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A GREY AREA Europcar warns of the perils of the grey fleet

Over a third of UK employers may be leaving themselves exposed to potential health and safety pitfalls by encouraging staff to use their private cars for business.

A survey conducted by Europcar found that 37% of companies offer cash for car schemes and almost one in six companies (15%) said they operate 100% cash for car fleets.   Over 300 businesses took part in the survey which found that almost 25,000 company car drivers had opted to take cash and use their own vehicle for business purposes. And it is this ‘grey fleet’ that could be storing up unexpected trouble as David McNeill, Corporate Sales Director for Europcar explains:

“Transport has got to be straightforward and cost-effective and so it’s easy to see why many businesses encourage staff to use private vehicles for business, or offer cash for cars. The problem with this is that a vehicle used for business travel, even for the occasional office errand, is regarded as a place of work and is therefore subject to all the same health and safety legislation that applies to the workplace.  Something as everyday as a member of staff visiting the Post Office in their own car will now be covered by the new law.

“What’s more, this legislation is going to strengthen with the passing of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act, when it comes into force in April 2008.”

“With the new Corporate Manslaughter legislation, businesses need to act quickly to ensure they have the policies in place that will protect their employees and their businesses from the consequences of an accident. Vehicle rental plays a crucial role in supporting fleet safety. It takes away the need to check employees’ private vehicles are suitable for business use, or that pool fleets are being properly maintained.  While vehicle rental is not the sole solution, at Europcar, we believe it should be a key element of a risk management strategy.”



Do you offer cash for car?Yes                              37%No                               25%

Not Sure                     5%

If yes, what % of your fleet is cash for car?10%                            29%20%                            10%

30%                            18%

40%                            4%

50%                            5%

60%                            6%

70%                            6%

80%                            3%

90%                            4%

100%                          15%

For further press information please contact Alison Reeson, Elinor Puzey or Louise Fowler at HSL, Churcham House, 1 Bridgeman Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 9AJ.  Telephone: 020 8977 9132.  Fax: 020 8 977 5200.  corporateteam@harrisonsadler.com

About Europcar 

Owned by the French investment company Eurazeo, Europcar is the European leader in passenger car and light utility vehicle rentals. Since March 2007, with the acquisition of Vanguard EMEA, its network comprises over 5,300 rental outlets in 160 countries. With a fleet of over 241,000 vehicles and almost 10 million rental contracts signed in 2006, Europcar provides its services to its clients (business and private) throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. 



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