Fleets could be on a sticky wicket with current grey fleet practices, says Arval
Using analogies from the sport, Mike Waters, director of market insight at Arval, suggests that fleets should seek to break down their total grey fleet into smaller more manageable groups to establish a real knowledge base. This will help highlight potential driver-led solutions.
Mr Waters said: 'Varied formats of cricket, whether five day Test matches, shorter one-day games or speedy 20:20 shoot-outs, require different planning, tactics and often players, and such thinking can be applied when it comes to understanding the various elements of managing a grey fleet on a day-to-day basis. A more flexible mindset that connects simple and appropriate driver support solutions to company grey fleet needs is pivotal when seeking to tackle grey fleet risk responsibilities.
'Breaking down and identifying the actual patterns involved with grey fleet use can really help clarify the best management solution for companies. It means that they can start to satisfy their legal responsibilities as an employer, and drive real efficiencies across their business travel expenditure.'
Stereotypical grey fleet scenarios include:
'Test Match drivers' – Drivers undertaking frequent, long distance journeys for business using their own vehicles will submit regular high mileage reimbursement claims based upon HMRC's Advisory Fuel Rates. These can be at 40p per mile, and in some cases considerably more, as employees are compensated for both fuel purchase and own vehicle "wear and tear". High business mileage grey fleet drivers also bring with them increased risks around employer duty of care and legal responsibilities around vehicle suitability, reliability, ongoing maintenance, road worthiness and appropriate insurance and MoT cover. In this instance considering the merits of a company car together with fuel card support provides cost effective high mileage driving solutions that tackle duty of care and overall cost issues.
'One Day drivers' – Employers who ask employees to drive to regular off-site meetings, but who do not necessarily incur high mileage, could see benefits from either a mini-lease product, daily rental, short-term hire or even a pool car solution.
'Twenty/Twenty drivers' – Typical employee business related travel could involve short, local journeys in a vehicle which may well be old and therefore carry with it increased corporate liability. Providing a short-term rental vehicle or a properly managed company pool car for such needs could prove beneficial. Consideration could also be given to evolving technologies such as the use of electrical vehicles as a safe, low cost and environmentally friendly driving solution for local business travel needs.
Mr Waters concluded: 'The ongoing management of a grey fleet can present real financial and duty of care challenges for organisations of all sizes. Examining the actual day-to-day business travel practice of all areas of the organisation will start to compartmentalise the varying needs of staff. Management can identify and separate high mileage users from the staff who only have to make shorter, more localised journeys on business, and then consider alternative, but specific driver solutions that could make a real dent in overall business travel costs, as well as satisfy employers' duty of care and legal requirements.
'As in the modern forms seen in the cricketing world, "one size does not fit all" and the same flexible thinking should be applied to an organisation's business related driver travel support.'