Research released by Enterprise Rent-A-Car has found that grey fleet drivers do not always carry out basic safety checks on their vehicles.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car commissioned the study among more than 2,000 adults in the UK, Ireland, Germany, France and Spain who drive their own cars for business.
It found that 43% of grey fleet drivers do not undertake any regular maintenance checks themselves on their cars.
When asked why they didn’t, 35% said that they expected ‘the car to tell them if something was wrong’ and 36% said ‘that’s what services and MOTs were for’. One in six (17%) simply expected modern cars to work.
With 38% having never checked the tyre tread, and 33% have not looked at engine oil levels. While 40% have never checked if their brake lights are working and 30% admit they have never opened the car bonnet.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s director of business rental for Europe Rob Ingram said: “All over Europe, businesses allow employees to use their own cars for work journeys.
"However, our research indicates that many drivers are not always checking their vehicles before a business trip.
“It’s very likely that this is something that companies are simply not aware of, and equally, they may not be aware of some of the implications for the business should the driver be involved in an accident due to lack of vehicle maintenance.
“We would advise all European businesses with employees that drive their own vehicles for work to ensure their travel and transport policies cover areas such as vehicle maintenance and routine checks for personal vehicles used for business travel.
“Developing travel policy is an area where we often work with our business customers, not least because this is our day to day work.
"At Enterprise, for example, every daily rental vehicle is put through a 25-point check before each hire and Enterprise Car Club vehicles in the UK have an inspection every fortnight.
“It may also make sense to provide employees with other travel options when they are planning a trip, such as pool cars, rental car vehicles, car clubs or advice on the availability of public transport, especially where it may be difficult to monitor how privately-owned vehicles are maintained.
"These options can be more cost-effective than the grey fleet and employees often welcome not having to use their own vehicle for business.
“This research highlights that many personal vehicles aren’t always equipped for business travel and that employees don’t necessarily have the right equipment in the car if they break down.
“Staff may need a reminder before they set off on a trip of what they need to take in their vehicle, especially if they drive abroad where the requirements may be different.
“In some cases, companies may wish to consider if it’s appropriate to help with the cost of these items, not least as they may be stopped and fined by the police on the highway.
“Again, this is an area that can be addressed by a travel policy designed to cover the grey fleet.”