Grey fleet refers to vehicles that employees own themselves and use for work purposes. At the end of the journey, that staff member simply claims back their mileage. When companies rely on grey fleet, it can result in a complicated set of issues surrounding work-related safety.
For example, employees using their own car may be outside established insurance and servicing policies, meaning their vehicles are not covered for company travel. It’s also incumbent on companies to keep track of other legal requirements including licence, MOT and road tax validity, as well as insurance for business use.
But quite apart from duty-of-care issues, the use of grey fleet also gives rise to concerns about running costs.
Gerry Keaney is chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), which represents the interests of the UK’s £25bn fleet sector. Keaney says: “We believe the effect of the government’s changes to the company car tax regime has resulted in more and more drivers using their own vehicles, which on average tend to be older, less safe and more polluting.”
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association has announced its intention to push policymakers to tackle the issues surrounding grey fleet in 2016. Chris Chandler, principal consultant at Lex Autolease, adds that legislative changes are also making large companies “more aware” of the impact of grey fleet use than before. He explains: “Those vehicles that do not belong to the company but which are used for business travel will continue to be under the spotlight from environmental, financial and duty-of-care perspectives.”