Fleet News

Operators find answers to use of private cars

DELEGATES at a key industry meeting heard practical solutions put forward for fleet decision-makers to manage employees covering business miles in private vehicles.

Among solutions to keep control of the mileage covered by drivers in private cars was the practice of insisting that a line manager signs off every trip they make. Another option was that of limiting private vehicle use on business to 1,000 miles a year. Any higher than that and the driver would have to opt for a hire car instead.

The solutions were among a range of initiatives discussed at the London East meeting of the Association of Car Fleet Operators recently.

Decision-makers heard that drivers’ mileage expenses could be signed off on an expenses sheet and used to allow the line manager to implement fleet policies, such as mileage limits.

One fleet manager told the meeting: ‘We have 650 drivers who take full cash and we have already seen their driving licences and so on. But we could not cope with the 7,000 people in the firm who drive a private car on any occasion.

‘We know it will cost more money, but saying they will have to hire a car is the only way you can guarantee they are driving a safe vehicle on business. We have had a lot of push-back from parts of the business, but line managers are there to run the business, not act as fleet managers.

‘If there was a fatal accident, the first person they would go to is the line manager. The worst case scenario is that they say they don’t know anything about the driver’s ability or the vehicle.’

He added: ‘If you provide staff with a new business vehicle, you can’t then say it is alright for another member of staff to rattle down the M25 in a J-reg car.’

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