Fleet News

Majority of grey fleet is not safe

The grey fleet is in the spotlight again after an ongoing survey found that almost two out of three private vehicles driven on company business were not safe to be on the road.

It is estimated that between one and three million privately-owned cars are used for work.

The survey discovered found that almost 60% of the private vehicles were not properly maintained and around a third were not properly insured.

This is despite the fact that several insurance companies will extend cover for free for drivers who use their own cars for work.

It also confirms the findings of an extensive grey fleet survey late last year (Fleet News, October 25, 2007), which found that 52% of companies do not have a policy to check insurance details of their grey fleet vehicles.

Equally worrying is the lack of company procedures to check that grey fleet vehicles are safe.

Last year, a quarter of fleet managers said that roadworthiness of their grey fleet vehicles was a major concern.

And yet this latest survey confirms that, months later, many are still failing to ensure roadworthiness checks are being carried out.

Just over 70% of maintenance problems identified were tyre-related and should have been picked up during basic safety checks.

However, 91% of drivers admitted to not making such checks – and 98% said their companies did not verify whether or not they did so.

The statistics, which were taken from the Total Motion vehicle monitor survey of 5,734 company and privately-owned vehicles used for business between April and September 2007, show a marked deterioration from the previous issue, which covered October 2006 to March 2007.

“It is clear the safety issues raised by private cars being used for business are not being addressed,” said Simon Hill, managing director of Total Motion.

“Even where companies are introducing duty-of-care policies, they are failing to enforce them.”

The results were obtained from driver appraisals and physical vehicle checks undertaken on-site by qualified engineers as part of Total Motion’s continual vehicle monitoring service.

It found that while several issues need immediate attention in the grey fleet, in contrast the condition of company-owned vehicles continued to improve, with just 0.2% of the vehicles inspected found to be un-roadworthy.

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