Grey fleets cost employers £5.5bn

A study has revealed that the UK’s ‘grey fleet’ costs employers more than £5.5 billion a year in mileage claims and car allowances.

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) and the Energy Saving Trust (EST) have produced ‘Getting to grips with grey fleet’, and revealed that some 12 billion business miles are driven each year on Britain’s roads by employee-owned cars.

The so-called ‘grey fleet’ comprises 14 million cars nationally, which account for 40 per cent of all vehicles on the road. In return for using their own car for business purposes, employees are reimbursed on a pence per mile basis. The fleet, often considered ‘invisible’, is often overlooked by company bosses.

For the report, EST researchers produced a profile of a typical grey fleet vehicle and compared it to other alternatives, including rental cars, car club vehicles and company cars, finding that the average grey fleet car was ‘exhausted’ – being older, more polluting and potentially more dangerous than its counterparts.

The report also discovered that the ‘grey fleet’ is responsible for 3.6 million tonnes of CO₂ per year, the equivalent to the average annual emissions of 1.5 million cars.

Gerry Keaney, BVRLA chief executive, commented: “The invisible grey fleet is hiding in plain sight of Britain’s bosses and is a blind spot in the government’s transport strategy

“The Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAP) system used for reimbursing grey fleet drivers is the only part of the motoring tax regime that provides no incentive to drive fewer business miles or use cleaner vehicles. This blind spot is wasting taxpayer money, costing businesses millions of pounds, damaging our environment and making our roads more dangerous.”