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Grey Fleet Driver Management Information

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  • There are currently around 800,000 company car drivers. [HMRC 2021]
  • Benefits-in-Kind (BIK) statistics published in July 2021 show that the number of company car drivers continues to decline. [HMRC]
  • An estimated 14 million people use their own, or hire, vehicles for work – the so-called ‘grey fleet’ [Association of Fleet Professionals 2016]. This figure is nearly eighteen times the number of company car drivers.
  • The ‘grey fleet’ is expected to grow as a “result of the increasing cost of company car tax for internal combustion-engine vehicles and the introduction of the WLTP testing cycle in September 2018, which broadly pushed up official CO2 levels.” [Business Car Magazine]

Please request a quote for Licence Bureau’s Grey Fleet Management Service.

The Health and Safety law: the basics

  • “In general, health and safety laws apply to all businesses. As an employer, or a self-employed person, you are responsible for health and safety in your business.”
  • “If you have fewer than five employees. you don’t have to write down your risk assessment or your health and safety policy.”
  • See this document for more information.

The Health and Safety law: Driving and riding safely for work

The updated information for employers, published by the Health and Safety Executive in September 2021, states:

  • “As an employer, you must manage health and safety risks to workers who drive a vehicle or ride a motorcycle, other powered two-wheeler or bicycle on the road as part of a work activity. Health and safety law applies to work activities on the road in the same way as it does on a fixed site.”
  • The law applies to both company and grey fleet vehicles. A grey fleet vehicle is owned and driven by a worker for business purposes. Vehicles used under cash allowance schemes are grey fleet too.”
  • “Commuting to work is not generally classified as driving for work, except where someone’s journey starts from their home, and they are travelling to a work location that is not their normal place of work. Health and safety law does not apply to commuting.
  • See this website for more information

This clarification in guidance ensures that all employers risk-manage their grey fleet drivers and vehicles in the same way as they currently do with drivers of company-owned or leased vehicles. The advice is crystal clear; action must be taken.

If an employee is officially home-based, a business journey to any location – even their employer’s own offices, however close – is considered driving for work.

Employer ignorance

  • In research undertaken by the Driving for Better Business in 2019, 60% of directors interviewed did not know whether any of their staff used their own vehicles for work journeys or, if they did, how many there were. More worryingly, “more than half (53%) of the directors (surveyed) did not believe a grey fleet driver was the company’s responsibility at all”.

The risk and the penalties for not acting.

  • The consequences of not including any grey fleet drivers and vehicles in any compliance or fleet risk programme are significant for an organisation. If there is a severe incident involving one of these drivers, the H&S Executive would examine the driving policies, risk management procedures and audit trails in the same way as if the vehicle was a “company” one.
  • Suppose an employer does everything reasonable to ensure their drivers are legal and safe to drive a vehicle at work. The Health and Safety Executive may consider this if a driver involved in a crash has not provided relevant, accurate or truthful information.
  • As the H&S penalty fines have been linked to company turnover since 2016, a collision involving a grey fleet driver could be significant. Today, penalties of over £1m are not uncommon for driving-related incidents.

What an employer needs to do.

Even if they have less than five employees, every employer needs to demonstrate that the company has taken all reasonable actions to manage the risks associated with their whole business driving community.

Managing a grey fleet is not trivial. Grey fleet management often needs more effort and focus than operating a company or leased fleet. That’s because it’s often challenging to identify grey fleet drivers in the first place, except when they claim business mileage costs through their expenses. And that is usually after a work journey has been made!

Secondly, leasing companies can easily provide information on vehicles. For example, the grey fleet is likely to be older than company cars, so MOT test information may be necessary.

Thirdly, vehicle and driver information on a privately-owned vehicle is not readily available. It has to be requested from the employee who may, or may not, want to disclose if the vehicle is taxed or appropriately insured!

Managing grey fleet risk.

With very small grey fleet numbers, it is possible to manage the risk using a spreadsheet. However, with more than a handful of grey fleet drivers, a system to manage the vehicles and driver data and create reports and alerts makes financial sense.

The vehicle information that needs to be managed, and driver documentation that needs to be collected from an employee, can include:


  • Registration of grey fleet vehicle(s) for each driver, make and colour
  • The vehicle has up to date road tax, and its expiry date
  • A valid MOT certificate (if required) and its expiry date
  • Serviced in line with manufacturer’s instructions
  • Optional: adherence to any vehicle requirements (minimum age, EuroNCAP or emission ratings) detailed in company policies


  • A legal driving licence for the class of vehicle they are driving (and expiry dates, especially photocard ID)
  • Information on whether a driver may lose a licence, based on the totting up of penalty points
  • Any vision, health or impairment issues that may affect their ability to drive safely
  • The vehicle and driver have valid insurance that includes business journeys ( and expiry dates)

If you would just like to know about how any of our services could help meet your organisation’s objectives, drop us a line.

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