What are you doing to effectively manage your grey fleet risks?
The fleet management professional is responsible for looking after your organisation’s entire fleet including, if it has one, the grey fleet. A grey fleet involves employees driving their own private cars for business purposes rather than company-owned or -leased vehicles, and is known as ‘grey’ because capturing data to track and monitor it can be difficult. However, this means grey fleets can sometimes be ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for fleet managers and are therefore at risk of being neglected.
Not only do all the usual fleet risks apply to managing a grey fleet, there are even more challenges associated with running one than with using company-owned or leased fleets. Grey fleet vehicles are typically older than company fleets as they tend to be second-hand vehicles, so may lack the latest safety technologies and advancements. Older vehicles are also less fuel efficient so tend to emit more carbon. A grey fleet does not equate to a green fleet.
You can begin to lead a culture of safety and sustainability for your entire fleet, regardless of vehicle ownership, by starting with your policies and procedures. You can, and should, treat your grey fleet vehicles like your company cars and implement the same policies to cover them. A great way to communicate your grey fleet policy is producing a company and grey fleet policy declaration which must be signed by the drivers to indicate that they have read and understood it. This will help to communicate the policy and gather evidence that drivers have been made aware of their responsibilities.
Effective fleet management ensures that all vehicles are fit for their intended purpose, adequately serviced and maintained so they are safe, reliable and roadworthy. You could consider limiting the age of your grey fleet vehicles for both safety and environmental reasons, set a minimum safety rating, as well as set a maximum Co2 emissions limit to decrease environmental impact. Finally, it is important to use ongoing motor vehicle safety training to ensure your grey fleet drivers are using safe behaviours on the roads.
It can sometimes seem overwhelming to tackle your grey fleet – but the most important thing you can do is to make a start. Good management always starts with good measurement, so it is important to survey your entire fleet. Engage key people in the business and make them aware. It’s going to take some time, but by following your plan you can keep making steady progress towards effectively managing your grey fleet.