Reduce exposure to grey fleet
25 September 2014
Author: Tristan Young
Putting a policy in black and white
While all experts agree that cutting grey fleet is good thing for any fleet or transport manager to do, it is often impossible to eliminate it, and in certain circumstances is the better option. In these circumstances, a fleet policy* is required.
. Any comprehensive fleet policy will take into account an organisation's grey fleet. The fleet policy should state that grey fleet drivers are responsible for ensuring that their privately-owned vehicle complies with road traffic law, is properly maintained, safe and roadworthy, and is 'fit for the purpose' when used 'at work'. That responsibility extends to department heads, too, who must also ensure that the employee is capable of fulfilling the trip.
. Additionally, the employee is responsible for ensuring that their vehicle has a current vehicle registration document, valid Vehicle Excise Duty disc, current MoT Certificate, vehicle insurance covering business use, and an up-to-date service handbook. All these documents should be available for checking by management on a regular basis - at least once per year. Best of all is to produce and have on file a document authorising use of a specified grey fleet vehicle covering the above, signed by the employee to confirm all is in order and up to date.
. Furthermore, the fleet policy should state clearly that the grey fleet driver should hold a current driving licence valid in the UK for the type of vehicle used and advise the organisation of any endorsements. The employer should check driving licences at least once a year and preferably more regularly - ideally every quarter.
. Today, it is increasingly recognised that the cheapest mile is the one never driven since the biggest fleet cost, after vehicle depreciation, is fuel. Therefore, in order to reduce fleet costs, the environmental impact of fleet costs, and the inherent risks associated with driving 'at work' (for most employees, 'at work' driving is the most dangerous thing they perform on behalf of their organisation), a robust fleet policy should seek to reduce all 'at work' journeys, especially grey fleet ones, to a minimum by conducting a series of pre-journey assessments.
. Once the fleet policy has been agreed, it needs to be put into action and reviewed on a regular annual basis. The person responsible for fleet policy needs to ensure that department heads and line managers are familiar with it and are challenging whether grey fleet journeys are necessary and have assessed risk in relation to them.
* Extracted from the Leasedrive 'Essential Guide to Grey Fleet Management'