Company car mileage is expected to increase this winter as more employees choose to work in their firm’s offices rather than at home.

Soaring energy costs could mean workers seeing the benefit of their employer meeting the cost of keeping warm while they work, according to the managing director of FleetCheck. Peter Golding said that the increase in the energy price cap from October is likely to see offices fuller than they have been since before the pandemic.

"This is unlikely to be a uniform trend and will depend very much on how much each individual’s heating bill has risen compared to the fuel cost of their commute – but the sums will undoubtedly add up for some,” said Golding.

Although the cost to businesses of heating their premises will be the same if there is one employee in the building or 100, there will be cost implications for fleets. Working from home has been an overall mileage saver for fleets and if more employees start commuting, mileage will increase, which has a knock-on effect in terms of the amount of service, maintenance and repair needed.

There is a more subtle change. “Some company car drivers effectively became home workers during the pandemic and their journey to work was really no longer classed as a commute for risk management purposes. That situation could now reverse,” said Golding.

EV drivers had already started making the switch. FleetCheck says that more EV company car drivers were heading into work to charge their vehicles as electricity costs had risen during recent months. From next month the cost of charging an EV at home is set to double, when the new standard variable rate takes effect.

Golding added: “The picture regarding EV charging at work remains in flux and many businesses still give the power away to anyone who parks on their car park and wants to use it, whether it is for business or private mileage. This may have to change if more drivers use free company facilities for all of their charging needs. Electricity is becoming, or has perhaps already become, too expensive to be given away for non-work purposes.”