Driving on Company Business – Part 1
Top Tips for Managing Employees using their own Vehicles for Business Use

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This is the first of a series of three articles on driving on company business with an emphasis on employees driving their own vehicles. Part 1 gives tips on managing employees who drive their own vehicles for business use. Part 2 looks at what you can expect from the employee and Part 3 at the use of mobile phones, satellite and entertainment systems. Company cars were always a popular benefit but this changed in 2002 with the introduction of changes to the taxation of benefits in kind which resulted in the removal of many desirable “status” cars on offer to employees and a move to offering a cash allowance instead. By giving employees a car allowance, they are able to buy their own vehicle and avoid paying company car tax and the Company benefits by not having the cost term issues and the administrative burden of running a fleet of cars. Even though the car belongs to the driver, you as a Company will still wish to maintain your image and reputation and therefore should consider requiring a minimum specification of vehicle if it is to be used for business use. In addition, as an employer, you retain responsibility for your employee’s safety even when they are driving their own vehicle for business use as the vehicle becomes a designated workplace. These seven tips should help you to keep tabs on these employees:
  1. Carry out a risk assessment and discuss any risks identified with the driver.
  2. Prescribe that any vehicle to be driven on Company business must be no more than five years old, have four doors, four seats and be of a “professional” colour.
  3. Make it compulsory for all business drivers to submit copies of their driving licences to you on a regular basis or even better, use a third party company to run a thorough check with the DVLA.
  4. Require written confirmation that the vehicle is insured for business use and ensure checks are carried out annually and on renewal of such documents
  5. Check that the vehicle has been well maintained and regularly serviced with a valid MOT if appropriate and is kept in a clean and tidy condition.
  6. Provide drivers with safety packs, including a high visibility jacket and a breakdown-warning triangle.
  7. Advise drivers to take breaks in the journey before they begin to feel fatigued – as a minimum; a 15-minute break every 2 hours is recommended where other legal limitations do not already exist e.g. LGV drivers with tachographs etc

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