What is a grey fleet?

A grey fleet refers to personal vehicles which are used for business purposes as well. This will often mean that employee owned vehicles are being regularly used for business travel, however, can also mean the use of a van to conduct deliveries throughout the day.

Managing a grey fleet can present different time and cost implications than operating with a regular fleet. However, in saying this, an effective grey fleet management strategy can have numerous benefits in comparison to using company owned vehicles. 

It entirely depends on your own preference and how effectively you manage the 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 smaller, lower-mileage company incentivising your drivers to use their vehicles for work can be very cost-effective. Simply reimbursing employee fuel costs for work travel (outside of their normal commute) is often cheaper than owning and maintaining company vehicles. This is seen the most if your the Grey Fleet is going to be travelling infrequently, this is when you will find that Grey Fleets are an incredibly cheap alternative to company vehicles.

However, it can very quickly become difficult to accurately track the additional mileage your grey fleet carries out on business related journeys and you then open yourself up to the risk of overpaying. Having vehicle tracking in place solves the problem as you can split the business vs personal use easily through route recordings.

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?

When using a grey fleet you are liable for any accidents or vehicle damage that your employees encounter whilst driving for work purposes - this could easily lead to higher costs overall than if you just had your own fleet.

You have to consider the duty of care that you have to your employees, they must be looked after properly. If the business neglects poorly maintained or even just lower standard vehicles, your employees are at risk due to being subject to more dangerous driving conditions. You can ensure that employees are carrying out grey fleet checks with our daily vehicle checks or install dash cams to protect your drivers from accidents.

You must think about the potential grey fleet mileage as as well as this could end up costing your company a large amount in refuelling costs alone, if your employees cover a large amount of business mileage, this is a large additional cost alongside everything else

How can RAM Tracking help support your fleet

RAM Tracking can support you to reduce costs whilst improving the efficiency of your fleet.

Our vehicle tracking system is able to show you driving time, stop time and idle time. Giving you idle time allows you to see if your employees had an extended break with the engine on, showing the amount of time with wasted petrol. Our reports are capable of showing you detailed information of the costs associated with a job.

You can also see if they are harshly braking or rapidly accelerating, allowing you to understand why there is general wear and tear on the vehicle and why. Additionally, your vital information; MOT, servicing, insurance and breakdown information is all available to you immediately.

We offer dash cams to keep your your drivers safer on the road, it allows you to see their driving habits and in the event of an accident you can provide evidence to your insurance provider as well as being able to show your employee was not at fault.

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

What is your Grey Fleet Manager there to handle?

It's important that your Grey Fleet Manager is on the ball and keeping track of all of the most important information. here are some of the most important things that we suggest monitoring:

  • 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?

This is a good set of things to monitor to ensure everything is running as it should which if actioned appropriately can ensure that you save money and improve your fleet efficiency.

Heavy traffic on a motorway

Is a grey fleet better than a business fleet?

Managing your grey fleet effectively allows your employees to use their own vehicles for business purposes. This can be useful for reducing your costs as long as your fleet manager keeps on top of the health and general maintenance of the vehicles within that grey fleet. It also helps the business to reduce the up-front costs involved such as purchasing or leasing.

However, it is important to accurately monitor the usage of personal vehicles and ensure you're staying on top of mileage claims and vehicle maintenance or you may end up paying out more than you intended to. By doing this, you get a much more in-depth insight into your grey fleet's efficiency and can eventually reach a point where you realise that company vehicles are a much more cost-effective option.

Top tips for effectively managing a grey fleet

When it comes to your business deciding between a grey fleet and company vehicles, there are a few things to consider

Is a grey fleet right for your business

Sit down and assess the travel needs of your business, business size, employee miles, etc. it could turn out that grey fleets are in fact more cost-effective. But, in some scenarios, you may find that carpools, car shares and even just renting could be the most appropriate course of action.

You and your employees have to be on the same page

When it comes to deciding upon using a grey fleet, it impacts everyone, employees either need to buy cars or rely on company cars, and the managers may need to look into purchasing company vehicles! 

But importantly, you need to put together a full fleet management plan so your employees are aware of the processes which will be in place, for example, how do they properly report and claim on the mileage they have travelled.

Be hands-on, don't leave it alone

Once you have organised your grey fleet it is important that you manage it in the exact same way that you would manage a business fleet. If you want it to succeed and for your employees to have confidence in you, you have to get involved and show that you are working to ensure you get the best out of it.

It is incredibly important that regardless of who owns the vehicle, your business is able to quickly and effectively track and diagnose anything wrong with a vehicle in order to keep your fleet efficient, cost-effective and that you have minimal time off the road.

If you are looking into telematics to track and provide insights into your grey or business fleet, we'd love to help you out. Contact us here.


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