The grey fleet is on the rise, as more and more employees choose to cash in on their company cars.

According to the latest HMRC data, there were 80,000 fewer drivers paying company car tax in 2020-21, suggesting that the pandemic had led to more significant changes within the business driving sector.  

The leading fleet management software company Fleet Check expected to see grey fleet management become more of a consideration for employers. ‘Grey fleets’ are when staff use their own vehicles for business purposes.

Peter Golding, managing director of Fleet Check, gave his thoughts on this grey fleet increase. “There’s a relatively complex picture emerging here. Over the next few years, we expect overall company car numbers to grow as low taxation electric vehicles (EVs) come to form the majority of fleets. However, it also makes sense that in recent times, drivers who have been spending little time on the road because of lockdowns would want to opt out of the fleet and take a cash allowance, even if only temporarily.”

“Grey fleet is, we believe, a generally neglected area of fleet management and this influx of new vehicles means that employers need to pay great attention to ensuring their house is in order in two key areas – risk management and the environment. Drivers using their own cars tend to opt for older, more polluting models, and this creates a lot of pressure to get these areas right.”

“Certainly, we are already having conversations with our user base about this subject”, said Golding. “Covering everything from setting the right grey fleet policies to ensuring that our software is used effectively to both make sure that drivers and vehicles meet safety standards, and that the fleet carbon footprint remains on a downward trajectory.

“At the very least, companies should be aware that their grey fleet responsibilities are the same as for any company car and they need to cover basics such as licence checking and ensuring drivers have suitable business insurance.”

Golding added that there should be pathways back to company car schemes for employees, as company cars will “nearly always be safer, more environmentally friendly and generally cheaper for businesses to run”.