A third of businesses with fleet drivers are breaking the law.

Thirty-three per cent of fleet decision-makers do not have a company vehicle policy in place. This is despite it being a legal requirement requiring employers to manage work-related road safety risk.

Duty of care

Essentially, driving for work employees should have their drivers’ licences checked, organising driver training, vehicle maintenance as part of an ongoing company vehicle policy.

The latest research has been conducted by Lease Plan UK.

Speaking to Fleet News, Chris Black, their commercial director, says it is “important” fleet decision-makers do their due diligence.

The survey of 500 UK fleets also found that nearly a quarter of businesses had not reviewed their fleet policies to take the effects of the pandemic into consideration. Working from home has been in place for around 85% of companies, fundamentally changing working practices. Fleet policies must include such changes in working policies.

Ignoring the obvious

The research also reveals that less than half (41%) of fleet decision-makers always act on potential issues.

“Vehicle fleets have provided a vital safety line throughout the pandemic by helping to keep our essential workers mobile,” continued Black.

“During this time, many businesses have had to make significant changes to their fleet function, and as such, existing company fleet policies may be out of date.

“This naturally presents a safety risk to a company’s employees, as well as the general public, so it’s important that those operating fleet do their due diligence.”

Better training

Reducing fleet risk is highlighted as the third most important issue by businesses for their vehicle operations in 2021. The research finds it sits behind cost and becoming more sustainable. However, Fleet Plan believes managing fleet risk has the potential to impact both these first two aims .

The research finds that telematics is only being utilised by 35% of businesses. This is an essential tool in monitoring fleet performance, LeasePlan says that there is clearly work to be done.

Fleet decision-makers reports an average of 11.17 accidents a year involving vehicles in their fleets. The average cost of vehicle repairs is over £3,800. However, nearly 30% of crash repairs cost over £5,000.

The research points out a clear correlation between managing risk and the legal and financial ramifications on a business.

Black continued: “Whilst many businesses will manage an issue after it happens, we believe it’s imperative that those managing fleets address potential risks proactively.”