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Corporate Manslaughter


Corporate Manslaughter – buzz words amongst companies the length and breadth of the country. Paul Broughton Head of Rental Sales at Europcar UK gives some points for consideration.

You don’t need me to tell you that we now all work in a land of Risk Assessments and Health and Safety. The administration that companies, no matter what size, are having to deal with on a daily basis is constantly increasing. Along with the piles of paperwork comes the added manpower and of course, the added expense.

Any company who has employees out on the road will be aware of the ongoing saga of Corporate Manslaughter. Companies are now, more than ever, debating whether it is now sensible to let employees drive their own cars on company business.

In a recent report by the Norwich Union a staggering 85% of companies are apparently not completing even the most simple of checks to ensure their staff are safe out on the roads.

10 people each day are killed on the roads in the UK. If there is an accident, and god forbid a fatality, are you confident that your company is fully covered for every eventuality?

So, hand on heart, ask yourself the following questions:

How often do you check your employees’ driving licences?
We all know too well how quickly those speeding points can amass, are you confident that your employees are still legal to drive?

How often do you check their vehicles to ensure they are safe and well maintained?
We all know it can make financial sense to an employee claiming mileage on a private car, but are you confident that that money is being put back into the car for regular servicing?

Do you have copies of your employees’ Car insurance to ensure that they are covered for business use?
It’s all too tempting for anyone to take the cheaper private use only option and think “Nothing is going to happen to me.”

Do you publish a driver handbook?
All companies should supply a driver handbook for all staff members out on the road, so they are aware of your company’s driving policy. It is there to protects them as well as the company.

Do you fully investigate any accident?
In fact are you confident that your staff are telling you when they have had an accident?

Those 5 questions are just the tip of the iceberg. No matter how small your company, the administration involved in just ensuring that you regularly check your employee’s vehicles and licences and making sure all staff are constantly updated on your company’s driving policies can increase your administration 10 fold. Now, obviously I work for Europcar UK, so of course I am going to say that Car Rental is the answer. However, for many companies, it is the answer and many SME companies have already explored the different options available and taken the car rental solution.

Think about it. When you rent a car with Europcar, no-one is given the keys to a car unless they have a full and valid driving licence.

The vehicles on our fleet on average do no more than 13,000 miles, or are less than 6 months old. Prior to every rental each vehicle also undergoes a rigorous 32 point check. Therefore you know your team are driving new, well maintained vehicles (and latest models, which your employees will like!)

If, in the unlikely event there is a breakdown, they will be issued with a replacement vehicle immediately, which gets them back on the road and out doing your business. You and your drivers will be fully insured for any eventuality and all you had to do was book on-line or ring our reservation department.

Straight away, simply by renting a car for just one employee has reduced an awful lot of paperwork – but it can also save you a lot of money.

Let’s say a sales manager has to drive from London to Manchester and back clocking up a mileage of 400 miles. If you are paying just 25p per mile to private car users, that journey has already cost you £100. Hiring a car for a day would cost you, on average, £45 per day for a Mondeo type car including insurance and VAT. Petrol should be no more than £25 so already you have saved money and are safe in the knowledge that should anything happen, you as a company are completely covered.

I know that there will always be different solutions for different people, and whether car rental is the best option for your company is for you to explore. However the issue of Corporate Manslaughter is becoming more and more complex and as I read in an article the other day, “the net is closing in on fleet managers”. Whatever action you need to take, you need to take it soon. Health and Safety now rules in the workplace, and without ensuring that you and your team are safe and fully covered on the road could mean a lot more paperwork and a lot more expense in the future.


Notes to Editors

About Europcar

Europcar, an international organisation founded in Paris in 1949, is the number one car rental company in Europe.

Europcar UK, based in Hertfordshire, carries out over one million rentals every year through its network of 126 stations situated strategically at airports and cities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Europcar UK is committed to delivering bespoke rental solutions to business and leisure customers, offering rental options of one hour to one year, with or without a driver, through its fleet of over 15,000 cars and vans.



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