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Samsara Fleet Management Review and Pricing

Updated Sep 13, 2023

Table of Contents

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Editors Score:9/10

Samsara is a one-stop shop for your GPS fleet management needs. Its low vehicle requirements, advanced technology, real-time tracking and scalability combine to make it our best pick for small businesses.

Thumbs Up Pros
  • Samsara helps you overcome the challenges businesses face in reducing the environmental impacts of transport.
  • The company offers near enterprise-level driver and vehicle monitoring while keeping its system very easy to use.
  • The platform’s very well-thought-out dashboard is straightforward enough for new users to master quickly.
Thumbs Down Cons
  • You have to commit to Samara’s service for three years and no free trial is available.
  • You can’t use hard-wired GPS tracking units, which are more secure.
  • Some of the available app integrations require extra fees.
Editor's Rating9/10
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Going green makes commercial sense. Consumers want businesses to reduce their environmental impacts as much and as soon as possible, and there’s growing government and regulatory pressure on companies to cut back fast on emissions. But transitioning from a fleet of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to one composed of electric and hybrid vehicles is a complicated and time-consuming process.

Samsara provides managers and decision-makers with the tools, data and analysis they need to start to make the switch, which is why we found it to be the best GPS fleet management system for businesses interested in sustainability. Samsara boasts a fully featured, user-friendly, intuitive GPS fleet management platform that’s just as capable of monitoring electric and hybrid vehicles as ICE ones. As with competing platforms, the service helps you save money, reduce fuel costs, get more life out of your vehicles and improve driver safety. 

Samsara Editor's Rating:

9 / 10

Contract length
Refresh rate
Customer service
Hardware type

Why We Chose Samsara for Sustainability

Samsara hardware

Samsara facilitates plug-and-play vehicle and asset connectivity. Source: Samsara

Now might be the best time for fleets to go green. That’s because of generous government grants and incentives like Utah’s Clean Fleet Program, which offers to reimburse companies up to 45 percent of the cost of replacing a diesel truck with an all-electric truck. But changing a fleet from all ICE vehicles to all electric and hybrid is not straightforward. We are impressed with how Samsara has evolved over time to support these types of initiatives. Samsara is unique in that it helps fleet managers plan the order in which they replace aging, less economical and more polluting ICE vehicles with eco-friendly alternatives. We love that the platform’s dashboard shows how much you’re going to save in fuel costs and emissions if you switch to electric or hybrid models for each ICE vehicle you currently have.

That’s only one of a number of green features the Samsara platform includes. What we appreciate most is how these sustainability-driven functions are built into the core of the system instead of being standalone add-ons. You can monitor the performance of your electric and hybrid vehicles in the same way you would ICE models to help lower fuel use and extend vehicle life with predictive and proactive maintenance. At the same time, Samsara is capable of fulfilling traditional fleet management needs and competes very well with other providers in every important aspect, including driver safety. What makes this vendor different is that it is committed to staying relevant and useful as the world moves away from gas and diesel.

Did You Know?Did you know

Samsara achieved a net-zero carbon footprint for its own emissions in 2019. Learn how to reduce your business’ carbon footprint.

Ease of Use

Samsara dashboard

Samsara’s clear, functional dashboard greets fleet managers with relevant data. Source: Samsara

When you open Samsara’s desktop dashboard, you can access the compliance, safety, maintenance, dispatch, fuel and energy, documentation and reports controls via the tabs on the left of the screen in icon form. When you click on a tab, the navigation bar helpfully stays on the left. The dashboard has a landscape configuration and the clickable elements are well-presented and spaced. Overall, we found that it’s a straightforward system to use.

We also like that the customizable dashboard leads you into the main functionality of the platform quickly and intuitively. You can set up advanced alerts for more than 15 different categories, establish key performance indicators and monitor real-time driver behavior. We also appreciated the ability to review driver videos, set up geofences and manage fleet maintenance and dispatch.

Moving forward, Samsara recently announced it will be unveiling some digital-first tools designed to improve worker experiences. These include a new virtual coach for drivers and an upgraded mobile experience that will allow drivers to receive remote training and live troubleshooting from their mobile devices. 

Samsara Features

Samsara is a fully featured GPS fleet management system that enables companies to target sustainability as they transition over time to an electric fleet. Below are some of our favorite features related to sustainability and the service in general.

Guidance for transition to EVs and hybrids

Samsara EV Suitability

Samsara’s “EV Suitability” report helps managers decide where electric vehicles may be better used than ICE vehicles. Source: Samsara

To help fleet managers plan for a transition to electric vehicles (EVs), we love that they can use the “EV Suitability” function in Samsara’s “Reports” section. There, they can set their own criteria to determine which vehicles should be replaced first using four different criteria: maximum lifetime mileage, average fuel efficiency, average daily range and maximum daily range. 

You can click to a broad overview of your fleet and see which vehicles may be most suitable for electrification based on your criteria. For example, it might be economically worthwhile to invest in a new vehicle if doing so offers fuel savings of $25,000 or more per year. Next to each vehicle, you can see how each one performs against each criterion. You also see an estimate of average fuel and emissions savings. At the end of the row, Samsara rates each vehicle from “not suitable” for electrification (if 15 percent or less of your qualifying criteria are met) to “suitable” (if 80 percent or more of your criteria are met).

You can also access information like charging trends to show how many times an EV or hybrid vehicle has been charged, for how long and the total kilowatt hour (kWh) charged. Built into the vehicle diagnostic report is a battery health algorithm that can alert you to excessive battery degradation too.

General fleet reporting

Samsara reporting

Samsara gives users some of the most in-depth fleet and driver management reporting on the market. Source: Samsara

Samsara’s tracking units and dashcams send information on all types of vehicle every second to your desktop and app dashboards. That is significantly faster than competitors. On top of viewing this live data, you can run reports on the following components of your fleet:

  • Activity and fuel: There are 25 aspects monitored, including fuel consumed and cost, high engine torque, idling time, distance, driver efficiency, coasting and speeding. EV and hybrid monitoring metrics included in this part of the dashboard show the total distance traveled using electric power and energy consumed in kWh in total per vehicle.
  • Safety: This report includes 15 categories, like acceleration, braking, speeding and harsh turn counts, maximum speeds and safety scores.
  • Compliance: The seven actions tracked in this report are when drivers are on and off duty, time spent driving on company business, personal driving, time in the sleeper berth, time waiting and yard move time.
  • Maintenance: This report delivers driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) information, including safe and unsafe submitted DVIRs.

To run reports, simply select whether you want a report on a driver or a vehicle/asset and then choose the aspects you want to include. Set start and end dates for the period of time you’re interested in and then click “Run.” It’s really that easy.

Samsara records and presents vehicle diagnostic information, which is helpful with preventive maintenance to reduce the chance of an unexpected breakdown and calculates driver efficiency scores. With the latter, drivers’ performances are evaluated in real time so that you can improve fleet efficiency.

A handy new feature is the “route versus actual route” metric. Samsara calculates the difference between distances across locations versus actual routes taken by drivers or vehicles between those locations. We love how this helps small businesses identify how much fuel could be saved by selecting optimal routes. It’s a great opportunity to maximize your return on investment and fleet performance.

FYIDid you know

Whether you buy or lease a company car, your organization is responsible for executing maintenance, but such upkeep expenses may be covered under a lease.

Alerts and notifications

You can choose to receive alerts on events relating to compliance, device health, driver behavior, equipment, location and routing, maintenance, safety and security. Alerts always appear on your Samsara dashboard, but we like that you can also get them via email and text message if you want.

When you implement the Samsara system, there are 34 built-in alerts that you have to switch on to activate. These cover events like dashcam disconnection, vehicle fault codes, unsafe driving (including speeding and abrupt braking or hard cornering) and hours of service violations.

You can also choose to receive an alert of an EV battery charge level going up or down by a value you specify.

Tracking and dashcam equipment

Samsara dashcam

Samsara has two types of dashcams, including one with dual cameras. Source: Samsara

The sensors on Samsara’s GPS tracking unit record and transmit driver and vehicle data to your dashboard via a 4G cellular signal or a high-speed Wi-Fi connection. It offers a dual-facing dashcam (with one camera monitoring the driver’s cab) and a single-facing dashcam that records only the driver’s view. We like how it has incorporated artificial intelligence (AI) into its cameras in recent years. In high definition and powered by AI, these cameras detect and film events like erratic driving or blowing through a stop sign. Recorded video is then sent back to the Samsara platform, where it can be easily accessed. We appreciate that you can use these videos to help drivers eliminate bad habits and defend against insurance claims. Impressively, the cameras are also equipped with highly effective night vision technology, which captures a lot of detail even when it’s dark. 

A recently added feature to Samsara’s dashcam is its driver alert function. If the dashcam detects that the driver is distracted or is engaging in dangerous behavior, an audible warning will let them know. A record is made of that on the trip history, too, which fleet managers may find useful. Panic buttons are also available, which can send video back to the base in case a driver gets into a compromising or emergency situation. 

Perhaps coolest of all, administrators can use the livestream function to remotely watch whatever the dashcam is recording live and hear audio. Each dashcam can livestream for five minutes a month, but you can obtain more time by purchasing Samsara’s livestreaming license for an additional cost.

Live vehicle and asset tracking

Samsara live GPS mapping

Samsara’s live GPS mapping lets you see your entire fleet’s locations in real time. Source: Samsara

You can click on the “Fleet” tab on the Samsara dashboard to see where all your vehicles are at any given time. Drilling down further, you can click on the dots on the map to see the exact location together with other data like the driver name and vehicle identifier. We love that Samsara offers second-by-second tracking, so what you see on the map is as close to real time as you can get. This sets it apart from other providers whose routes show breadcrumbs reflecting their slower refresh rate. You can choose the default map view or get a look by terrain or satellite. We like that you can also overlay current traffic to see the local conditions your drivers are facing.

If a driver is having trouble getting to their end location, you can help guide them via the mobile app. You can also warn drivers of traffic jams or bad weather so they can choose a different route. You can even share the live map with customers so they can see where the vehicle is and when it’s expected to arrive.

Samsara’s one-update-a-second refresh rate is the best among the GPS fleet tracking services we reviewed. In comparison, FleetUp and Force by Mojio update every 10 seconds; Verizon Connect, every 30 seconds; and Azuga, every 30-120 seconds, depending on the plan you’re on. In our Motive review, you’ll see that its 1-3 second refresh rate is Samsara’s closest competitor.

Did You Know?Did you know

You should read our Force by Mojio review if you run a services business like electrical work, plumbing or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. That platform is specifically designed to support those types of companies, whereas Samsara is ideal for other industries — learn which in the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below.

Mobile app

Samsara mobile app

The Samsara Fleet mobile app lets managers monitor fleets while on the go themselves. Source: Samsara

Samsara has two apps: Samsara Fleet for fleet managers and Samsara Driver for drivers. Both are available from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

With Samsara Fleet, you can update drivers’ schedules, add new jobs and adjust the order in which they complete jobs and they’ll see the changes on their app. We appreciate that the Fleet app offers the same functionality as the desktop dashboard. You can see where your fleet and individual vehicles are at any time, share driver locations with delivery recipients, receive notifications and message team members, including other administrators. This is great for small business owners and fleet managers who aren’t always in the office.

Samsara Driver streamlines driver tasks with guided workflows, route and job information, electronic DVIRs and inspection reports filing, hours-of-service tracking, electronic device logging and routing information. It also enables two-way messaging with fleet managers. A recent addition to the Driver app that we like is workflow automation that, for example, can remind drivers of end-of-day tasks they need to complete or specific documents they need to collect on a job.


Want to know whether a vehicle or asset enters or leaves a particular area? With Samsara, you can define these areas as geofences, which then alert you when the parameters are crossed. Some common geofence uses include the following:

  • Unauthorized usage: A geofence can mark the area in which your fleet is expected to be. If a vehicle or asset leaves the area you’ve set as a geofence, that could indicate it’s been stolen.
  • Compliance: With the help of geofences, you can monitor and enforce compliance with regulations related to restricted areas, such as when transporting hazardous materials.
  • Client arrival/delivery information: You can trigger an alert when a vehicle gets close to its destination so that, for example, a receiving warehouse can be ready for arrival. This gives on-site staffers time to prepare and can reduce the time needed for loading and unloading goods. With Samsara’s platform, you can add regular destinations to your address book so your contacts receive a geofencing alert when your vehicle is near their premises.

Large marketplace and API integrations

Samsara integrations

Samsara offers a full REST API option for integration with other software and apps. Source: Samsara

Samsara has one of the largest third-party marketplaces of all the GPS systems we reviewed, with 75 available integrations. Standout examples include apps from Ford and General Motors that allow companies to access manufacturer-grade data for more efficient fleet management. Ryder offers a similar app for vehicles leased from them. We like that you can choose from apps that help you improve compliance, routing and dispatch and fleet safety, but be aware that some have separate costs.

Some of the apps can even help you reward good driving behavior among your vehicle operators and score lower insurance premiums. As you choose business insurance for your company, specifically commercial auto insurance, see if the insurer’s app integrates with the Samsara system. This synergy can benefit small businesses looking to cut costs and simplify operations.

We also liked Samsara’s application programming interface (API) a lot. You can integrate all of your fleet data into other business apps and software programs for an interconnected technology suite that streamlines operations. There are also a number of prebuilt webhooks that allow system notifications to be integrated into other technology solutions you use. As our Azuga review notes, that vendor also has an impressive API, but Samsara’s marketplace is a bit more extensive. That said, as noted above, some of the apps have add-on fees. Furthermore, Samsara’s documentation is not as comprehensive, but it should be fine for most developers.

Samsara Pricing

Samsara advertises its prices for fleets of 10 or fewer but not for those with 11 or more vehicles. Below we’ve outlined what they charge companies with fleets of 10 or fewer vehicles for the hardware and three years of annual licenses.

  • Vehicle IOT Gateway: $1,584
  • Dual-facing AI dashcam: $2,160
  • Front-facing AI dashcam: $1,584
  • Unpowered Asset Gateway: $432
  • Powered Asset Gateway: $558
  • Powered Asset Gateway Plus: $756

Those prices are for the hardware, cloud software, cables, ongoing firmware updates and cellular data connectivity for cellular gateways. On a monthly basis, this is expensive compared to other providers. Check out our review of ClearPathGPS and our GPS Trackit review to see what more affordable competitors charge.

If your fleet is 10 or less in size, you must pay for the equipment and three-year annual fees in full upfront. However, if your fleet is greater than 11 in number, you can pay monthly, though you’ll need to speak to a Samsara representative for a price quote. To get the best deal, it may be worth getting quotes from two or three other providers and asking Samsara to do better.

Samsara offers a 30-day money-back return period for new customers, which we appreciate considering the minimum contract term is 36 months and there is no free trial.

Implementation and Onboarding

We love that getting started with Samsara is extremely straightforward. You have access to a customer success team for thirty days after sign-up. After signing up for the service, you can create an online account, download the apps, set up administrator accounts and driver/vehicle files and install the GPS tracking unit, dashcam and any other hardware you’ve ordered. Installing the equipment shouldn’t take long and you can speed up the process by using the Samsara Fleet app. But since the equipment pieces are all plug-and-play models, implementation is as simple as plugging in the device and then pairing it with the software.

That said, the setup process will take longer depending on the number of apps you want to integrate. If your business wants to use the API to develop integrations between Samsara and other software, this will possibly add significant time to your implementation period. To aid onboarding, the Samsara website includes product tours, webinars and a video library.

Customer Support

Samsara provides 24/7 support, but if you want to speak with a representative over the phone, it’s not easy to find the support number on the company’s website. Instead, the vendor pushes you toward its live chat and ticketing function first. For self-help, Samsara’s online knowledge base is extensive, giving customers in-depth instructions, tips and advice on a variety of topics, from hardware to compliance to workflows to telematics. As an example, there are nearly 50 articles in the “Driver Safety” section. There’s also an extensive video library with product tours and installation guides. Only Azuga and Verizon Connect’s knowledge bases are as large. [Learn more in our comprehensive review of Verizon Connect.]

Notably, Samsara is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which gives it an A+ rating. Not only is that remarkable because it’s the top rating you can get from the BBB, but many of the company’s rivals aren’t accredited at all. This is a great indicator of how well Samsara serves small businesses. Plus, online customer reviews score the service highly as well, with the average rating being around 80 percent over nearly 1,000 reviews.

FYIDid you know

While we appreciate that Samsara offers 24/7 customer service, read our FleetUp review to find out why we named FleetUp the best GPS fleet management provider for businesses prioritizing customer support.


Samsara’s hardware is plug-and-play, not hard-wired. While plug-and-play is less expensive and doesn’t require professional installation — two definite advantages — it should be noted that hard-wired equipment is less prone to tampering and requires less maintenance. Given these considerations, it would be nice if the company allowed clients to choose between the two types.

Another downside to keep in mind is that although Samsara’s app marketplace is quite large, many of the apps, particularly those related to maintenance and tire monitoring, require you to pay an additional fee. This can limit the system’s potential for small businesses on a budget.


During our search for the best GPS fleet management services, we examined a range of vendors, taking a close look at features that help improve driver safety, reduce transportation time, allow near real-time driver and vehicle monitoring and tracking and increase fuel efficiency. We also sought systems that were simple to install and easy to use and we considered pricing, refresh rate, customer service and equipment, among other factors. We named Samsara the top vendor in this sector for businesses that want to prioritize sustainability because the company not only puts an emphasis on improving fuel efficiency but also helps guide you through the process of transitioning from a gas-powered fleet to a hybrid and electric one.

Samsara FAQs

No, Samsara’s dashcams do not record all the time. Samsara’s dashcams record when a vehicle is traveling 5 mph or more. They record for a further 10 minutes when a trip has ended. The dashcams also send a still image to the Samsara cloud every two minutes and you can access these photos via your dashboard. There are also livestreaming capabilities.

Samsara’s AI-powered dashcams are designed to detect policy violations (like not wearing a seatbelt), tailgating, distracted driving and sudden events (turning, acceleration, braking and crashes).

Samsara’s GPS tracking feature tracks drivers and their vehicles in real time using its “Vehicle Gateway” service. Fleet managers can monitor vehicles’ current locations and send links to customers showing them this information and providing an ETA. This tool also tracks fuel usage, sets geofences to prevent unauthorized activity, creates more efficient routes and receives alerts when engines are idling. [Learn how to reduce your fleet’s idling time.]

Although Samsara’s GPS fleet tracking software is suitable for all small and midsize businesses, it specializes in working with the transportation and logistics, construction, food and beverage, passenger transit and utility industries. The company also focuses on working with field services firms, the government, K-12 schools and higher education establishments. It also provides an enterprise solution for larger organizations.

Bottom Line

We recommend Samsara for …

  • Companies that want to transition to electric vehicles.
  • Businesses that may now or in the future want to track equipment and assets on the same platform as their vehicles.
  • Organizations that want the ability to send customers live vehicle location maps and ETAs.

We don’t recommend Samsara for …

  • Businesses that want hard-wired GPS tracking equipment.
  • Companies on a budget that don’t want to commit to three years of service and pay extra app fees.
Mark Fairlie
Mark Fairlie
Contributing Writer at
Mark Fairlie has written extensively on business finance, business development, M&A, accounting, tax, cybersecurity, sales and marketing, SEO, investments, and more for clients across the world for the past five years. Prior to that, Mark owned one of the largest independent managed B2B email and telephone outsourcing companies in the UK prior to selling up in 2015.
Editor's Rating9/10
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