1. Home
  2. /
  3. Fleet management
  4. /
  5. Employees Driving Own Vehicle...

Employees Driving Own Vehicle for Work – Employer Responsibilities

Dec 21, 2023

Some employees use their own vehicles for business purposes. These are known as grey fleet drivers.

Although they’re driving their own vehicles, grey fleet drivers are still subject to the same duty of care requirements that apply to employees who drive company cars.

In this post we’ll outline the various responsibilities employers have in regard to their grey fleet drivers.

If you want to discuss grey fleet drivers or any other aspect of fleet management, get in touch with us on commercial.motor@anthonyjones.com or 020 8290 9099.

Employer Responsibility for Employees Driving Own Vehicles for Work

The Health & Safety at Work Act stipulates that employers must ensure the health and safety of all of their employees while they’re at work. This extends to when they’re driving to business purposes, and the laws apply regardless of whether the employee’s driving a company car, or their own privately-owned vehicle.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Driving and Riding Safely for Work guidance makes it clear that, when it comes to grey fleet drivers, employers have a duty to set and enforce requirements for both the vehicle and the driver.

Cash Allowance vs. Occasional Business Travel

Before we list an employer’s specific responsibilities towards employees who drive their own vehicles for work, it’s first important to understand that there are two main types of grey fleet drivers:

Cash Allowance Drivers – These employees receive a cash allowance to allow them to buy a car for company purposes.

Occasional Business Travel Drivers – These employees use their own vehicles for work purposes, but rather than receiving a cash allowance, they can instead claim back their fuel costs as a business expense.

How to Meet Your Responsibilities to Grey Fleet Drivers

Identify Your Grey Fleet Drivers

First, employers must identify all of the grey fleet drivers in their organisation. You must account for all drivers who have received cash allowances, and all drivers who ever claim occasional travel expenses.

Set Some Minimum Standards and Requirements

Establish strict criteria for the sort of cars employees can drive for work purpose. This might include:

  • Euro 6 engine or above, with limits on CO2 emissions.
  • 5 Star Euro NCAP Rating for safety.
  • Age and mileage limits (for second-hand cars).
  • Size considerations (the vehicle must be fit for purpose, and capable of carrying a set number of passengers, or a set size and weight of tools, equipment, and packages).

Put this criteria in writing, and ensure it’s communicated widely across your organisation. Make it clear that if a car does not meet these standards, then it cannot be used for business purposes. This means setting strict limits on the cars cash allowance drivers can purchase as part of the arrangement. And for occasional travel drivers, you must make it clear that if their cars do not meet these standards, they will be ineligible for claiming any expenses.

Document Your Drivers and Vehicles

You need to make sure that any employees who drive their own vehicles for work are fully compliant with all relevant legislation. This means checking:

  • Driving licences (including any previous spent or unspent convictions).
  • Car insurance.
  • Safety recalls.
  • Service schedules.

If any of the above are due to expire, or if any need updating, then you must support the employee in getting compliant.

Some fleet management software platforms allow you to add grey fleet drivers to the system. This will make it easy to keep track of all applicable documentation, while also making it easier for you to track your grey fleet’s mileage and movements.

Risk Assessment and Training for Grey Fleet Drivers

You likely have a system for identifying high risk drivers among your standard fleet, along with ongoing training and development opportunities to help you manage the risk.

You should extend this system to include your grey fleet drivers. Again, adding your grey fleet drivers to your fleet management software will make this a lot easier.

Encourage Grey Fleet Drivers to Become Company Car Drivers

While it can cost a lot less to run a grey fleet than it does to run your own fleet, there is a significant trade-off: Grey fleets are a lot harder to manage. And if one of your grey fleet drivers is involved in an accident when driving as part of their work, then you might be liable for any resulting injuries or damages.

It’s much easier to manage a fleet of company cars, to ensure that all vehicles and drivers remain compliant with all relevant legislation. So if you’re worried about your grey fleet drivers, or if you think you’ll struggle with your responsibilities as an employer, you might look for ways to encourage your grey fleet drivers to become company car drivers.

This might involve phasing out cash allowance or occasional business travel schemes in favour of accessible and appealing company car schemes.

If you want to discuss grey fleet drivers or any other aspect of fleet management, get in touch with us on commercial.motor@anthonyjones.com or 020 8290 9099.


Get a Quote

You can call us during normal office hours, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Outside of office hours you can either email us or leave an answerphone message and we promise to get back to you the next working day.

General enquiries:
020 8290 4560

Sign up for news

* indicates required