Fleet News

New European insurance rules threaten further increases in fleet premiums

EUROPEAN bureaucrats have been criticised by a leading fleet figure for failing to take account of the industry's needs in a new directive which will affect every fleet from 2003.

ACFO chairman Tony Leigh slammed Brussels bureaucrats for not consulting the fleet industry before framing new insurance legislation which will either bury fleet managers under a mountain of paperwork or push costs higher.

The Fourth Motor Insurance Directive will mean all fleets will have to keep an exact record of every car driven by employees covered by the corporate insurance, by the time it comes into force in January 2003.

But the move is expected to cause problems where fleets use daily rental cars and manufacturer demonstrators, in keeping track of make, model, registration and driver details. Drivers would need to notify fleet departments of the registration details of hire cars and demonstrators before driving them.

One of the alternatives being considered to reduce the huge administrative workload on fleets is to use the insurance provided by rental companies for hire cars, which would increase fleet costs.

Leigh told ACFO members at a regional meeting: 'A decision has not yet been made on how it will work, and how long rental cars need to be loaned to qualify, but the new system was obviously thought up by someone who had no idea about fleet and was only thinking about retail customers. 'There is some suggestion that companies will have to download all transactions made at the end of each day. Hire cars might have to be rented on the hirer's insurance, which would increase costs. The advantage would be that they have all the registration details.'

The move would mean companies would have to pay extra for rental cars in return for not having to track and store details of the vehicles.

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