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Risks around grey fleet and how to avoid them
It can be a tricky topic where businesses are concerned... However, the grey fleet - which refers to any vehicle used for making a work-related journey, which is not owned or leased by the organisation itself - can be managed effectively when the right steps are taken. With 12 billion miles driven each year in grey fleet vehicles, it comes as no surprise that employers are paying out over five billion pounds a year in mileage claims and car allowances.
With recent news suggesting that grey fleet drivers may be over-claiming on their mileage accounts, this adds up to a lot of extra costs for businesses across the country. The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association is in fact urging bosses to get to grips with the grey fleet by targeting a 50% reduction in mileage and costs by 2020.
Ever supportive of SME's throughout the UK, managing director for supermarket fuel card provider, fuelGenie, Robert Pieczka shares his top tips for businesses with grey fleet...
"Having a grey fleet is most beneficial for businesses that do not have high business mileage. This is because drivers will be making fewer journeys, which in turn will hopefully lead to fewer risks. However, for larger fleets, and ones who travel further distances, grey fleets can be harder to manage.
"Firstly, employers should be entirely clued up on which employees are using their vehicles for work, and roughly how many miles they are expected to undertake throughout the year. Once this is established, the proper documentation should not be overlooked. With around 40% of business owners estimated to not check whether their grey fleet drivers have correct business insurance or MOT, this can be easily avoided by carrying out the necessary checks from the outset.
"To avoid employees over claiming on mileage, SME's should also consider investing in a mileage management system. Some packages can feature live tracking and driver performance self-improvement tools to reduce risks.
"Assigning the responsibility of grey fleet to an employee is also key. This team member should also be responsible for creating a framework of policies and procedures within which employers and employees can successfully operate.
"For those looking for an alternative to grey fleet vehicles, businesses can consider leasing, renting or even wider use of public transport. However, employers must take care with hire cars. When an employee is using a hire car rather than their own for business journeys, it is important that the car is booked and hired to the company, not the individual. This is because otherwise the car will be listed under retail insurance, and not business insurance.
"One benefit of cutting down on the number of grey fleet vehicles and offering greener alternatives, is the obvious subsequent benefits to the environment. In a recent BVRLA report, figures showed that mileage driven in the private sector adds up to around 3.2 million tonnes of CO2."
Ultimately, for those operating grey fleet within the business, the key to smooth management is to ensure all the correct checks are in place to avoid any unnecessary costs at a later date. For vehicles operating in the fleet that are owned by the company, businesses owners should consider using fuel cards, such as a free fuelGenie card, to keep fuel costs down to a minimum.
5th April 2018