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June 1, 2022

Do you have a Grey Fleet? Here's how to manage an often forgotten business asset


"Whilst the common objection of “it’s a tracking system” came up like I was trying to implement some sort of MI5 tool to hunt them down, the team soon realised that the tool is going to work more in their favour than anyone else’s."
Kevin Bull, UK commercial director at ABAX, via fleetnews.co.uk

First of all, what is a Grey Fleet?

A Grey Fleet is the name given to employees’ personal vehicles being used for business. This ranges from employees' own cars used for business travel, or business vehicles that are owned outright by an employee.

Often, a grey fleet will be run quite differently to a company that has it's own vehicles and will mean that there are very different time and cost requirement to run these effectively.

For a company that relies on a grey fleet for their day to day business, it's easy for such an important asset to become a hassle without the right approach.


Are there really that many Grey Fleets out there?

Grey fleets account for nearly 40% of all the vehicles on the road in the UK. On call doctors, carers, sales reps and engineers all contribute to this number, and thus there are more grey fleet drivers than any other vehicle on the road.

Although apps and technology are become more popular, the majority of grey fleet users complete their mileage and expenses at home using google maps, forgetting trips and losing receipts.



Costs

Allowing drivers to use personal vehicles for business travel is likely be more cost-effective for smaller, low-mileage companies than managing a fleet of their own vehicles.

Reimbursing fuel costs for employees who travel for work outside of the normal commute is often much cheaper than the cost of owning and maintaining company vehicles, particularly when business trips are few and far between.

Nevertheless, it can become difficult to accurately track the extra mileage employees do on business related journeys and employers operating grey fleets can open themselves up to the risk of overpaying for business travel.

Management

Ensuring that vehicles are roadworthy and have been recently serviced is the most important thing for a company with a grey fleet. Employers should keep track of the vehicles used by employees for business travel, collating records to ensure compliance.

The responsibility can fall to a range of different people, such as an office manager, HR or team manager. They need to be fully equipped to effectively manage grey fleet safety. A knowledgable approach can lead to a reduction in fuel consumption, fewer working days lost to injury and a lower administrative burden. Establishing who in your business will manage your grey fleet is the first step to making sure your business is running as smoothly as it can.

Systems

Without a dedicated management or tracking system in place, you'll find it hard to keep on top of the big picture of managing the fleet. You can reduce the workload by a huge amount if your system can automatically record important data such as mileage.

Liability

If a vehicle is being used for business travel, employers, especially those who have given a cash allowance instead of a vehicle, may be tempted to think that they have opted out of responsibility for that vehicle, but this simply isn’t true. They remain responsible for ensuring that a vehicle used for its business is adequately maintained and safe, even if they don’t own it.

Poorly maintained vehicles are more likely to breakdown, resulting in costly business downtime issues and, more critically, leave employers widely exposed under the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007.

A threat posed by grey fleets is that the business could be made liable for any accidents or vehicle damage employees may encounter while driving their vehicle for work purposes – something which could end up costing the company more than if they had their own fleet in the first place. It's vital that a company is able to reliably keep track of vehicles trips, mileage and journey details so that that in the event of an incident, the they don't become responsible for someone else's mistakes.


What does this mean for me?

Technology is your friend. As a company that specialises in fleet management and tracking, our professional recommendation is to equip each vehicle that's used for the business with an up-to-date telematics system. This is the only way to reliably manage your fleet without any of the extra work for you or your employees.

With a GPS tracker and software, you eliminate any need to manually record mileage and journeys, as well as keep tabs on other important things that might apply to your business such as temperatures, driver ID and driver behaviour monitoring.

Naturally, we recommend the only system on the market that offers you a true pay-as-you-go service. Pay as you Track will not charge anything for days that your vehicles don't move and have a fast, UK based team for support and questions. Give us a call on 0161 914 5500 or use the form below to get in touch.

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