There are many risks associated with grey fleet vehicles – those that are not company vehicles but are used for business travel.
Grey fleet vehicles can be anything from a cash-for-car, a car obtained via an employee car ownership scheme, a privately-owned vehicle or a vehicle that the employee has hired outside of any company-provided scheme.
However, just because an employee does not use a company-provided vehicle for a business journey does not absolve the company or the fleet manager from their duty of care responsibilities.
The law is clear – the company still has a legal duty of care to that employee, regardless of vehicle ownership so the grey fleet needs to be managed in exactly the same way as company owned or leased vehicles.
However, because grey fleet vehicles are not supplied by a company, there are unique problems a fleet manager faces in trying to manage the safety of those vehicles.
Driver licence checks still need to be carried out, observance of tyre and maintenance schedules still need to be checked. Questions such as does the vehicle have a valid MOT? Are its tyres above the legal tread limit? Does the driver have a valid licence? Is he/she fit to drive? Does the vehicle have business-use insurance? all need to be asked and the answers verified.
Organisations should also remember that anything they do for an employee using an owned or leased vehicle must also be offered to employees in the grey fleet.
Managing the grey fleet isn’t easy, and it needs someone with cross-department responsibility to be able to implement work-related road risk management effectively.
Policies and procedures need to take into account the management issues associated with all employees, not just those in a company-managed vehicle.
This guide by Zurich Insurance should help fleet managers address and tackle the grey fleet issue.