Fleet News

Paying price for dishonest drivers

DRIVERS are scamming thousands of pounds from their employers by tweaking their mileage figures, new research has found.

It suggests the problem of fraudulent mileage reimbursement could be more common than previously thought.

A study of blue chip clients by The Miles Consultancy has revealed worrying trends where mileage claims submitted are either inflated to increase reimbursement, or private mileage is reduced to avoid tax.

Paul Jackson, managing director of The Miles Consultancy, said: ‘Our findings have revealed that it is perhaps even more common than many people think, and it seems to mostly affect drivers who use their own car, a car provided under an employee car ownership scheme or those who take a cash allowance.

‘This is because the milometer readings are not always submitted and it’s much harder to keep track of total mileage than if the driver used a company car.’

Mr Jackson said the most common tricks included rounding figures up to end in zero, and reporting over-inflated distances when travelling from home.

He said: ‘The implications are, of course, enormous. Companies are paying out thousands of pounds to employees who are acting fraudulently.

The scams not only con the employer but also the taxman as drivers can often reduce their tax liability by claiming journeys are for business when in fact they are private and therefore subject to higher tax implications.’

Mr Jackson suggests that sophisticated and comprehensive mileage capturing systems are the only way to ensure honesty among drivers.

He added: ‘By studying the data, companies can also check drivers are adhering to health and safety rules.

‘For example, are they driving more miles than permitted in any one day and are they taking enough breaks?

‘If drivers are not complying with the rules the company could end up liable should any accidents occur.’

A survey carried out in March by hotel chain Travelodge found one in five employees fiddle their expense claims (Fleet News, March 8).

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