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Driving the Honda CR-V

Staying safe: run staff cars on the business

The risks of grey fleets

I know my last entry was about colours – and the best colour to choose for your car to retain maximum value.

But two surveys I’ve seen recently, one from Europcar, the other from National Car Rental carried out with BusinessCarManager.co.uk, have both highlighted the issues of the risk your business runs if it allows staff to use their private cars for work.

These cars are often referred to as the ‘grey’ fleet – vehicles privately owned but used for business.

I guess the term grey reflects the muddied area of responsibility. And with the new Corporate Manslaughter Act due in April it’s important to consider how your business runs its vehicles.

I think that if you want to be squeaky clean, running a vehicle on the business – like my Honda CR-V – with a maintenance schedule and insurance is the safe bet.

If you want to let staff use their own cars on business and reimburse them for it, that’s fine, too. But make sure you know the condition of the vehicle, insurance status, and so on. Frankly, I think your time could be better spent on running your business.

The alternative to the above is to use a variety of transport options: can your staff take the train and catch a taxi at the other end if it’s practical? Can they use a bus? Or, if the meeting is some distance away, then why not use a daily rental car? That way you only pay for the transport when it’s needed; you know the car will be in a fit condition; it will be correctly insured; and you can reclaim the expenses and VAT. And, you’ve fulfilled your health & safety duties as an employer.

You can read about the risks uncovered by the National/BusinessCarManager.co.uk survey here.

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