By Ed Dubens, CEO/Founder of eDriving
August 2, 2023
Managing ‘Grey Fleet’ drivers and contractors presents a unique challenge to employers, as these drivers use their personal vehicles to drive for work purposes.
Grey fleet usage has been on the rise since the pandemic and shows little signs of slowing. Without direct control over the condition, maintenance, and insurance of the vehicles, ensuring safety and enforcing policies can be difficult. Furthermore, the management of grey fleet vehicles is rife with misconceptions that can leave organizations and drivers exposed and at risk. Check out some of the more common myths and misconceptions and how to address them effectively.
- Grey fleets are more expensive to manage than other fleets:
FALSE! The truth is that properly managing grey fleets can often be more cost-effective, even with reimbursing for mileage, business insurance, vehicle maintenance, fuel, parking, and related costs. Potential savings may accrue in vehicle maintenance and servicing since drivers often pay more attention to their personal vehicles than to company-provided vehicles.
- Grey fleets can’t be regulated:
FALSE! With effort and discipline, grey fleets CAN be managed effectively! Companies have a duty to still implement guidelines and requirements for grey fleet drivers, such as ensuring driver qualifications, providing proper training, conducting vehicle inspections, setting maintenance standards, and monitoring wear and tear on the vehicles. Specific grey fleet policies should be developed to govern the driver, the vehicle, and the trips they are permitted to take.
- Grey fleet drivers are higher risk:
FALSE! This is a misconception, as many drivers who use their own vehicles exhibit immense pride in their vehicles and are potentially likely to take great care to protect them from incidents or collisions – often better care even than they would exhibit for a company vehicle! This can result in reducing such vehicle damage costs.
- Grey fleets don’t need to be insured:
FALSE! All drivers, including grey fleet drivers, must carry insurance coverage. It is important to note that standard insurance usually does NOT cover a driver for business use. Ensuring that grey fleet drivers have appropriate business insurance is crucial to avoid potential legal and reputational risks to the enterprise in case of incidents or collisions as the company could be considered to have ‘vicarious responsibility’ for the actions of uninsured or underinsured drivers.
- Grey Fleets don’t need to meet environmental standards:
FALSE! Grey fleet vehicles need to adhere to environmental guidelines just like any other fleet vehicles while being driven for work purposes. Monitoring and controlling aspects such as idling and rapid acceleration can help reduce emissions and ensure environmental compliance. Promoting eco-friendly driving behaviors is important for ALL drivers, regardless of the type of vehicle they drive or its ownership.
- Grey fleet drivers don’t need training:
FALSE! Providing thorough training and risk management offerings to all employees and contractors driving for work purposes is crucial for ALL drivers especially if you wish to avoid “negligent entrustment” legal action in the event of a collision. To address this, consider implementing a comprehensive driver safety and risk management program that help managers identify changes in driver risk status using in-person and online risk assessments, defensive driving knowledge checks, MVR license checks and continuous monitoring, and smartphone-based safety, emergency response and recognition programs, such as Mentor by eDriving. By proactively spotting warning signs, organizations can promptly remedy risky behavior and create a crash free driving culture.
- Drivers can have their own vehicles serviced anywhere:
TRUE! However, it is crucial to encourage grey fleet drivers to use accredited garages for their service work. Organizations should identify reputable and accredited repair facilities in the areas where grey fleet drivers are located and establish partnerships with these facilities to ensure that drivers have access to trusted repair services. Managers can further leverage technology to streamline the repair process and connect drivers with accredited repair partners more efficiently.
- Grey Fleets are too difficult and time-consuming to manage:
FALSE! While managing grey fleets will require some extra effort, having a well-defined policy can help streamline operations and aid Managers. By implementing effective guidelines, using technology-driven solutions, or contracting with a Grey Fleet Management specialist like Motus, Grey Fleet Management does not to be so perplexing!
Measuring the effectiveness of Grey Fleet Management programs through regular reviews and benchmarking can provide valuable insights for continuous improvement. By avoiding these myths and understanding the best practices, organizations can ensure the safety of both drivers and passengers while effectively managing their grey fleet vehicles and drivers.