A company vehicle is still one of the top perks as voted by employees, but to make sure the new Johnny hot shot in the office doesn't wrap your investment around a tree at the first chance he gets – you need to have a firm company vehicle policy in place. You will need to have clear rules which cover the key aspects of running a vehicle for business, along with full details of what you expect from your employees.
Sometimes a new business start-up will incorporate a company vehicle as a bonus for a loyal employee, not putting in place the proper policy's as at this stage there is only 1 vehicle in your fleet – more than likely you don't even think of it as a fleet. This is however when your policies need to be in place, to ensure your business is covered and to maintain a consistent image within the business as you grow.
Things to consider:
- Time Ensure your employees take regular breaks between appointments and long drives.
- Mobile devices It is against the law for a driver to use a mobile phone or device whilst driving, unless operated through a hands free / bluetooth system.This offence could result in 3 penalty points and a fine of £100.Some companies may choose to ban the use of mobile devices whilst driving because of this.
- Smoking The company vehicle is classed as an extension of the "workplace" and as such the law prohibits smoking of any kind.This offence could result in a fine of £200, so your company vehicle policy should have a complete ban of smoking in its vehicles.
- Driving licences It goes without saying that any driver who will be using a company vehicle must have a full UK driving licence, but it's also important to state that they must have the correct category to drive a particular vehicle too (such as a Minibus or Large Van).
- We recommend that you adopt a process of electronic licence verification, at least annually on all drivers, to check for new convictions / ban from driving, to ensure you have valid insurance and that your drivers are operating legally. Concept Vehicle Leasing are able to provide this service as part of our Risk Management proposition.
- Fines Your policy should also confirm that any changes / endorsements / points or convictions must be reported to your company to ensure your drivers are correctly insured.
- Risk assessments & training Under Health & Safety regulations, it's vital that you carry out appropriate risk assessments within your business, and this includes driving at work. Concept vehicle leasing are able to provide online risk assessments and training at very competitive rates.
- Alcohol and Drugs It's worth mentioning in your policy that the operation of a company vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol (above legal limits) and any non-prescription drugs, or drugs which might otherwise impair their ability to drive, is strictly prohibited.
Employee requirements to include:
- It's important that you are clear about what you expect from employees in terms of the way they look after their company vehicle, to ensure you mitigate associated safety and financial risks.
- Tyre tread depths Ensuring tyres are safe and legal and tyre pressure is regularly checked.
- Fluids (Oil), Brakes & Lights Ensuring Oil, Fluid Levels and Braking is OK, and all lights are operational.
- Service & maintenance It is usually the employee's responsibility to ensure that a vehicle is serviced in accordance with the recommended service intervals.
- Weight and towing Employees must observe vehicle weight limits as stipulated in the vehicle's handbook, and to observe towing limits.It might be advisable for you to request that employees seek permission before using a company vehicle for towing due to the potential for increased wear & tear.
- Fair wear & tear Regardless of whether you opt to Lease or Buy your company vehicles, you'll want to ensure the future resale value is protected.As such, drivers need to be aware of the requirements to ensure their vehicle is kept in a condition which is a fair reflection of its age and mileage.Drivers should report any damage, and some policies may ask employees to contribute to minor damage which they have caused to a vehicle, and which falls outside of Fair Wear & Tear guidelines.
Safety checks and inspections
It's worth pointing out that drivers should carry out regular Safety Checks / Inspections and are prepared in advance for any long journey's – particularly where there might be adverse weather conditions. Accountability is important here and you may choose to ask the driver to complete a Safety Check form and submit these to you on a regular basis, or you may have a dedicated member of staff who carries out all inspections.
If you would like a copy of our Driver Safety Checklist Form, please contact Concept on 0800 043 2050.
Charges and fines
Congestion charges, fines and penalty notices are all potential additional costs to your business, and your employees should have a clear understanding of the company vehicle policy, so as to try and avoid these incidents.
It's unlikely you'll want to shoulder the additional expense of paying for parking tickets etc, so most organisations would ask employees to pay for any fines and penalty charges incurred whilst using a company vehicle. Either way, you should have a detailed policy as to who will be responsible for the payment of fines and penalty notices.
Remember – if a vehicle is being shared, such as the use of a pool vehicle – ensure you keep a log, so that you know who to blame if a ticket comes through the post!
Concept vehicle Leasing are experts in small fleet leasing, and we are here to help with any questions you may have about implementing a company vehicle policy for your team. Concept offer an outsourced small fleet leasing service to handle all the complications of running a company vehicle system so that you can focus on what really matters, running your business.
Contact us on 0800 043 2050 to see how we can make company vehicles work for you.