IF YOU run a small fleet of 5 or more vehicles you have a legal obligation to ensure you assess the road risk of your drivers and that your company cars comply with safety and documentation requirements.
Many small business owners understand these responsibilities and ensure that their company cars and drivers operate under the rules of Corporate Governance and meet HSE requirements.
It’s crucial that you can demonstrate that the vehicle is safe and the driver is trained
After all, the regulations are fairly simple for you to implement and stay legally compliant.
For those in any doubt, or even for those seeking re-assurance, here are my 10 Top Tips of what you need to do, split up into the requirements for drivers and vehicles.
Remember – “Your drivers and vehicles may be miles away from base but the responsibility for them and their driving stays with you at all times”.
1. Keep full records and vehicle documentation where they are both safe and accessible. Appoint someone sensible to be responsible for them. For each vehicle you should have the V5 (log book), insurance documentation, MOT (if applicable), service records and maintenance reports.
2. Keep a dedicated ‘Daily Log’ for each vehicle, where regular checks can be recorded. These must show that every vehicle is safe, and roadworthy. This becomes the vehicle’s ‘audit trail’.
These daily checks are done by the vehicle’s driver and/or the business car manager, but whoever does it, keep contemporaneous notes on what was found and what action was taken to correct any faults or damage.
3. Don’t neglect those company cars that are used only occasionally, and don’t neglect employees’ own cars that are used on company business – the so-called ‘grey fleet’. If the vehicle is being used on company business, you are responsible for ensuring that it is legal and roadworthy. It even applies to contractors’ vehicles.
4. Resolve problems straight away, and if you find something dangerous or even just potentially dangerous the vehicle must not be used.
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