Mark Maguire – Northern Ireland Sales Manager – Europcar UK
Figures from the Energy Saving Trust (EST), in partnership with the British Vehicle Leasing and Rental Association (BVRLA), revealed that there are 14 million grey fleet cars (that is employee’s using their own cars) on UK roads, driving approximately 12 billion business miles each year on UK roads.
The report states that grey fleet vehicles cost the private sector almost £5 billion and emit 3.2m tonnes of CO2 and 7,038 tonnes of NOx.
In the Public Sector, 1.5 billion miles per annum are driven in grey fleet vehicles at a cost of £786 million per year. And Northern Irish councils have 3,106 grey fleet drivers – 1.4% of the UK total – costing £3.9m.
Grey fleet vehicles average over 8 years old, making them less reliable and can lead to the risk of breakdowns. This presents a financial burden, with potential lost revenue as a result of missed appointments and replacement vehicles or transport. However, this isn’t the only challenge facing SMEs and Public Sector organisations in Northern Ireland when it comes to grey fleet vehicles.
When employees drive their own vehicles for business, there is no easy way to collect data, leaving employers unclear whether a vehicle has a valid MOT, tax, insurance or when it was last serviced. In addition, there is the burdensome administration and expenses associated with claiming fuel costs for business mileage. Plus there’s a greater risk that employees could be driving unroadworthy vehicles.
If a grey fleet driver is at fault for an accident while driving for work and they don’t have adequate insurance or a valid MOT, the employer could be held responsible. Where there is evidence of failings under the Duty of Care Act or the Corporate Manslaughter Act, employers (including senior employees) could find themselves facing prosecution which may result in hefty fines or even prison sentences.
There’s the environmental impact too. Because grey fleet vehicles tend to be older, they use more fuel and create higher emissions, impacting on an organisation’s environmental objectives.
A better cost-effective alternative
The big challenge for businesses is how to tackle the risks of grey fleet, without having to commit to the acquisition of company vehicles. The answer for many businesses is using rental vehicles.
Vehicle rental provides a simple solution, with instant availability when vehicles are needed rather than time-consuming acquisition and year round management of the asset. With inclusive breakdown and servicing, the use of a hire vehicle also means there’s an easier way to manage and monitor employees’ travel activity and costs compared with using their own vehicles.
Europcar offers a range of solutions which help businesses tackle the grey fleet challenge. Our fleet is young and well-maintained, giving access to the newest models and latest technology for safer more efficient travel. Plus, we offer flexible length of hire options specifically tailored to our customer’s requirements.
For any private business or Public Sector organisation, managing costs, streamlining processes and complying with duty of care requirements are key. For many, the ability to turn to a vehicle hire partner will undoubtedly help tackle the grey fleet challenge and ensure that the business is compliant with statutory regulations.
For further information on how Europcar can help your business, please contact Mark Maguire – Email: [email protected] or Tel: 07969 109425.
or Tel: 07969 109425.