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, 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.

Grey fleet management costs

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. 

However, it can be difficult to accurately track the additional mileage your grey fleet carries out on business related journeys and you 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.

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

When using a grey fleet you are liable for any incidnts or vehicle damage that your employees may 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 being safe by:

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

Fleet manager on the computer keeping track of assets.

Grey fleet managers

It's important that your grey fleet manager is on the ball and keeping track of all important information. Here are just some of the things that we suggest monitoring:

  • Overall fuel consumption - is it higher than expected for the distance covered?
  • Daily circle 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 incident?

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.

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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.

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