Nine out of ten company car drivers have faked their driving miles, it's been claimed.
Flexed.co.uk says huge numbers of business drivers are committing simple frauds such as logging their private driving as business miles in order to cheat their employer out of money.
"Either through laziness, lack of knowledge or just greed, virtually every company with a car fleet is losing money through inaccurate claims," says Mark Hall from Flexed. "But most bosses seem to put up with what they think are acceptable losses."
Flexed.co.uk spoke to 1,200 company car drivers and 89% of respondents said they had submitted an inaccurate mileage claim in the past.
Meanwhile, almost two-thirds (63%) said they had added personal miles to their total for personal gain and 20% said they'd added private miles by mistake.
Flexed.co.uk was shocked at how readily business drivers admitted to giving false reports on their driving habits. "It's almost as they see it as a fringe benefit of the job," said Hall.
Paul Chater, sales director at Vertivia, said: ““Alarming though these statistics are, and certainly they are at higher levels than we ourselves have experienced, there is no reason for companies to put up with such practices, nor to settle for them as being acceptable losses.
“An online business mileage system can be employed to accurately capture drivers’ mileage records, eradicate bogus claims and ensure that companies are only paying out appropriate levels of mileage reimbursement.”
Vertivia’s own research shows categorically that companies see a dramatic fall in recorded business miles after installing a mileage management system.
One major UK fleet witnessed a fall in recorded business miles of 5,546 miles a year per driver, some 25.7% of the company’s total business mileage, following the introduction of Vertivia’s mileage capture system.
The Vertivia analysis showed that the average fall across the Vertivia fleet was 1,874 business miles per driver or 10.6% of the total business miles driven.
This amounted to a saving in claimed mileage expenses of £281 per annum per driver, based on an average saving of 1,874 miles at a typical business mileage rate of 15p per mile.
The analysis also showed that at the same time as recorded business miles went down, so recorded private mileages as a proportion of the total went up - from an average of 18.5% to 24.7% for the fleets analysed.
The largest single differential recorded on one client’s fleet saw the percentage of recorded private miles increase from 20.1% to 37.6% of all recorded miles.
Chater said: “Our findings prove conclusively that the introduction of a mileage capture system, like Vertivia Mileage Management, can have a profound effect on the business miles driven and claimed by company drivers.
“The very fact that business miles and private miles are being recorded accurately, and that there is total transparency in the way the miles are captured, does seem to have a dramatic impact on driver behaviours.
“This results in a substantial fall in the number of business miles recorded, which can produce savings not just in mileage expenses but in fuel costs, too. The average saving per driver suggests that, for a fleet of 1,000 vehicles, a saving in mileage expenses in excess of £280,000 per annum would not be unrealistic.”
Vertivia’s online mileage management technology works by mapping distances between postcodes.