Grey fleet a pan-European risk, Enterprise research finds
26 July 2021
Author: Sean Keywood
Grey fleet is a challenge for employers not only in the UK, but also in France and Germany, according to research by rental company Enterprise.
It found that across the three countries, 62% of grey fleet drivers did not regularly conduct basic maintenance checks, while of those with warning lights currently on their car's dashboard, 48% do not plan to have it checked.
The research also found that 32% of UK drivers had missed or been late to a business meeting due to a vehicle problem, compared with 28% in France and Germany.
However, in other areas UK drivers performed relatively well, though still giving cause for concern. For example, 53% of UK grey fleet drivers said they didn't carry out regular maintenance checks, compared with 61% in France and 68% in Germany.
In addition, the average age of a grey fleet vehicle in the UK is 8.6 years, compared with 9.8 years in Germany and 10.6 years in France.
Also, while 7% of UK grey fleet drivers admitted their vehicle was only ever checked with its annual MOT/service, this figure rose to 19% in Germany and 21% in France.
Enterprise assistant vice president of business mobility for Europe Adrian Bewley said: "Unmanaged business travel is a huge concern for businesses and the public sector across Europe, especially now that many employees work from home and often use their own cars for work because they see it as an easier option.
"The costs of mileage and kilometre reimbursement are rarely tracked and can lead to businesses spending tens of thousands of pounds and euros on potentially unsafe business travel.
"The risks over driver health and safety and CO2 emissions can be even more pronounced as grey fleet cars tend to be older and more polluting and may lack the latest safety equipment. Again, many businesses have no way to track and control what vehicles their employees are driving for work."
Bewley said the issue was a particular challenge for multinational corporations with offices and employees in multiple countries.
He said: "They need to be able to track how, when and where their people drive for work in different regions, and put all of them in safe, modern vehicles that can be easily managed.
"Many businesses have already switched to alternatives such as automated car clubs or daily rental to alleviate these risks and costs. It's vital to analyse how their employees are travelling so they can create more cost-effective and sustainable ways for them to do so."