The extent to which grey fleet vehicles are being used as an alternative to company cars has been revealed in a major industry survey.
Grey fleet vehicles are those that are privately owned, insured and maintained but used by employees for business travel.
Detailed research carried out by Fleet News’ sister company Sewells, in association with the Energy Saving Trust, has revealed that nearly one-third (31%) of grey fleet vehicles cover more than 7,000 miles a year on business.
The research also revealed that 24% of grey fleet vehicles cover more than 10,000 miles a year on business-related travel.
Many companies surveyed were unable to confirm the size of their grey fleet or the mileage vehicles covered – often because this information is handled by other departments.
However, across a sample of 197 companies covering every sector of business, Sewells researchers established that these companies ran a total of 59,000 grey fleet vehicles - an average of 300 each.
While mileage varied from below 1,000 business miles a year to more than 20,000, the industry average was 8,670, which using Approved Mileage Allowance Payment (AMAP) rates would cost employers £3,468 per year per vehicle.
Few companies hold a complete record of their direct spending on drivers covering business mileage in private vehicles.
However, the survey has put the hidden costs of running grey fleet vehicles into perspective. Just among the survey sample, the potential mileage reclaims could potentially reach more than £200 million a year.
The high costs involved in grey fleet have been recognised most by the public sector, with research estimating that business mileage in private vehicles makes up around 57% of total road mileage in the sector.
Across the whole sector, this could add up to as much as 1.4 billion miles every year.
To help companies assess the potential savings available, the Office of Government Commerce has published a business case for reviewing grey fleet in favour of other transport options, ranging from lease and rental cars to public transport.
Sewells carried out the research into grey fleet as part of a wide ranging survey into fleet attitudes to the environment for the Energy Saving Trust.
Details of the results will be published in Fleet News over the next few months.
For details, click here
For further details about Sewells, log onto www.sewells.co.uk