Paul Barker's blog - 26 July: Cars shouldn't be a grey area
26 July 2016
I'm continually amazed by the neglect that grey fleet drivers are treated with across the board.
I understand why there's a reliance on grey fleet for occasional business travel, but it shouldn't become a day-to-day way of life, and the BVRLA's Gerry Keaney is right to point out in our story that it's alone in being a motoring-related expense that isn't linked to a car's efficiency.
It's astounding that there's been no move to reduce the incentive for employees to drive high mileages in their own car, given the assumed knowledge, confirmed in the BVRLA's report, that grey fleet vehicles are significantly older, less efficient and not as safe as leased vehicles.
And that's without going into the matters of grey fleet vehicles rarely being properly managed in terms of driver and vehicle checks. Leased or outright-purchased company cars are given an attention almost never lavished on the occasional user, whose business travel falls between several departments and isn't properly owned within an organisation.
The BVRLA's report sets out the economic, environmental and duty of care issues surrounding grey fleet, but it will continue to be ingrained in business travel while the Government incentivises its use.
It's going to require a huge change in the way the likes of the NHS operates in particular, but the time is right to question whether responsible organisations should be allowing 12 billion miles of work business to be conducted using cars that are not as safe, efficient or fundamentally suited to the task as those used by colleagues entitled to company or rental cars.