Fleet Management: Managing Your Grey Fleet
By: Wonuola Saka
A company's grey fleet refers to the collection of employees' personal vehicles been used for the company's business journeys. Fleet management involves putting together steps, procedures and policies to manage and regulate the use of employees' vehicles for work related travels.
Most of the Companies that set up this type of fleet are those whose employees do not need to go on a lot of business related trips. Grey fleet is viewed by most as a cost saving alternative to buying or renting cars just for the company's business related trips especially if the mileage travelled by employees for business every month or year is very low. For some of these companies, this is the way to go but for some it isn't. There are several factors that should be considered before deciding to go for the grey fleet option instead of buying or leasing a few cars for business related trips. If the grey fleet is properly set up and managed it can definitely cost the company a lot less than other options.
Most people are of the opinion that managing a grey fleet only costs a company the mileage expense claims made by drivers for every journey they make and that employers are not responsible for the employees when they are using their private cars for business. These are huge misconceptions as the company in most cases is not only responsible for the employees when they are using their personal cars but in most cases have to place these employees' cars on the company's insurance and manage them like the company owns them.
A grey fleet manager or management software might be necessary depending on the size of the fleet. If it is a small-sized fleet, a fleet manager who will be responsible for managing everything related to the fleet might be enough as in most cases good use of Microsoft excel is enough for managing all grey fleet related data. Where the fleet is a large one, a fleet management software will be required to manage all of data related to employees' vehicles. There are some major factors that should be consider when deciding whether your company should set up this type of fleet.
First thing you need to consider is how your company intends to manage the grey fleet, Policies need to be put in place to ensure both the driver and the company's safety and compliance to road rules. This can be done by ensuring license checks, vision checks, driver risk assessment, online driver training, vehicle safety inspections, MOT checks and insurance checks are regularly carried out on all drivers and their vehicles.
Carry out research on what alternatives your company has asides setting up a grey fleet by comparing the cost, risks and benefits of setting up a grey fleet instead of buying, hiring or leasing vehicles solely for company use. Also there is a need to check if employees' vehicles are suited for the kind of journey that they will be used for.
Find out if there is an alternative way for your employee to close that deal or have that very important meeting without going on a business trip. Discouraging needless business trips can help your company save some money. A lot of organizations now use video conferencing applications to have meetings with their business partners instead of travelling.
The company will need to consider Health and safety risks to its employees who are also the grey fleet drivers. Duty of care compliance rules which all fleet drivers will need to comply with should be set up. Also the company will need to be keeping track of and managing the CO2 emission of the vehicles in their grey fleet.
In conclusion, grey fleet has its benefits if policies and rules are in place for it to be properly managed. If your company is considering one, weigh your options and if it appears to be the best one then go for it.