What is a Grey Fleet?

Grey fleets are a common option for businesses - it refers to when personal vehicles are being used for business purposes. This usually means that an employee-owned vehicle is frequently being used to travel for business purposes, however, it's not limited to just this - if an employee has their own delivery van, they may be asked to use this van to conduct deliveries on behalf of the company throughout the day.

Grey fleets present various different implications when you compare it to a regular fleet, including how it impacts time and costs. However, when you effectively manage a grey fleet, this can be massively beneficvial in comparison to a company-owned fleet.

It all depends on preference, and the effective implementation of the grey fleet.

A row of parked cars which are part of a grey fleet being tracked for their business mileage.

What are the costs involved in grey fleet management

If you are a small company that covers a low number of miles per year, you may find that asking drivers to use their vehicles for work can be a very cost-effective method. This is because rather than having to lease the vehicles for your employees as well as keeping on top of maintenance and any other operational costs, all you have to do is reimburse your employees for the fuel that they are use for work. 

If your grey fleet is not going to cover a lot of miles annually, you will find this is an incredibly cheap alternative!

However, if your fleet will be covering a lot of distance on the clock you may find that it very quickly adds up. Additionally, it may be a difficult task to ensure that you are accurately tracking the mileage covered so you may end up paying them back for their weekend travels. 

Having vehicle tracking in place helps you to very quickly gain visibility over business vs personal use.

image of a vehicle collision which could be filmed by a dashcam for evidence of fault

What are some other threats posed by grey fleets?

If you decide to take on a grey fleet, your company is liable for any accidents or damage to vehicles that may occur when they are driving for business needs. This can quickly spiral and lead to you spending more money overall than if you just had a fleet than was company-owned.

As you have a duty of care to your employees, you have to look after them properly. So, you have to ensure that all vehicles are either properly maintained or you may even have to look at your employees' vehicles to ensure that they are not just a lower quality than is required for the job. Ensure that your employees are driving road-worthy vehicles by having them carry out daily vehicle checks, alternatively, you could have them install dash cams which would help protect your drivers in the event of an accident.

How can RAM Tracking help support your fleet

RAM Tracking are able to properly support you to ensure that costs are being reduced whilst your overall productivity is able to increase.

Through the use of our vehicle tracking system you can use reports to see the amount of time that has been spent driving compared to time stopped and time that has been spent idling.  By seeing employees work days broken down like this, you understand if there is excessive fuel wastage. This information allows you to talk to drivers to ensure that they understand the implications of idling so less money is being wasted on fuel.

We also have a driver behaviour report which shows you instances of speeding, hardh braking and rapid acceleration, and much more, so you can see which drivers have poor habits, this can help you understand why vehicles have increased wear and tear - something that you can coach drivers on to help save money. 

We also offer dash cams to help you keep your drivers safe on the road, similarly to the driver behaviour report, you can see their behaviours, but gain context to why they sped up or harshly braked - was it required to avoid an accident? You can also give this footage to your insurance provider and if required the court as a way of exonerating your driver.

Man in blue jumpsuit is writing on a clipboard whilst inspecting a vehicle

What is your Grey Fleet Manager there to handle?

Your grey fleet manager must remain on the ball so they can properly process vital information that comes in through the use of a RAM Tracking vehicle tracker.

Here are just some of the crucial details that we suggest they monitor:

  • Overall fuel consumption - is it higher than expected for the distance covered?
  • Daily vehicle check results - is the driver's behaviour behind the wheel impacting this?
  • Insurance information - is everything in place up to date in the event of an accident?

Keeping this in mind is a great way to make informed actions and save your business money whilst improving your productivity.

Heavy traffic on a motorway

Is a grey fleet better than a business fleet?

By effectively managing your rey fleet, your employees are able to use their vehicles for business purposes. Grey fleets are a great way to help reduce costs for your business, this does require the fleet manager to remain on top of health and general maintenance of the vehicles within the grey fleet. You avoid having to pay out large up-front costs for the purchase or lease cost of an entire fleet for your employees - everyone will have their own vehicle which can be used.

However, you must ensure that you are accurately monitoring the usage of personal vehicles as well as ensuing that all costs that you will be responsinble for are monitored, as before you know it, you could end up paying out more over a longer period of time than the cost of just leasing the vehicles would have cost in the first place.

Monitoring your grey fleet with a keen eye allows you to gain insights into the overall efficiency of the fleet, allowing you to reach a point where you can truly decide if a grey fleet is a more cost-effective option, or if leasing a fleet would be more beneficial.

Top tips for effectively managing a grey fleet

We want to make sure that you get off on the right foot - so we came up with a few things to consider before you get going:

Is a grey fleet right for your business?

Whilst it may look like a dream on paper, it's important to get the people who will be involved together and sit down to assess the needs of your business. Think about your current business size, how many miles your drivers cover, your current financial needs, etc. If you are a small business that doesn't cover a long distance annually, you may realize that a grey fleet is perfect for you. However, sometimes, it might be a case of leasing, purchasing or even just asking your employees to carpool will be a much more appropriate course of action.

You all have to be on the same page

This is not a decision that impacts just one person, so everyone has to be on board. Your employees will either be looking at using their personal vehicle for work purposes or they can rely solely on a company car, two very different ends of the spectrum. It's a similar situation for the managers, either employees will be using their vehicles so they can now focus on tracking requirements or they need to purchase or lease an entirely new fleet of vehicles!

You need to also ensure that you have a full fleet management plan ready for any scenario so employees are aware of the processes that will be in place. For example, how are they meant to properly report and claim on the mileage they have covered for business purposes.

Be hands-on, don't let it be

Once you have gone down the route of a grey fleet, you can't back off because "it's their vehicle, I'm not in control" you have to get stuck in, manage it the same way you'd manage a fleet you have purchased. This will not only guarantee success, but your employees will have confidence in you, so, they will follow the correct procedures that you have put in place. 

It doesn't matter who owns the vehicle, it's imperative that your business is able to adapt so you can track and diagnose anything wrong with a vehicle so you remain efficient, cost-effective all with minimal downtime.

We'd be happy to help

If you're looking into telematics to track and provide insights into your grey or business fleet, we'd love to help you out - contact us

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