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    Grey fleet concerns related to Coronavirus

    Grey fleet has always been a challenge to manage, especially as it is hard to track and monitor the usage of employee’s personal vehicle for work-related activities. Due to the Coronavirus, and the fact that businesses have to be extra cautious when dealing with employees working closely together, vehicle sharing and the use of public transport has massively decreased, which has, in turn, caused a surge in grey fleet usage.

    With a surge in grey fleet usage comes a new array of challenges to overcome to be able to keep employees safe but also keep costs down.

    There are a few complications that come with an increase in grey fleet, the following are some examples of what to look out for if your employees are using their vehicles for work commitments more regularly.

    Concerns over grey fleet and Coronavirus

    There have been a few concerns raised by Pete Golding, the Fleetio Managing director and Stewart Lightbody the Deputy Chair of Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP).

    The biggest concern is knowing how to manage and deal with the massive increase of grey fleet as employees look to pick-up cheap used cars to travel with due to being advised to avoid public transport.

    There comes a risk with this as businesses have a duty of care for their employees, especially when managing grey fleet. Employers must legally ensure that grey fleet vehicles are reasonably safe to use and are fit for purpose for to bed used on the road.

    Businesses need to ensure they have the correct policies in place and that they are robust enough to address grey fleet usage.

    Your grey fleet policy may need to be updated and taken more seriously to deal with the increase. This should accommodate any changes in usage and how certain situations such as fuel claims, accidents and vehicle sharing should be dealt with.

    Not only this but with more people working from home, this creates new challenges. Many large organisations have extended their work-from-home policy to the end of the year and potentially beyond.

    If employees are classed as home-based rather than based in an office, a journey from home to the office will then become a business trip. If this is the case, this new amendment will need to be included in your company policy.

    One of the benefits may be that businesses are looking to speed-up an electrical vehicle (EV) fleet for the future and see if it is viable and suitable for your business. Some companies EV strategies have slowed down due to Coronavirus, but as more people work from home it will lead to reduced mileage and potentially make electric vehicles a better option for the future.

    Drug use and driving warning for grey fleet drivers

    There are other challenges to consider, it has come to light that during the lockdown there is an increased risk of drug driving as furloughed grey fleet drivers return to work.

    During the first six months of the year, the combined number of drug driving arrest for three police forces were 50% higher than those for drink driving.

    The EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) is looking at the issue during the lockdown period, according to them, those who use drink or take drugs are now using more.

    With an increase of drug-driving crime, this is a serious issue and can cause expensive claims if an accident were to occur whilst a driver is under the influence. Keeping to strict rules and enforcing company and legal policies on drug-related offences during work hours is essential. It is important to highlight that it is not only illegal but potentially a sackable offence.

    Lockdown has created new challenges for most businesses and each one has to adapt. The best way grey fleet managers can deal with this new way of living is to start thinking about how these changes fit into their operations and what other challenges may arise.

    You will need to re-evaluate your risk management implications and what other temporary changes to consider while keeping your grey fleet safe and running effectively.

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