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What is a Grey Fleet Driver?

Aug 18, 2023

In this post we’ll explore how you can effectively manage grey fleet drivers to get the best for your people and your business.

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.

What is a Grey Fleet Driver?

A grey fleet driver is an employee who uses their own vehicle for business purposes. Even though they’re using their own vehicles, grey fleet drivers are still subject to the same duty of care requirements that would apply to employees who drive company-owned vehicles.

The Two Types of Grey Fleet Drivers

  • Cash Allowance Drivers – Instead of a company car, these employees get a car allowance. Though such employees are technically free to choose whatever car they like, many businesses set strict policies concerning the cars employees can drive for business purposes. The cash allowance usually accounts for running costs, but employees may only claim reimbursement for the costs associated with work trips.
  • Occasional Business Travel Drivers – These employees do not receive any kind of cash allowance for their car, but they still use their own vehicles for business purposes. These employees can then claim back their fuel costs as a business expense. A daily commute doesn’t count, only client visits and other work-related journeys.

The Benefits of Grey Fleet Drivers

A grey fleet can cost a lot less to run than acquiring, managing, and maintaining your own fleet of vehicles.

If you’re a small business and your employees don’t need to travel very far, or very often, as part of their work, then a grey fleet could be your most cost-effective option.

The Risks of Grey Fleet Drivers

While they can be more cost-effective, grey fleets can be a lot harder to manage than your own fleet of vehicles. If you rely on your employees to self-report, then you might have some difficulties in tracking your grey fleet’s mileage.

This might mean that some employees drive more miles than they’re getting reimbursed for. It might also mean that some employees claim more mileage than they actually travelled. In any case, it will mean you don’t have an accurate picture of your fleet operations, which can make budgeting, strategising, and growth a lot more complicated than it needs to be.

Also, you have a legal requirement to ensure the vehicles your grey fleet drivers use are safe, roadworthy, and legal to drive. You may struggle to manage the necessary annual tests, registrations, and maintenance required to meet your duty of care obligations.

Finally, there’s the question of liability. If your employees are involved in an accident when driving their own cars for business related purposes, your business might be liable for covering any damages and losses.

Best Practice Grey Fleets

First, it’s a good idea to set strict criteria for the sort of cars employees can drive for work purposes. Some essential boxes to tick 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, so as to potentially reduce ongoing maintenance costs).
  • 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).

Some fleet management software platforms allow you to add grey fleet drivers to the system. This will make it easy to keep track of any necessary annual tests or renewals, and it can also make it easier to track your employees’ mileage and movements.

Does Your Fleet Insurance Cover Grey Fleet Drivers?

Finally, make sure your fleet insurance covers you for the risks associated with grey fleet drivers. At Anthony Jones, we can help you conduct a thorough risk assessment to help you understand the various implications of running a grey fleet. We can then help you track down specialist grey fleet insurance that’s tailored to cover your specific situation.

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.


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020 8290 4560

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