There has been much confusion over the years about companies operating fleet vehicles, not least of which is the ever changing tax position, the cost and the time consuming efforts needed to keep them on the road and fully serviceable.
Many companies feel that it’s easier to make staff use their own vehicles for work-related duties but this carries some risk. If the employee’s own insurance is for pleasure purposes only then there can be an issue should they have an accident whilst working. Likewise, there could be ramifications for the company as the employer still has a duty of care to ensure these cars are fit for purpose, are safe, are properly insured and are driven only by those who are licensed to do so. The fact is that this ‘grey fleet’ makes a fleet manager’s life far more difficult in meeting his or her organisation’s basic duty of care responsibilities.
With company cars, fleet managers have the peace of mind that they are properly maintained, safe and roadworthy and are ‘fit for purpose’ when used at work. Additionally, company car policies can require minimum standards of safety based on European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) ratings and minimum safety equipment (e.g. ABS and ESC), maximum emission levels to meet corporate social responsibilities (CSR) targets (e.g. 160 g/km), minimum engine capacity (e.g. 1.2-litre), maximum age (e.g. four years), maximum mileage (e.g. 80,000 miles) and roadside assistance cover.
For organisations, there are three main reasons why the company car is the way forward – health and safety, cost reduction and the environment.
A well organised fleet also means that your company is fully covered against any negligence or legal claim in the event of any accident and gives you total control over the vehicles. The one nagging concern we often hear is the time and expense of running a fleet and here at Lookers Mercedes-Benz, we have been working hard to remove this concern and have introduced our new system called ‘MyService’ with our Fleets Owners Programme.