The grey fleet – a neglected risk
A grey fleet refers to any vehicle used for making a work-related journey, which is not owned by the organisation itself. While the term is becoming more and more popular across Australia, the knowledge required to effectively manage grey fleets is lacking. Many fleet managers are unaware of the risks that a grey fleet poses to their organisation and do not have a full appreciation of their legal responsibilities with their use.
In fact, Fleet Auto News* has just recently conducted its first-ever survey on grey fleets in Australia, and the results show that Australian companies are overwhelmingly concerned about the risks posed by their grey fleets with some 67% of respondents stating that they are worried about the risks to their business of a grey fleet.
Employers have a Duty of Care to focus on their drivers and their vehicles, and make sure that their cars and drivers are safe and fit for purpose. The age and condition of the vehicles being used are a key area for concern as the average age of registered vehicles in Australia is close to 10 years.
Most of the survey respondents also stated that no checks were made to see if driving licences of the employee using private vehicles for business purposes were valid, or whether they had any demerit points.
The need for telematics
Organisations need to better understand and manage grey fleets. Even knowing how many vehicles are in your grey fleet and their details can be complex. The use of telematics makes it possible to monitor the number of vehicles within your grey fleet and identify whether trips being made by your employees are work-related or personal. This makes things easier when it comes to managing expense claims relating to kilometres travelled. In addition, driver behaviour can be monitored to ensure that vehicles are being driven safely.
Telematics can also be used to record licence information and send out notifications for when licences are up for renewal as well as service reminders for vehicles to ensure their roadworthiness. To help mitigate risk further, a Grey Fleet Driver Policy can be devised to provide a clear framework of a driver’s responsibilities when it comes to using their own vehicle for work purposes.
With increased pressure to constantly reduce cost, it’s likely that more and more organisations will move to the grey fleet model going forward. It’s therefore even more imperative that grey-fleet managers get to grips with their grey fleets and move their organisation from a position of risk and ensure they are compliant.