By Sue Branston, sales director, Total Accident Management
With an estimated four million drivers using their own cars on company business according to the HMRC, the UK’s grey fleet shows no signs of abating.
And with one-third of fleets admitting to not having grey fleet procedures in place, is the fleet industry in crisis?
If this means putting the company at risk by not adhering to duty of care legislation and not protecting its employees then companies are guilty as charged, but the fleet department shouldn’t have to shoulder this burden alone.
When it comes to employee welfare the board has a responsibility alongside the HR function and the fleet department, but in many companies the approach to grey fleet is still either inadequate or the fleet department has to take the majority of the responsibility.
Companies need to capture all key information about all drivers.
That will highlight areas of weakness which will help implement solutions along best practice lines to reduce risk exposure, and ensure maximum legislative compliance via a full audit trail.
Fleet departments have been left pretty isolated for too long and the industry should be doing everything it can to help them avoid a potential catastrophe of a grey fleet driver being injured or killed while driving on company business.
Capturing mileage, fuel, servicing, maintenance, VED and MOT data highlights areas of weakness which can be proactively managed.
Regular reminders when grey fleet drivers’ MOTs and VED renewals are due also helps stay ahead of the game.
Helpful reminder emails to grey fleet drivers can then be made to keep a close eye on the condition of your grey fleet.
And it’s not just car drivers who are at risk.
On the light commercial side of the industry, more collection and delivery work is being farmed out to owner-drivers so grey fleet is becoming ever more challenging for LCV operations.
Grey fleet doesn’t look set to go away anytime soon, but fleets should make sure they spread the responsibility of managing this ticking time bomb while being compliant with their duty of care responsibilities before it explodes in their face.