Fleet News

County council employees caught abusing pool cars

Suffolk County Council has dismissed two employees for misuse of pool cars, according to reports.

The misconduct was discovered following an investigation by the local authority.

Suffolk County Council investigated 113 members of staff for misuse of pool cars between April 2017 and June 2018, 13 of whom were found to have abused the system.

Of those, two were dismissed; three received final written warnings; one received a first written warning; two had no case to answer for and one had reached a settlement agreement because of an ongoing disciplinary investigation for a separate matter, according to a report by the Eastern Daily Press (EDP).

There were also three who received non-formal disciplinaries and one temporary worker who had their contract terminated.

A spokesman from Suffolk County Council told the EDP: "We have a zero-tolerance policy regarding the misuse of council resources, so where evidence has been found of this, appropriate action will be taken.

"Our employees are frequently reminded of our policy on pool cars, mileage and subsistence.

"These are regularly audited to identify any apparent misuse and allow us to investigate and take action accordingly."

Council rules state that pool cars should not be taken after 5pm, on weekends or booked in the week to continue over a weekend, unless prior permission had been sought.

Another member of staff was dismissed in the summer of 2017 after a whistleblower reported the individual to have misused pool cars prior to the review.

The cost to taxpayers has not yet been identified, but it is understood that the council recovered around £2,000.

Council chiefs sent reminders to staff about pool car use and updated the internal bookings, following the investigation.

Pool cars must not be used for personal use, else they'll be eligible for benefit taxation. 

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


  • Sage & Onion - 22/11/2019 12:05

    At which point does a pool car attract BIK where incremental private use is unavoidable? For example, where an employee has an early start using a pool car and has has to take the pool car home the evening before, or will be back late and has to take it home because their own personal vehicle may be locked in a secure premises overnight? And similarly if these journeys occur on a Monday or a Friday where the "taking home" element is unavoidable over a weekend and their own personal vehicle is locked in a secure premises? Is it reasonable and acceptable to allow private use on such occasions as long as the driver makes good the fuel they use?

    • Andy - 29/11/2019 14:50

      I believe this to be he case as long as the person does not do this with the same car more then 14 times in a financial year.

Related content

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee