A damning new report from Arval has found that while it is routine procedure to check an employee’s driving licence before handing over a company car, over one-third of businesses fail to carry out similar checks for employees who use their own vehicles on company business.
The report also reveals that over half of companies fail to check if their grey fleet vehicles have business insurance.
There are now some one million non-company owned vehicles on Britain’s roads being used for business purposes.
“These are on company business and that makes them your responsibility,” said the Mike Waters, head of marketing insight, Arval, in a message directed at companies who are shirking their grey fleet responsibilities.
The report found that while fleet managers’ greatest concern in relation to the grey fleet is whether vehicles have business-use insurance, 52% still do not have a policy to check insurance details.
Roadworthiness, including maintenance, servicing and overall reliability were also cited by 23% of fleet managers as a major concern.
However, the report suggests that more than 75% of own-vehicle drivers are not required by their employers to produce a valid MOT certificate, with smaller fleets operators being particularly lax, with around 80% failing to perform any MOT checks.
An even greater number – 83.6% – fail to check if vehicles in their grey fleets are regularly serviced.
More worrying is that less than half of companies have a policy in place for reporting crashes involving grey fleet vehicles that were being driven on business.
Of greatest concern, says the report, is that the biggest fleets (500+ vehicles) fared worst, with only 26.9% having a formal accident reporting policy in place.
Fleet managers are advised to put a rigorous policy of checks and procedures in place to cover their grey fleet.
In addition, they should take extra steps such as restricting the age of vehicles or demand they have a certain EuroNCAP safety rating.
Despite this advice, over 73% of employers place no restriction on vehicle age of non-company vehicles, and only 7.8% insist on vehicles less than three years of age.
As a result of the findings, there is a ground swell of feeling among larger fleet companies that there is a need to return to company cars.