Manage risks of staff owned vehicles

Employers need to have a clear policy on grey fleet in place. It should fit into HR as a policy because employees need to sign it and abide by it, but employers need to consider how it is policed.

Policies must clearly state who is responsible for checking that employees comply with the organisation’s policy, as well as what is expected of staff drivers and how they will be reimbursed for business mileage.

The policy should also require checks that assess, for example, whether employees are licensed to drive and whether their cars are fit for purpose.

1. Business Travel

1.1 is responsible for meeting the cost of travel by its employees on official business. Official travelling means necessary travel for the purpose of official business, including:

• attendance at meetings in pursuit of official business;
• attendance at departmental selection boards;
• attendance at promotion boards;
• attendance at training courses; and
• journeys made on recall to duty from annual leave.

1.2 As part of our overall health and safety policy, is also committed to managing the risks that our employees face and create when driving or riding for work. We ask all our employees to play their part.

2. Necessity of Travel

2.1 Employees will only be reimbursed for expenses, which they actually and necessarily incur in the course of official travel.

3. Transport Hierarchy of Decision Making

3.4 In exceptional cases (e.g. where there is a medical condition or disability) a journey in an employee-owned vehicle may exceed miles. In these cases, authorisation will be required in advance of the journey from the .

4. Using a Private Vehicle

4.1 Payments may be made to allow employees to use their own vehicles for journeys under miles, provided there is a benefit to the Department and the mileage rate represents the most cost effective means of transport for the journey.

4.2 Employees driving for work in their own vehicle must ensure that it always complies with the law, is in safe and roadworthy condition and is suitable for its purpose.
4.3 When claiming motor mileage in a private vehicle, the employee signs the declaration on the Travel and Subsistence claim form to recognise their obligations as follows:
• to ensure that the vehicle meets the minimum safety specifications reqired by name of department]. Please refer to clause 6 for further information on minimum vehicle standards
• to ensure the vehicle is taxed and, where appropriate, has a valid MOT certificate
• to ensure their motor insurance policy includes business use cover for the amount and type of mileage they undertake, and covers ‘business’ passengers.
Please refer to clause 7 for further information on insurance requirements
• to ensure they possess a valid licence to drive the vehicle being used
• to ensure the vehicle is serviced according to the manufacturer’s specifications
• to ensure the vehicle is not used inappropriately, (e.g. unsecured load carrying, or hazardous off-road access). Please refer to clause 8 for further information on conditions of use

5. Ongoing Governance of Private Vehicle Use

5.1 It is the responsibility of the Line Manager to:
• ensure employees understand their responsibilities to ensure vehicles are legal, safe and well-maintained
• check vehicle documents in advance of first use of vehicle for business purposes and at least annually thereafter
• carry out periodic visual inspections of employees’ own vehicles used for work
• follow monitoring, authorisation and reporting procedures to help manage transport usage.

5.2 It is the responsibility of employees using their own vehicles for business to:
• present the vehicle’s MOT certificate, insurance policy and service schedule for inspection in advance of first driving for work and thereafter on request by Line Manager
• present their driving licence for inspection in advance of first driving for work and thereafter on request by Line Manager
• notify Line Manager of any sanctions imposed on their licence, restrictions on ability to drive, material changes to insurance provision and vehicle defects
• cooperate with monitoring, authorisation and reporting procedures.

6. Minimum Vehicle Standards

6.1 As a minimum, any employee-owned vehicle used for business purposes should meet the following standards:
• Minimum safety feature of seatbelts and head restraints fitted to all seats

Possible requirements departments may wish to include as essential or desirable:
• Euro NCAP rating no lower than 4 stars
• Vehicle Tax Band no higher than DVLA Band C
• Age of car no older than four years
• Vehicle covered for Breakdown Assistance

6.2 Further desirable standards for an employee-owned vehicle used for business purposes include:
• Vehicle fitted with driver’s airbag
• Vehicle fitted with ABS
• Vehicle fitted with a stability control system, such as ESP

7. Insurance of Private Vehicles

7.1 Motor Mileage Allowance will only be paid where the employee holds an insurance policy that covers bodily injury to or death of third parties, bodily injury to or death of any passenger; and damage to the property of third parties, and permits the use of the car either in connection with the mileage allowance claimants’ business, or the business of the employing department or agency. When first using their car on official business,  employees must declare in writing that they know and understand the ownership and insurance requirements of the OGC and whether they meet those requirements.

7.2 It is the responsibility of the Line Manager to verify the insurance status of their employees, via either the original insurance document or a cover note. Any material changes to the employee’s insurance provision shall be notified to the Line Manager.

8. Conditions of Use for Private Vehicles

8.1 At those times when an employee-owned vehicle is being used for business purposes, the driver shall not carry any non- passengers.
8.2 At these times, the driver shall complete their journey from starting point to destination without going out of the way for any non work-related purpose (e.g. shopping, visiting family).

Grey Fleet: Pre-Start Checklists

Why should I undertake a pre-start check before driving my personal vehicle as part of the Grey Fleet? A pre-start safety check can help to ensure a vehicle is safe to use, ensuring the safety of the driver. A pre-start safety check also helps to protect the liability of all parties in the event of an incident involving Grey Fleet. This checklist can be provided to assist in proving that the vehicle was safe to use for work purposes.

By ensuring that the daily checks are being undertaken, and being undertaken correctly. These checklists are exhaustive and are provided as suggestions for what could be included in your organisation’s checklists. Use these as guides, and tailor the pre-start checks to the requirements of your organisation. Furthermore, ensure that all workers are educated in how to undertake the specific checks that you will be requiring.

DriverCheck will ensure your Key Documentation is in place for Grey Fleet Checks
DriverCheck will ensure your Key Documentation is in place for Grey Fleet Checks

In the weekly checks, the type of checks undertaken should be specific to the age of the vehicle. For example, checking oil and coolant levels in a newer car is less important as the warning lights are reliable, where as in an older vehicle, these will need to be checked regularly. It is important that when developing your organisation’s pre-start checklists that you decide what you are going to define as a newer and older vehicle.

DriverCheck will ensure your Key Documentation is in place for Grey Fleet Checks