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Company car driver motoring fines rise 41% to £10.6m

Motoring fines racked up by company car drivers rocketed in the first half of 2019, prompting a renewed call to fleets to invest in driver education to help minimise avoidable costs.

Proportion of drivers fined for infringements including illegal junction-box stops and driving on red routes has more than doubled year on year, despite a fall in bus lane infringements

Analysis by Lex Autolease of data from more than 360,000 company cars and vans found that drivers ran up a £10.6m bill for fines and penalties between January and June, an increase of 41% compared with the same period last year.

The latest rise shows a continued trend for increased driver fines and penalties following a 15.6% rise to £15.3m for 2018.

The research for the first half of 2019 also found that the proportion being fined for illegal junction-box stops, red-route driving and other similar infringements increased by 154% despite the percentage of drivers caught by bus lane cameras falling by 19% year on year.

Consistent with the trends seen in previous years, company car drivers are more likely to be fined in private car parks than public ones. A total of 78% of parking fines incurred by company car drivers during H1 2019 were from private car parks and totalled more than £3m on the Lex Autolease fleet – compared with £855k collected in charges from public parking.

Guy Mason, head of motor operations customer and business design at Lex Autolease, said: “Running a company vehicle fleet is an effective way for businesses to reduce risk and save money, but this can be hampered by drivers who incur easily-avoidable fines and penalties on the road.  They might seem like small mistakes at the time, but the costs associated with minor parking and traffic offences add up for employers – especially those with large fleets.

“Analysis of our data has revealed an opportunity for businesses to further reduce the amount they spend on staff travel by taking proactive steps to minimise the fines incurred by employees on the roads. Investing in driver education will help employees modify their behaviour and avoid minor penalties.

“As fleets start transitioning towards alternative fuels, the importance of driver training is only set to grow, so that the whole life cost savings achieved by using low or zero emission vehicles are not compromised by the costs of fines and penalties.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006.