A study commissioned by Driving for Better Business (DfBB), the government-backed Highways England programme to help employers reduce work-related road risk, highlights a concerning trend among UK businesses around the management of employees who use their personal car for work purposes, also known as ‘grey fleet.’
The DfBB report entitled ‘Driving For Better Leadership’ surveying 255 UK company directors, conducted by Censuswide, shows that over half (53%) are unaware that employees using their personal car for work are the company’s responsibility. Meanwhile, six in 10 company directors don’t know how many of their employees drive their own car for work purposes.
The study also reveals a driver eligibility problem with one in four leaders are failing to check for valid driving licenses of their employees, and nearly a third admit to not giving a copy of the organisations driving for work policy to ‘grey fleet’ drivers. Of huge concern though, is the fact that one in three staff who use their own car for work admit that they aren’t insured to make business journeys.
The grey fleet problem is most prevalent in Nottingham with eight in 10 (85%) company directors not sure how many employees use their own car.
In a foreword to the report, Edwin Morgan, Director of Policy, Institute of Directors (IoD) said, “Given the findings of this report, we would encourage our members and indeed all company directors to take the time to consider their firm’s exposure and approach to the issue of driving in business, not just to cover off the undoubted risks involved, but also the potential benefits that can come from giving your organisation’s road use policy an MOT.
“Effective policies can lead to a number of benefits relating to business performance and operational efficiency. Operational costs may be reduced across a wide range of fronts, such as vehicle maintenance, insurance claims and excess, and even collision repair. Meanwhile, this report outlines that having an efficient structure in place can also help to monitor and minimise fuel use, thereby helping to keep a cap on both expenditure and environmental impact.”
Simon Turner, Campaign Manager, Driving for Better Business said, “The odds of winning the national lottery are one in 45m and, every week, millions of people think it might be them. The odds of someone being involved in an injury collision whilst driving for work are one in 500, yet nobody thinks it will be them.
“Our research shows that many executive directors do not fully understand their legal responsibilities for managing staff who drive for work. The only way that companies can properly manage the people in their business who drive for work is by championing strong leadership to ensure the right policies and work practices in place and they are effectively communicated to the workforce.”