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Driving at work is too important to be a ‘grey’ area, says BVRLA

7 December 2009

The ‘grey’ fleet - employees who drive their own cars on business trips - is here to stay but much can be done to improve risk and cost management, according to British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association chief executive John Lewis.

Employers should prevent staff from using their own vehicles for business unless they can give proof that their car is roadworthy and insured, said Mr Lewis speaking at the first Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Annual Grey Fleet Conference.

He told delegates that they needed to adopt a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on staff unable to prove that their vehicle was properly maintained and insured or give details of their driver licence status.

He also warned that some organisations were paying far too much in mileage payment rates, thus giving staff an extra incentive to drive more business miles.

He said: “Many employers are giving mileage payments of 50, 60 or even 70p per mile, which is far above the maximum tax free AMAP rate of 40p per mile.

“Mileage allowances should be based on fuel, the cost of maintenance and any loss of value through driving extra miles. They should not include these additional costs, which are borne by the owner of a private car regardless of whether they are using it at work.

“Our own estimates suggest that a realistic AMAP rate for the average ‘grey’ fleet car would be more in the range of 20-30p per mile.”

He also urged fleet operators to review their organisation’s business travel plans and look at other options to own car use such as teleconferencing, public transport and vehicle rental and leasing.