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The grey fleet challenge – are you ready?

Grey fleet vehicles are estimated at more than three times the number of company cars in the UK*. But how much do you actually know about them? How many vehicles are in your grey fleet? Are they insured properly? Are your grey fleet drivers even licensed?

No matter the size of your business, tackling the grey fleet challenge head on could help your business save money and meet duty of care responsibilities.

What is the grey fleet?

Grey fleet vehicles are those owned and used by employees on business-related journeys. It’s estimated that there are four million grey fleet vehicles in the UK*, which may be used ad hoc or travel to make business appointments.

The grey fleet – how can you manage it?

There can be benefits to grey fleet vehicles as a flexible, cost-effective solution. However, the management of the grey fleet can be complex because you don't own, and therefore don't control, the vehicles. When a member of staff drives off to a business appointment in their own car, you may forget that they're actually in your duty of care.

You should be aware that health and safety legislation applies to employees making work-related journeys regardless of vehicle ownership, including the grey fleet. Therefore it makes business sense to treat your grey fleet as you would your company cars.

How safe is the grey fleet?

Fleet managers must show that grey fleet vehicles as well as company vehicles have followed safety policies and been included in any risk assessments, including an audit trail. Your business simply can’t afford to neglect checking that grey fleet vehicles are insured, safe on the road, and their drivers are eligible to drive. Fleet managers should record data about the grey fleet just as they would for company cars, such as vehicle details, servicing and MOT information, insurance, taxation and licence checks.

Grey costs – inaccurate claims

Many grey fleet drivers are reimbursed using the government’s tax-free Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAP). This system can be abused and drivers may feel that their fuel reimbursement is additional income. Businesses also need to ensure that they can show accurate mileage expenses to avoid potential HMRCaudit fines.

Can the grey fleet go green?

When it comes to reducing the overall CO2 emissions of your fleet, the grey fleet again becomes difficult to control. Private vehicles may be older and less eco-friendly than your company cars, and the AMAP system does not incentivise more economic driving.

Control the grey fleet - your options

So, just how can you manage the grey fleet? Take control:

RAC Telematics vehicle tracking systems can put fleet managers in control by allowing them to use data and identify poor driving, which can be rectified by training, as well as reduce carbon emissions through more efficient driving techniques.

Risk management programmes such as RAC Risk Management can help combat the grey fleet challenge via training or assistance with writing policy documents. Outsourcing risk management can help businesses cover their duty of care responsibilities, whilst freeing staff to get on with the core task of growing their business.

Coming soon - RAC Business Club developments such as:

Fleet managers can add all vehicles, whether company or grey, using an easy, online vehicle management system and receive reminders for MOTs, servicing and licence checks.

Ready for the grey fleet challenge?

Contact our expert team now to discuss how the RAC can help.
 

*according to the Energy Savings Trust.

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