27 Sep 19

Mobility - the antidote to a Grey Fleet crisis

Fleet managers could unwittingly be facing a duty-of-care crisis if they continue to rely on grey fleet, says the latest research from UK-based Europcar Mobility Group (EMG).

The company’s latest paper, entitled: Is the evolving mobility agenda supporting business today reveals an ongoing reliance on grey fleet among UK businesses. The report suggests a growing duty-of-care dilemma if UK firms don’t take steps to regain control of fleet safety and efficiency.

Benefit-in-Kind tax allowance

The UK employs a ‘Benefit-in-Kind’ tax allowance, which has recently changed to make ‘Cash for Cars’ an attractive option for employer and employee. The latter gets a cash allowance instead of a company car. They use their own private vehicle for business travel and claim mileage expenses. But this gives the employer less control over vehicles being used for business.

Duty-of-care regulation

Under duty-of-care regulations, employers have a responsibility to ensure any car, privately-owned or otherwise, used for business meets legal requirements. It must be road-worthy, which in the UK means having a valid MOT certificate. It must also be taxed and insured for business travel – and many private insurance policies don’t cover this.

EMG’s research highlighted that almost a third of respondents expect employees to use their own vehicle for business travel. Grey fleet usage is most common in large companies with over 500 employees.

Gary Smith, managing director, Europcar Mobility Group, said: “Worryingly, nearly 1-in-5 respondents said they don’t monitor employee travel at all. Only 45% of businesses monitor fuel expenses and this only rises to 56% for those with over 500 employees.”

So what’s the answer to the grey fleet conundrum?

Smith says modern mobility methods offer the best solution. Options such as car rental, particularly among larger businesses. Car sharing, car clubs and taxis are other popular choices that would help reduce the duty-of-care risk, plus travel-related costs, emissions and the need for parking space.

EMG provides Europcar One. Through a single login, fleet managers can select mobility services that will deliver the best experience – for the traveller and the business. The platform provides a 360 degree view of the entire journey for each mobility solution, giving businesses the insight they need to track, monitor and maintain journeys efficiently.

Smith believes this research makes it clear business has reached a turning point in the challenge of keeping employees on the road and that grey fleet is one area of vulnerability that can be solved through sound mobility management.

Authored by: Alison Pittaway