Employers must take zero-tolerance approach to using ‘private’ company cars

Bosses who allow employees to use their own cars for business could unknowingly be giving them a licence to kill, according to leading fleet management company, Interleasing.

The company has called on HR managers to adopt a zero tolerance approach to private car use by encouraging vital safety and suitability checks to be put in place, or ban the practice altogether, to protect employees and avoid the serious legal consequences.

This warning follows on from Interleasing’s latest research which says that almost 60 per cent of respondents use their own cars for business and 88 per cent of them say they have had no company checks, such as MOT or service record, to ensure their private vehicles are safe to drive. 

“This is a worrying trend and rather like a parent giving a child a box of matches and thinking the consequences would have nothing to do with them,” says Anthony Dowdall, head of risk management service, ProAct.

If a company is going to allow employees to use their own cars for business, Interleasing advises that all of the following checks must be in place:

– The car is roadworthy and has a current MOT (if more than three years old)

– The driver is licensed to drive

– The vehicle is insured for business use

– The car is regularly serviced

– The employee is carrying out basic maintenance checks such as oil, washer fluid and tyre pressure

– The employee has membership of a roadside recovery organisation

– The car is suitable for its purpose and expected mileage

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