Grey Fleet in Decline
Grey fleets have long been a mainstay of company transport methods. However, this is now taking a nose dive. Figures issued show that in 2009, 42% of employees used their own vehicles for work. One year later and this has dropped to 28% within the SME market sector.
Attributed to many different factors, this drop perhaps indicates a more creative means of solving staff transport problems. Increasing numbers of businesses are realising that they can find real alternatives to simply using employees' cars. However, one pressing factor in this swing away from grey fleets is because many small businesses found they were leaving themselves vulnerable by failing to check that their employees are licensed and insured to drive their own cars for business use. A survey indicated that some 40% of SME businesses allowing their staff to use their own cars for business purposes did no checks at all!
Employers are responsible for making sure their grey fleet (employee's own vehicles, used for work purposes) comply with the law. However, just one in four businesses who allow employees to use their own car bothers to check the vehicle's suitability. Amazingly – and shockingly, employees' insurance details are not checked by 60% of SME's, leaving employers open to significant risks.
Businesses who are prepared to let employees use their own vehicles must ensure that they are fit for purpose and are licensed and properly insured. This means that employers have to face the consequences of any unlicensed drivers or uninsured vehicles. However, many companies fail to carry out these simple checks – the ramifications of which can very serious.
These are hard times, and it is natural for businesses to seek to use every money-saving tactic available. However, it is a false economy to send vehicles onto the road that are not roadworthy – or even legal. Companies need to investigate more flexible transport arrangements, to make sure they are adequately insured and that their staff are driving reliable and safe vehicles. Ignorance is not bliss – it is dangerous.
If you need to check the insurance aspect, speak with a professional insurance company who can advise on the right type of insurance policy to suit both the needs of the vehicle owner as well as the business. Your fleet may be referred to as 'grey' – so make sure your hair doesn't match it overnight!