Whether you operate a full fleet of vehicles or a few company cars, there are responsibilities you hold as a business owner to look after your fleet and your team who drive them. Below are four key responsibilities you must remember.
1. Keeping on top of admin
Just as you would with a personal car, you need to keep on top of admin for all vehicles in your fleet, including insurance, MOTs, road tax, maintenance, servicing, repairs, cleaning etc. This is usually overseen by HR, but it’s important business owners know these processes are running smoothly and be aware of any additional costs.
Many towns across the country are now introducing clean air zones, meaning additional charges for non-electric vehicles. It’s important to keep an eye on when these come into force, or else you will risk being faced with a fine. Many fleet managers are now turning to electric vehicles already to stay ahead of this change.
2. Vetting drivers appropriately
Appropriate driver checks go hand in hand with admin, but they’re absolutely vital during your onboarding process – making sure your new team members have either zero or minimal points on their licence, have the minimum amount of driving experience required and any specific licences needed (for example, a HGV licence). Proper identification will legally be required.
3. Ensuring that your Motor Insurance Database (MID) records are accurate
This is a huge official database that lists all vehicles insured in the UK. It is a legal requirement for business owners to make sure records of their motor fleet are up to date as information on the site lasts for up to seven years – if not updated, incorrect records from several years ago may still be live.
In some instances, managing this information will be done by your insurance company. Even so, you will still need to make sure all information is correct, especially when you add or remove company cars from your business.
If one of your members of staff is involved in an accident, the MID can be used to identify records of others involved in the incident as well as who they hold their insurance policy with, which aids the claims process.
4. Understanding your duty of care to your drivers/employees
As a business owner, it is your duty of care to make sure that the vehicles your team are driving are as safe as possible, e.g. all brakes/lights/oil levels are in working order, dash cams are installed for protection, etc. Technically, for those who drive full-time, the vehicle is their ‘place of work’ – so similar health and safety rules apply as they would to a typical office.
There need to be proper policies in place to reduce risk. Documents should explain your team’s responsibilities while driving and also the company’s responsibilities, which need to be accepted and signed by all drivers.
5. Making sure company cars are listed as a ‘company perk’
Company cars are an attractive asset of working for a business, and it shows that you reward employees for their hard work (if driving is not a part of their main job role, e.g. HGV driving). This can help with both attracting and retaining talent. If you don’t have this listed as one of the top perks for working for the business, ask your HR manager how this can be incorporated into the hiring process.