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One in six businesses carry out no ‘grey fleet’ checks, reveals new CLM survey

One in six businesses carry out no ‘grey fleet’ checks, reveals new CLM survey

More than 16%, almost one in six, UK businesses that allow their employees to drive their own cars on company business do not carry out checks to mitigate the risk, according to a new survey.

However, some 62% of UK businesses do undertake some form of risk mitigation, with driver licence checks the most common.  

Meanwhile, smaller fleets were more likely to allow their employees to drive their own cars (93%) on company business than those with more than 100 cars (66%).  

They are some of the findings of a new ‘grey fleet’ study by fleet management specialist, CLM, part of the Maxxia Group, which looked at how aware businesses of differing sizes were of the issues and how they approached them.  

Some 12 billion business miles are said to be driven each year on Britain’s roads by employee-owned  or ‘grey fleet’ cars, which are estimated to be around 14 million in number and cost employers more than £5.5 billion a year in mileage claims and car allowances.
 

They have also been shown to be more polluting than new company-provided cars and present more duty of care concerns, as they are unlikely to be so frequently serviced or as well maintained as company vehicles.  

The CLM research looked at organisations running company car fleets of three sizes: 100-plus vehicles - 53% of those surveyed; 30-99 vehicles - 19%; and less than 30 vehicles - 28%.  

The businesses surveyed fell into four categories: those that had a full-time dedicated fleet manager; those that used an employee who had the fleet as part of their business responsibilities; those that employed a professional fleet management supplier; and those that employed a leasing company.  

In answer to the question ‘does your organisation allow employees to drive their own vehicles for business related journeys?’ 74% replied ‘yes’. The greatest percentage of positive replies was in fleets of less than 30 vehicles where 93% of businesses allowed employees to use their own vehicles. That compared with 66% in the 100-plus vehicle category and 50% in the 30-99 vehicle fleet category. 
 

Current health and safety regulations stipulate that organisations need robust policies in place to ensure that every ‘grey fleet’ car is fit for purpose, has a valid MoT, is insured for appropriate business use and that the employee has a valid driving licence.  

When respondents were asked if checks were carried out to help mitigate risks associated with grey fleet some 62% said they undertook regular checks. However, 16% of employers who allowed employees to drive their own vehicle for business carried out no checks.

When it came to the types of checks that were carried out:
·         50% of businesses asked to see driving licences on a regular basis
·         44% of businesses checked that employees had appropriate insurance for their vehicles
·         36% checked that employees’ vehicles had a valid MoT and were in a roadworthy condition
·         30% had used some form of risk assessment and driver training
·         11% used an external organisation to provide a grey fleet management service.

The study also looked at the alternatives that companies offered to employees instead of using their own vehicles on company business. Overall, the most popular were:
·         Short term hire car - 53%
·         Pool car - 45%
·         Access to another employee’s car - 34%
·         Incentives to cycle, walk or use public transport - 27%

However, 11% of respondents in the smallest fleet category offered no alternative to ‘grey fleet’ drivers at all, which, said CLM, raised the question of how effectively own car business use was being managed, especially if there was no viable alternative offered.  

CLM managing director John Kelly said: “We are still seeing worrying levels of UK businesses that carry out no checks of any description on employee-owned vehicles.  

“This raises all sorts of duty of concern issues, as they are leaving themselves wide open under various aspects of health and safety legislation in the event of a serious accident.”  

To download a free copy of the report go to https://www.clm.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/CLM-Grey-Fleet-Report.pdf