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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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is a tracker fitted to a company car legal if it can't be switched

Customer Question

is a tracker fitted to a company car legal if it can't be switched off during the drivers' private time?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

The starting point is that a company car is company property and an employer has a right to know its whereabouts. There are however certain procedures and guidelines that employers need to adhere to in order to keep within the law when undertaking such monitoring.

Firstly, employees have a basic right to privacy under the Human Rights Act. One argument is that monitoring devices fitted to vehicles affect the employees’ right to privacy and is a breach of their basic human rights.

Secondly, monitoring of vehicle movements where the vehicle is allocated to a specific driver and where information about the performance of the vehicle can be linked to a specific individual will fall within the scope of the Data Protection Act 1998. As such, the tracking data is likely to amount to ‘personal data’ under data regulation principles and be subject to certain regulations. The following is guidance published by the Information Commissioners Office, which deals with data protection rights:



  • Where private use of a vehicle is allowed, monitoring its movements when used privately, without the freely given consent of the user, will rarely be justified;

  • If the vehicle is for both private and business use, it ought to be possible to provide a ‘privacy button' or similar arrangement to enable the monitoring to be disabled during private use;

  • Where an employer is under a legal obligation to monitor the use of vehicles, even if used privately, for example by fitting a tachograph to a lorry, then the legal obligation will take precedence.


Employers are therefore encouraged to have a specific policy for the use of vehicle monitoring and to make employees aware of its existence. Where possible, the above principles should be applied to ensure privacy is maintained when the vehicle is used solely for private use.

Generally, the most common way of dealing with privacy issues in such circumstances is through the introduction of a specific monitoring policy and a privacy feature on the vehicle.

You are free to raise your concerns with your employer and discuss the above information, trying to reach an amicable resolution. You can either do this informally or by raising a formal grievance. Remember that you have certain rights in these situations and that your employer should act reasonably and justify their actions as far as possible.

Ben Jones :

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether you need further help or if I can close the question? Thank you

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