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Research suggests grey fleet drivers don’t carry out vital maintenance checks

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Employees who use their own cars for business journeys may need to do far more to keep those vehicles properly maintained, according to Enterprise Rent-A-Car

It surveyed 2,000 UK drivers, 488 of whom regularly use their own cars for business trips and found more than a quarter (27%) currently have a warning light on in their car.

“Employers have little or no control over the condition of those personal cars. However, if one of their drivers gets into an accident due to poor vehicle maintenance, the business could find itself liable for heavy fines, costs and damages,” said Adrian Bewley, director of business rental at Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Almost a third of grey fleet drivers (30%) in the survey confessed they’ve never opened the bonnet of the car they use for business and less than half (43%) have checked their tyre pressures.

The research also revealed that one in six grey fleet drivers (17%) only get their vehicle checked at its annual MOT or service, and that 2% have never had their car checked at all.

Even worse, one in ten (10%) say they’ve had a road accident that was either probably or definitely caused by a lack of proper vehicle maintenance.

Given that organisations are responsible for ensuring employees drive in properly maintained vehicles on work trips, no matter who owns the cars, this could spell serious legal trouble for public sector bodies and businesses across the country. Many of them let their employees use personal cars for work and then reclaim the mileage.

Bewley said: “Many public sector organisations are leading the way in recognising that business travel can open the door to unnecessary cost and risk and providing alternatives such as daily rental or car clubs. At Enterprise, for example, every daily rental vehicle is put through a 25-point check before each rental. Meanwhile, Enterprise Car Club vehicles have a rigorous inspection every fortnight.”

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