile application for drivers has improved significantly over the years, adding useful features and generally making the user experience a smoother one. The core system remains the same, though: an effective GPS fleet management system that can help you easily keep tabs on your vehicles in near real-time.

Key TakeawayKey takeaway

A fleet manager might end up with a very different dashboard interface to a construction manager once they’ve tailored the platform around their requirements and preferences.

Samsara Features

Samsara is a comprehensive fleet management system that offers plenty of real-time fleet tracking services:

Tracking hardware

Choose from plug-and-play tracking devices, cameras, asset trackers and various other accessories.

Driver safety and performance

Manage drivers’ performance with in-cab dashcams, behavior reports, driver training and rewards programs.

Fleet maintenance and optimization

Samsara tracks engine diagnostics, fleet health and maintenance. It also tracks fuel usage and integrates with fuel cards.

Alerts and reporting

Receive real-time alerts and reports as well as a helicopter view of your fleet.

Tracking Hardware

Samsara offers a wider variety of hardware than its competitors. In addition to standard plug-and-play devices, you can set up in-cab cameras to get a direct view of what your driver is seeing. Samsara also offers other trackers and accessories:

  • Environmental monitors
  • Asset trackers for powered and unpowered equipment including trailers
  • Wireless door and cargo monitors
  • Panic and privacy buttons
  • Engine immobilizers
  • Auxiliary input hubs
  • IP indoor and outdoor cameras, for monitoring parking lots, garages, and more
  • ID card readers

Access to such a wide variety of tracking devices and accessories is ideal for small businesses to compile a custom tracking system suiting their specific needs. It’s also great for small businesses that need a basic tracking solution to start with, while intending to expand with other devices and accessories. As your company grows, it’s reassuring to know that Samsara’s software can support over ten thousand separate assets.

Driver Safety and Performance

Samsara’s software provides an overview of driver behavior. You can track speeding, harsh acceleration/braking and geofencing as normal, but not all fleet tracking applications we evaluated provide data on harsh cornering and turning as Samsara does. We found it easy to score drivers and understand which specific areas need improvement.

The integrated dual-facing high-definition dashcams are similar to those in rival platforms like Azuga, viewing footage in real time while also recording safety-related incidents for subsequent analysis, with simpler front-facing dashcams also available. In the event of issues being reported, drivers can receive in-cab feedback and video coaching to improve their performance. For 2023, the dashcams incorporate audio nudges for distracted drivers. It’s also now possible to set mobile devices into “focus mode,” which prevents drivers accessing the Samsara app while driving. Once parked, they can check fuel savings and receive any dashcam warning notifications.

Did You Know?Did you know

Rewarding your drivers for safe driving practices can improve their performance further and even increase employee retention. If improving driver safety is a top priority, check out our review of NexTraq, which earned our best pick for safety features.

Samsara live view

You can get a live view when your team members practice harsh driving. Source: Samsara

Fleet Maintenance and Optimization

Samsara’s hardware and software generates excellent maintenance reports that give you insights on the condition of your vehicles. You can manage preventative maintenance and analyze vehicles during breakdowns. Samsara allows you to track fuel consumption, idle time and utilization, so you can plan routes better, including the most economical route at any given time or the best route for fuel and/or rest opportunities, and coach drivers to adopt more fuel-efficient habits. The company is presently beta-testing the provision of electric vehicle (EV) charging data, such as remaining charge and range, which will go live later this year and offer benefits to fleets with EVs.

Fuel card integration is a great way to cut down on fuel costs and optimize your fleet. Samsara is one of the few companies we looked at that can integrate with FLEETCOR-issued fuel cards, such as Comdata, Fuelman and Universal Premium. Small businesses often need to save money wherever they can and fuel card integration is a great way to do so.

Samsara reporting

You can view utilization reports to track the usage of your vehicles, trailers and equipment. Source: Samsara

Alerts and Reporting

Samsara’s live alerts mean you can stay truly up to date. You can set up alerts for driver behavior, engine diagnostics and geofencing — the latter from specific addresses to a user-defined area or radius. Samsara refreshes every second, making it one of the few companies we reviewed that provides real-time tracking. Many GPS fleet tracking services supply breadcrumb-style updates where the software refreshes every 10 seconds to two minutes, but Samsara can tell you exactly where each vehicle is at any given second.

It offers an advanced helicopter view of your fleet, zooming in over individual vehicles that appear as an arrow on the map as they follow their route. The level and accuracy of this tracking elevates Samsara above many other companies in this market. For instance, we’re not aware of other companies offering the ability to compare planned vehicle routes against the ones taken, which could indicate moonlighting or unscheduled stops. Another handy feature is the ability to upload proof-of-delivery images, fuel receipts and other relevant documentation.


Samsara delivers over-the-air updates and firmware upgrades whenever they’re available, automating the job of keeping software updated and equipped with the latest features. We were surprised by how many updates there have been in the nine months preceding our latest review.

Samsara helicopter view

Samsara offers a helicopter view of your vehicle and asset locations. Source: Samsara

Samsara Cost

Samsara’s GPS fleet tracking services comprise both one-time hardware and licensing costs, plus recurring monthly fees. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t list its pricing online; you have to call its sales department or fill out an online price configurator for a representative to contact you with a custom quote. It’s worth noting that Samsara’s tick-box inquiry form is very similar to the one used by other companies in this industry, notably Azuga.

Samsara supports a wide range of fleet sizes, starting from only three vehicles and it can scale to meet your business’ needs as your fleet grows. This means you can partner with Samsara as a startup and stay with it as your small business expands. Samsara has also negotiated discounted insurance rates for customers from certain third-party providers.

On the downside, 36-month contracts are standard. Although similarly lengthy contracts are common in the fleet management industry, we did find a few GPS fleet tracking companies that offer shorter contracts. For example, our review of Force by Mojio highlights that no contracts are required — and there’s even a 60-day free trial. 

Key TakeawayKey takeaway

Samsara GPS tracking services charge a hardware and licensing fee, plus a monthly subscription fee with a three-year contract.

Samsara Setup

Signing up with Samsara starts with contacting a representative to set up an account that matches your needs and budget. Once this has been done, installing and using its hardware is pretty simple. Samsara only offers plug-and-play GPS fleet tracking devices instead of hardwired systems, so drivers and managers should be able to install a device within minutes into the OBD II ports on their vehicles.

Samsara is compatible with third-party integrations and open application programming interfaces, from manufacturers, such as Ford, Stellantis, and GM, to fuel card providers and maintenance firms. Connecting it to your other business platforms is possible but may add a little more time to your overall setup. As of April 2023, the company supports more than 250 integrations across 15 categories, such as compliance, insurance, payroll and so forth. This reflects Samsara’s growing focus on being a data repository, collecting data to power operations and make them actionable, rather than providing passive feedback on driver locations and behaviors.

Samsara Customer Service

Samsara is accredited with the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. We found all of Samsara’s online resources quite valuable — there are regularly updated blogs and webinars, videos and product tours, plus guides to everything from fuel card management to collision avoidance technologies.

If you need one-on-one support, you can reach Samsara representatives by phone, email, web chat or help ticket. Customer support is available 24/7, which is superior to the 60 hours of weekly support provided by rivals including Force by Mojio.

Samsara Drawbacks

Although Samsara is an excellent GPS fleet tracking service for small businesses, we noted a couple of limitations, mostly regarding pricing and contracts. The most significant potential drawback of Samsara for small businesses is the requirement for at least three vehicles. If you only need tracking for one or two vehicles, a rival solution like GPS TrackIt might be better, because GPS Trackit imposes no minimum fleet size restrictions.

The other significant drawback is Samsara’s average contract term of 36 months. While this is standard across the fleet tracking industry, a short-term or month-to-month contract may suit startups better in their volatile early stages of growth. This lack of flexibility is compounded by the lack of online pricing — a real deterrent for companies that want to do quick price comparisons without speaking to anyone.


Selecting a GPS fleet tracking system can be tough, so we did some of the heavy lifting for you. We spent countless hours researching and analyzing GPS fleet tracking systems to identify the top solutions on the market. We looked at hardware, features, pricing and contracts, usability, refresh times and customer support, and we got hands-on experience with demos and product videos when possible. When searching for the best GPS fleet tracking system for small businesses specifically, we focused on how comprehensive each service’s features are, how easy the product is to set up and use and whether the product can scale easily. In Samsara’s case, we also studied real-time updates and customizable contracts.

Samsara FAQs

Logging into the Samsara platform is simple, whether you are using the mobile app or a web-enabled device. You need a driver’s name, password and fleet ID to log in. Go to and enter your credentials to log in. The company is also beta-testing remote support for tablets, which could help address a range of problems from engine management to routing issues.

If your fleet needs to adhere to the ELD mandate, install the Samsara ELD into each vehicle’s OBD port. Once it’s connected, your driver can log in to the Samsara driver portal or app to record when they are on duty and off duty. The ELD hardware will automatically record essential information like engine diagnostics and safety details and the driver portal will record driving data.

It’s important to note that the mobile app is driver-oriented. You won’t find fleet data or key assets on it ― for that, you’ll need to log onto the manager-centric desktop interface. The mobile app is aimed at preventing hours of service violations, capturing field data, providing drivers with custom workflows and real-time ETAs. Setting the app to Focus mode prevents it from distracting the driver while the vehicle is in motion.

Overall Value

We recommend Samsara for …

  • Small businesses that need to track three or more vehicles or assets.
  • Businesses requiring real-time telematics on their fleet.
  • Fleet managers who want a comprehensive tracking solution that can scale with their business.
  • Companies that also need services like temperature maintenance, site security, etc.

We don’t recommend Samsara for …

  • Businesses looking for preset tracking system plans with online pricing.
  • Fleet managers looking for short-term or month-to-month contracts.
Neil Cumins
Contributing Writer at
Neil Cumins is an award-winning writer and journalist from Carlisle, England. With over 20 years of experience writing about technology and marketing on both sides of the Atlantic, he’s worked with some of the world’s biggest hardware and software manufacturers, as well as countless SaaS brands. An amateur coder and semi-pro photographer, Neil launched his own business in the Noughties, and has subsequently helped many other small firms to grow and prosper.
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