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Grey fleet reliance brings potential duty of care crisis, reveals white paper

An ongoing reliance on grey fleet vehicles amongst UK businesses could bring a growing duty of care crisis if UK firms don’t take steps to regain control of the safety and efficiency of their fleets.

An insight paper from Europcar Mobility Group UK has found that while nearly half (49%) of decision-makers surveyed said they provide employees with a company car or van, nearly a third expect their employees to use their own vehicles for business travel. The research shows that grey fleet usage is common in bigger companies with over 500 employees, with 49% relying on these types of vehicles. A significant 28% of companies with 10-25 employees also let staff use their own vehicles for business travel.

“The high usage of grey fleet vehicles underlines the importance of monitoring employee travel,” said Ron Santiago, managing director, Europcar Mobility Group UK. “Yet worryingly, nearly one in five respondents said they don’t monitor employee travel at all. Only 45% of businesses monitor fuel expenses and this only rises to 56% for businesses with over 500 employees.

“The real concern is that the majority of the smallest companies don’t monitor employee travel at all. Combined with firms using less than accurate methods, such as self-reporting, this means employers could be failing on their duty of care to drivers.”

The average grey fleet vehicle is older than a company car, which means they are more polluting.

Latest BVRLA data finds company cars, on average, are less than two years old compared to more than five years old for grey fleet. The average CO2 emissions per km are also much lower for company cars than grey fleet. Lease cars average 111g/km while cars on salary sacrifice average even lower, at 103g/km. But grey fleet cars come out an average of 131g/km and the cash allowance average is 143g/km.

The Europcar Mobility Group UK white paper also identifies that businesses are having to adopt new thinking to meet expectations for reduced pollution and congestion. With this in mind, rental remains a useful resource for over quarter of businesses, rising to 42% among bigger businesses. Other mobility options include car share or car clubs (22%), taxis (20%) and public transport (22%).

“It is clear we are at a turning point in the challenges faced by businesses to keep employees on the road – firms not only need to consider their duty of care responsibilities but the growing government pressure to reduce emissions,” said Gary Smith, UK managing director at Europcar Mobility Group. “There are, however, solutions that employers can access, working in partnership with businesses like Europcar Mobility Group UK.”

To access the Europcar white paper on mobility, click here.

Written by 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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