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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
“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