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Managing and Reducing the Risks of a Grey Fleet

Is your grey fleet a liability? Discover strategies for effective grey fleet management. Minimise risk, improve driver safety, and control costs.

According to figures released in March this year by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), the estimated number of grey fleet vehicles on the road is just short of 15 million and the average age of a grey fleet vehicle is nine years.  

A grey fleet refers to vehicles that are owned and driven by your employees and are used for business purposes. Ultimately, a vehicle being used as a company car, but isn’t provided by the business to the employee. 

When you consider the variation of vehicle types, the difference in condition, age and mileage, as well as maintenance schedule, it’s not hard to see why managing a grey fleet can be time consuming and costly.  

However, there are ways to help manage and reduce risks for grey fleet operations, and in this blog, you’ll learn more about these strategies.   

Why Managing Grey Fleets Matters

Grey fleet management is tricky as there are lots of unknowns, but to ensure the safety of your employees and a good reputation for your business, it’s important to manage it as best as possible. 

As the vehicles are used by your employees for private use (as they own the cars), there could be additional wear and tear due to extra mileage or the maintenance schedule could be inadequate, both of which could impact your drivers’ safety or increase the risk of accidents. So, outlining a grey fleet policy so your employees know how to take care of their vehicles could be a good idea, as any accidents that happen during a business trip means the business could be liable.  

With a personal vehicle, your employees could be more prone to inconsistence driving behaviours or traffic violations, simply because they are more willing to take a risk with their own vehicle over a company car provided by the business. This has the potential to impact your company reputation and your duty of care toward your employees, so again, it’s important to try and manage this.  

With fleet vehicles you provide, it’s likely you’ll include insurance as part of the package, however, with grey fleet vehicles, your employees will need to source and pay for their own insurance – and it will need to include coverage for business use of personal vehicles. Failure to have the correct insurance could lead to financial repercussions for the business.  

Your grey fleet drivers will also put in grey fleet mileage to be reimbursed for business mileage. Tracking and reporting this type of mileage could be difficult to manage, so setting clear guidelines for best practice on this could be beneficial. 

Building a Robust Grey Fleet Policy

It’s important to establish a clear and comprehensive grey fleet policy and the key elements you could consider including are firstly, outlining eligibility criteria for using personal vehicles for business purposes. For example, should the cars have a maximum age or mileage on the clock? Should it have a maximum CO2 emissions value.? Does it need to have a minimum amount of doors? 

Collect copies of driving licenses to ensure all grey fleet drivers have the correct license and organise mandatory training programs for safe driving practices. A maintenance and safety checks schedule should be implemented for grey fleet vehicles so you can be confident in the condition of the grey fleet. Equally, should any of your grey fleet drivers have an accident, they need to know the procedure for reporting it, so make sure you have a defined process.  

Additional guidelines for business mileage tracking and reimbursement processes, as well as insurance coverage expectation can also help with robust fleet management. And finally, failure to comply with the company policies should result in disciplinary action to encourage your grey fleet drivers to adhere to the rules.  

Implementing Effective Grey Fleet Management Strategies

There are a number of online grey fleet management tools to track mileage, expenses, and driver records that typically use a portal or software to manage everything in one place. Shop around for the one that works best for your business and requirements, but being able to analyse and review your grey fleet drivers’ movements and reimbursement claims in a grey fleet management system could help save you time and money.  

Ensure you communicate your grey fleet policies and safety procedures to your employees regularly, so they understand the expectation from the business. You could also consider partnering with the BVRLA to ensure all your regulations are compliant and help with sourcing preferential insurance rates. 

You also have the option to consider an alternative car scheme to potentially phase out elements of the grey fleet. Grey fleets can appear to be cost-effective at first, if your employees don’t do regular business miles, but hidden expenses and admin time can quickly add up. 

Here at Car Benefit Solutions, we have a portfolio of delivery methods for car benefits, click to view all of Our Solutions. 

Balancing Cost and Risk Management

If your employees only need a vehicle for work purposes on occasion, then it could be more cost-effective to allow them to use their own personal car and then reimburse them for fuel and fair wear and tear. Otherwise you’re implementing a full fleet solution and taking on all the associated costs for a handful of business trips.  

However, there’s a fine balance between having a cost-efficient solution that works on the surface, but has the potential to lead to hidden costs associated with accidents, insurance liabilities, and driver safety concerns. So, it’s worth considering all your options for grey fleet management, as well as other delivery methods for car benefits.  

Grey Fleet Solutions from CBS

Don’t underestimate the importance having a robust strategy for your grey fleet, as it could have an impact on your overall employee car benefits package. 

If you’re looking for a fleet partner that can help you to effectively manage and reduce grey fleet risks, get in touch with us today.  


What is a grey fleet?

A grey fleet refers to vehicles that are owned by your employees, not by the company, and are used for business purposes. 

What is grey mileage?

Grey mileage is the reimbursement you pay your employees for driving business miles in their own personal vehicle. 

Who are grey fleet drivers?

Your employees who own their own vehicle and use it for business purposes, as well as personal use.