Fleet News

Firms fail to check ‘opt-out’ drivers

ALMOST half of all companies fail to ask their opt-out drivers whether they are qualified to drive a car on business.

New research shows that 47% of opt-out drivers are not required to produce a driving licence before making work-related journeys, and one in seven company car drivers are not required to show their licence.

Some 64% of business drivers, both company car and opt-out drivers, are not required by their employers to give details of any motoring convictions they may have or don’t know if they are required to do so. The research of more than 1,000 drivers was carried out by fleet management firm Arval.

Head of market analysis Mike Waters said: ‘Driving licence checks and evidence of motoring convictions are the most basic level of checks that companies need to undertake on all drivers going on work related journeys.

‘The high number of ‘don’t know’ responses also indicates that where companies do have a checking procedure it is not being adequately communicated.’

Also shown by the research is the fact that almost 40% of drivers using their own car on business do not have to show any documentation about the vehicles, 50% are not required to produce an insurance policy and 69% are not required to produce their vehicle’s registration documents.

Waters said: ‘Opt-out drivers and own-car users appear to be in a blind spot for companies; with companies mistakenly believing that duty of care does not apply unless they actually supply a vehicle to the driver.

‘Overall, these results highlight apparent concerns over UK companies fully understanding their duty of care obligations.

‘No company wants to find out the hard way what systems should have been in place to ensure the roadworthiness of drivers and their vehicles.’

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