Almost 30% of 1,600 drivers quizzed in the report admit to spending between 20 and 30 hours a week behind the wheel on company business.
In the last 12 months, 30% of drivers have had their business mileage increased compared to this time last year.
The findings are revealed in the latest ‘Company Cars – The Drivers’ Perspective’ report compiled by Bank of Scotland Vehicle Finance, released this week.
Graham Hale, head of corporate business for Bank of Scotland Vehicle Finance, said: ‘The fact the hours spent at the wheel have dramatically increased from last year is a worry. Aside from the wear and tear on both driver and vehicle, excessive mileage and time spent behind the wheel exposes an employer to risk.’
The report also found that there has been another rise in the number of fleets with diesel cars – 58% this year compared to 50% in 2004 and 41% in 2003. It also found that in the last year 32% of drivers have changed from petrol to diesel.
Hale added: ‘The diesel phenomenon continues in fleet. This year’s research shows that diesel models continue to be more popular than petrol models.
‘We don’t expect this trend to slow in light of the re-introduction of the 3% levy for diesels in 2006. In fact, the new tax implications could create a surge in diesel registrations towards the end of 2005, although manufacturers have commented that they are not gearing up production to meet such demand.’
Safety features highly, with 88% of company motorists claiming that the pressure of work or being late for an appointment makes them drive faster or less safely. A total of 58% admit to not having a break every two hours on long journeys as recommended in the Highway Code.
Mobile phone use also goes under the spotlight, with drivers apparently getting more complacent about using a hand-held mobile phone while driving – despite the ban in December 2003.
More than 60% admitted to making or taking a call on a hand-held mobile over the past year, with 36% believing that doing so had no effect on their driving.