INCREASING numbers of SME fleet operators are turning to spy-in-cab technology to snoop on wayward company drivers.
More than a quarter of UK organisations use some sort of in-car telematics or car monitoring for their company cars and light commercial vehicles, according to a survey of more than 250 employers by Lex Autolease.
Tim Porter, managing director of Lex Autolease, said: “We are likely to see an increase in usage of in-car telematics as organisations will find this information useful and be able to provide appropriate guidance on driver safety and behaviour to their employees. It also has the potential to reduce insurance premiums for those employers whose drivers do drive safely.”
Despite the robo-snooping, a separate Lex Autolease survey of more than 500 employees found 43% employees were happy with driver monitoring equipment installed in their vehicles. A further 44% said they would even accept visual monitoring with in-cab cameras.
Its report also revealed 67% of employers surveyed believe the company car is an important employee benefit and 19% plan to upgrade their car policies in the next two years to help secure, retain and motivate their best employees.
Porter added: “Our research also shows the attractiveness of a company car to employees and potential new employees. It also suggests that organisations may need to review their benefits package to ensure they can secure prized talent in an increasingly competitive employment market.”
However, Lex Autolease has estimated that nine million employees regularly use their own private car for work purposes.
It claims these “grey fleet” drivers put organisations at liability risk in terms of employee safety, the environmental impact of their vehicles and, in extreme circumstances, the potential for corporate manslaughter charges.
Of those organisations surveyed, 20% failed to carry out adequate checks to see if employees had the correct insurance in place to use a private car for work purposes.
The green agenda is also now prominent in the minds of most employers operating vehicle fleets with 79% citing the environmental impact of their fleet as an important consideration.