What do businesses need to consider when managing a grey fleet | GKL: Vehicle Leasing

What do businesses need to consider when managing a grey fleet

June 18th, 2019

Regardless of the size of a business, there are aspects of grey fleet vehicles that fleet managers and their teams need to be aware of. Statistics released by the RAC Foundation showed that by December 2018, there were 38.2 million vehicles licensed for use on UK roads.

Of those 38.2 million, just over 1.2 million were sold to fleets. The rest were made up of HGVs, buses, commercial vans and most importantly, privately sold vehicles. Many drivers use their personal cars for business use, and companies need to be aware of their responsibilities when they do.

In this article, we explore some of the areas that businesses and fleets managers need to be aware of, with a particular focus on driver safety.

What are the risks involved with grey fleet vehicles?

One of the major risks associated with grey fleet vehicles is that the employee owns the vehicle and is therefore responsible for the on-going maintenance of the car. They’re also responsible for ensuring that they have the correct level of insurance and that their insurance provider covers them for business use.

What does this mean for businesses and fleet managers?

There are several implications of grey fleet vehicles that fleet managers need to remember, and these include:

Communication with all grey fleet drivers

Safe driving policies need to be communicated with drivers on an on-going basis. This could take place through weekly email communications or regular driving appraisals, but where possible, fleet managers should have a centralised document that employees can access when needed.

Maintaining expenses, mileage claims and vehicle documents

Fleet managers need to have a system in place that lets them, monitor, maintain and analyse the total fuel reimbursements and mileage claims throughout the year. This can be harder with grey fleet vehicles, so if the business doesn’t have this capability, then consider investing in fleet management software.

For example, we have developed the GKL Fleet Management Dashboard to help our business customers monitor all aspects of their fleet. The Portal Plus comes with Journey Marking, which allows for easy recording of mileage, and provides an audit trail for both business and private mileage.

Driving licence checks and vehicle maintenance

As we’ve already touched on, fleet managers need to consider whether the grey fleet vehicle has been regularly maintained and is in a road-worthy condition. This can be harder when some vehicles are older than others, but it is worth considering providing drivers with fleet pool cars, which can be leased for a fixed monthly payment.

Not only does this help ensure that drivers have access to vehicles that are regularly maintained, it also helps to adhere to any Duty of Care requirements the business may have. With a leased company vehicle, maintenance schedules are strictly monitored, and each vehicle is tested to make sure it is as safe as possible, before being handed over.

What practical considerations for businesses are required?

Even if a business has a fleet policy in place, there are still practical aspects to think about when it comes to grey fleet vehicles. For example:


  • Must be in a physical and mental state that allows them to drive and carry out their job without putting themselves or others at risk
  • Should be provided with proper driver training before they take to the road
  • Should be suitably healthy and fit for work
  • Should have been given all the practical information needed to minimise the risk whilst they’re on the road
  • Must understand how their driving behaviour can impact the overall cost to the business


  • Should be fit for purpose, in a road legal condition and should have a full-service history
  • Should be fully maintained to reduce the risk of breakdowns
  • Should be maintained in such a way that they do not pose a risk to other road users, or the driver themselves

Driver journey considerations

  • That the safest driving route is taken, to minimise the risk of speeding or dangerous driving to get to the location on time
  • Realistic working schedules need to be implemented, so the driver isn’t rushing to get to their destination
  • Understanding that newer drivers will not have the experience behind them to deal with certain road situations e.g. accidents, breakdowns, smart motorways or excessive traffic
  • Weather conditions that could put the driver at risk could mean that alternative working arrangements should be made e.g. remote working

One of the key ways to counter these considerations is to extend the size of a fleet through vehicle leasing. Not only does this help to ensure that all vehicles are at the same safety standard, it also means that fleet managers are able to take advantage of fleet telematics solutions.

These help to monitor driver journeys, overall fuel expenditure and control cash flow on a monthly basis.

Further reading

In summary, fleet managers and their teams need to ensure that policies and procedures are set in place to help maintain duty of care standards, as well as minimise the risks that surround grey fleet driving. With careful planning, clear communication and a structured approach, drivers will be safe on the road, and the business will have maintained their duty of care requirements.

To find out more about how our fleet management solutions could benefit your business, get in touch with our office on 01246 572180 or email us here.