The term grey fleet describes times when employees are either allowed or required to drive their own cars for work related purposes. Estimates believe that there are up to 5 million of these types of drivers in the UK. Grey fleet driving is popular as it can be a cost effective method of transport and many companies offer a high mileage rate, which can act as an incentive to employees to use their own vehicle.
However, issues can arise when employers are not aware that UK laws do not recognise a difference between an employee who could occasionally be described as a grey fleet driver and an employee driving a vehicle that is owned by the employer for a purpose that could be described as part of their job role. Unfortunately, for many companies and individuals, it is only when things go wrong that such legalities become apparent. An example of such matters would be if an employee has an accident during a work related journey and the cause of the accident is then deemed to be a fault with the employees vehicle. If the employer cannot illustrate that they had knowledge of the vehicle being used, even if they have checked the licence of the employee and their eligibility to drive, they can be at risk of failing to illustrate showing Duty of Care to their employees. In such a situation, consequences can be extremely bad for all involved.
It is vital that organisations and employees are fully aware of the legal requirements regarding grey fleets, as well as hold a written policy statement on health and safety, to include work related road safety if the organisation employs five or more people.