The so-called Grey Fleet is quite common in the U.K. but too many employers and employees are uninformed (or misinformed) about the responsibilities of both parties in the situation. A grey fleet consists of drivers who use their own vehicle for company business, whether it’s commuting to work, taking extended field trips or just making a quick run for coffee and sandwiches.
A recent survey by Trimble, the leading telematics solutions provider, reveals that well over half of the drivers using personal vehicles for company purposes are not aware of their own liability, and in many cases employers either don’t know or cannot adequately oversee and control the grey fleet drivers and their vehicles. Drivers need to be aware that they may be putting themselves and their company at risk if they are not properly insured for business travel.
The use of the grey fleet strategy as opposed to maintaining a fleet of company cars is most common in smaller and medium sized businesses, as they believe it’s more economical, and often cannot afford a designated fleet manager with sufficient knowledge and competence to deal with both drivers and vehicles in the field. The fact is that a company has more responsibility than just paying mileage, and a driver using a personal car has an obligation for adequate maintenance and insurance.
According to Vikki Woodbine at the business law firm DWF, there is considerable risk to companies trying to manage a grey fleet that include the liability for accidents if an employee is not complying with insurance and other legal requirements for the operation of a motor vehicle.