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Grey fleet at risk ‘tipping point’, warns Licence Bureau

Almost all firms in the UK have some sort of grey fleet in operation but very few are aware of the risks.

Malcolm Maycock, managing director of the Licence Bureau

Malcolm Maycock, managing director of the Licence Bureau

And this is putting the UK at a grey fleet ‘tipping point’, where all firms need to recognise the risks involved and take action on them, says Licence Bureau.

Figures suggest the UK has an estimated grey fleet of 14 million vehicles in covering some 12 billion business miles annually while the number of company cars in circulation is predicted to drop 11% reduction by the end of 2019.

Yet, although the grey fleet challenge continues to evolve, with more people using their own vehicle for work purposes and business trends, such as remote working and a more transient workforce, the issue of grey fleets continues to ‘baffle’ businesses across the UK with many having little, if any, awareness of the implications of drivers using their own vehicles for business purposes.

The issues involved in relying on drivers are revealed in Licence Bureau’s own research which has highlighted that 10% of grey fleet drivers admit to driving without the necessary business insurance cover; 14% recognise their vehicle service is overdue; and 10% are aware their vehicle needs mechanical attention.

“There is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with operating a grey fleet,” said Malcolm Maycock, managing director of Licence Bureau, “but therein lies the challenge – a grey fleet needs to first and foremost be acknowledged and understood, and then ‘operated’ rather than just left to chance.

“Crucially for businesses, under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work, including whilst driving for work, of their employees. There is simply no excuse for companies to allow staff – unwittingly or otherwise – to drive around unchecked in their own vehicles and that includes office based and the increasing number of remote workers.”

Maycock continued: “It really is a situation that needs addressing by all businesses as negligence is simply not an excuse. Introduce a strict policy to manage the car and the driver or introduce an alternative solution.

“We really are at a tipping point where organisations, of all shapes and sizes, need to wake up to the grey fleet challenge and take the necessary steps to address it,” he added.

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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. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.