It’s a situation that many companies allow to continue unchecked. But while it may seem convenient to turn a blind eye, the reality is that it comes with a whole host of issues that can pose big problems for any business.
The grey fleet has serious implications in terms of employee safety and employers’ duty of care. Then there’s the impact on the environment and the extra costs it can heap on companies.
It’s why it’s important to ask yourself if you’re managing your grey fleet as effectively as you should be.
What is a grey fleet?
‘Grey fleet’ refers to any vehicle that doesn’t belong to the company but is being used for business-related journeys.
In return for using these vehicles for business travel, drivers receive a cash allowance or fuel expense, usually calculated on a pence-per-mile basis. Despite not being owned by the company, these vehicles still fall under the responsibility of the employer.
The risks of a grey fleet
The management of grey fleets can easily slip through the cracks in a company. If no one person is responsible for grey fleet drivers, employers are left in the dark on key issues that can have a big effect on the business’s bottom line:
Grey fleet management challenges
Getting to grips with your grey fleet isn’t always easy. Despite employers being bound by a statutory duty to care for employees while they’re at work, many struggle to do so while their staff are driving.
The problem is often a lack of resource and expertise, alongside the difficulties involved in monitoring vehicles that are not owned by the company.
With no record of MOTs, services or tyre checks and vehicles that are built to older safety standards, bosses are left facing a minefield when it comes to managing grey fleet vehicles and drivers.
The dangers of grey fleet non-compliance
The Health and Safety at Work Act requires employers to take responsibility for the health and safety of their employees while they’re at work and ensure they’re not put at risk.
It means you have the same duty of care for grey fleet drivers as you do for drivers using vehicles directly supplied by your business.
In the event of a grey fleet driver being involved in an accident there’s a burden on businesses to prove they have fulfilled their legal obligations. If they can’t, there can be serious legal, financial and reputational consequences.
Businesses could also face stiff tax penalties from the HMRC if they fail to keep accurate and complete mileage reimbursement records.
Take back control of the grey fleet
Effective management of your grey fleet starts with getting a clear picture of the costs, environmental impact and any health and safety issues.
Begin by getting a handle on data for the following:
Next steps include:
Once you have the data you can then make informed decisions about the way forward. Options could include:
LeasePlan can help you get to grips with your grey fleet in a number of ways:
Want to find out how more about taking control of your grey fleet? Download our guide now.
Source: 14 million cars and vans make up Britain’s grey fleet from BVRLA / EST Report ‘Getting to Grips with Grey Fleet’