Rising grey fleet use in new normal to bring increased risks for fleets
Grey fleet management is to become ever-more vital for fleets in the post-lockdown world, with more employees using their own vehicles for business purposes.
According to the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP), there are already signs of increased grey fleet use, including reports that demand for used cars in the £2,000 sector have been stimulated by this trend.
Speaking in the association’s first webinar – available to view here, AFP deputy chair Stewart Lightbody said many employees are going to be reluctant to use trains and buses or any other form of shared mobility for the foreseeable future, instead wanting to use their own car, whether for commuting or for work-related travel purposes.
“Clearly, this is going to create a whole range of challenges but perhaps the single largest will be the sheer amount of grey fleet management required. As an industry, we are going to have to be very single-minded when it comes to ensuring that risk management is well-controlled.”
Increased grey fleet use will be just one post-lockdown challenge that fleets face alongside a reduced number of business trips and commutes and the need to put the health and safety of employees first. And as such, Lightbody also said that fleet manager responses to the coronavirus crisis should not just focus on cost-cutting but also explore “shaping assets to fit the new world”.
“All of these will undoubtedly impact on the fundamentals of your fleet strategy, ranging from the type and number of vehicles you operate through to how they are provided, and from speed of adoption of mobility strategies through to the company car provisions in employee contracts,” he commented.
Delegates to the webinar by AFP – formed in March as a result of the merger of ACFO and ICFM – also heard presentations from Paul Brown, international fleet manager at the Stericycle Group of Companies on how his fleet had handled the coronavirus crisis on the front line during lockdown, and from AFP chair Paul Hollick on the board, committee and training structures that had been created for the new organisation.
Paul Hollick said: “We had almost 50 people attend the webinar and it created a valuable opportunity for our members to discuss the coronavirus crisis in detail, especially looking at how we are all responding to the many and vital real-world issues we are encountering.
“I believe that a consensus is arising about the direction that fleet professionals should be taking at this moment in time, clearly putting people first but also, as Stewart explained, reshaping fleets for the new normal that is now starting to emerge. I’m pleased to say that everyone appears to be responding with energy, dedication and imagination. As a fleet professional myself, it’s inspiring.”
To view the full AFP webinar on YouTube, click here.