What is grey fleet?
Grey fleet is a term used to describe the vehicles used by your employees when they're working for you but that do not belong to your company.
Usually these vehicles are owned by the employees themselves. But they can also include vehicles bought through an employee ownership scheme as well as privately rented vehicles.
Whenever a grey fleet vehicle is driven on company business, the employee usually receives a cash allowance or a fuel expense. As a result, this can be a cost-effective way for a business to handle travel and vehicle-related expenses and many small to medium businesses find it easier and more convenient to let staff use their own cars for business travel, especially if there isn't a lot of mileage involved.
However, most of the same businesses don't realise that grey fleet vehicles fall under their responsibility and that there are legal implications for the owners of the business.
Firstly there are the financial impacts which include:
- mileage claims,
- administration and increased paperwork,
- employees demanding more compensation and
- unexpected driver downtime as the result of accidents, servicing and MOTs as well as the inevitable breakdowns
Duty of care risks
Then there are the duty of care issues. Whether an employee drives their own car or a company provided vehicle, the Health & Safety at Work Act and the Corporate Manslaughter Act make absolutely no distinction between the use of corporate and grey fleet vehicles.
And because grey fleet vehicles don't belong to the business, fleet safety issues become even more complicated:
- Any employee using their own car may not be covered under their insurance policy for business use,
- Vehicles may not be roadworthy
- Vehicles may have failed their MOT
- Employees may be driving without a valid licence
If an accident occurs whilst an employee is driving whilst working for you and any of these conditions (or a number of others) are prevalent, any financial, legal and - worst of all - criminal consequences could come to rest on your shoulders.
Make sure you and your business are adequately protected. Speak to a qualified AutoPlan fleet manager today and find out how we can help you for less than 33 pence a day. Call on 01675 44 33 34.