What are the post-Covid implications for company car fleets?

Fleets expect flexibility

Lockdowns left many businesses with lease contracts on idle cars, and employees handing keys back to avoid paying tax on something they couldn’t drive. Simon Down, associate director at Deloitte, says this has given operators a chance to re-think how vehicles are funded, with a greater appetite for short-term, flexible solutions and smaller fleets.

“The last two years has seen a significant rise in the number of businesses implementing and operating salary sacrifice for electric vehicles. This can offer a new benefit to employees that enables them to access a BEV at a lower cost than if they were a retail customer,” he says.

“Introducing a new benefit like this can give HR teams the opportunity to deliver a new and engaging benefit offering [with] the bonus of contributing to wider carbon reduction initiatives and help businesses deliver on their net zero ambitions.” 

Tony Greenidge, CEO of IAM Roadsmart, is concerned that some of that flexibility has been taken up by employees using their own for work, and that this also has implications for operators. He says: “Not all companies fully understand that their duty of care extends to all employees who drive on behalf of the business, irrespective of who owns or manages the vehicle.”

Some workloads have increased

Not all business travel has declined. Greenidge adds that Department for Transport statistics are showing a 10% increase in van traffic on weekdays and 25% on weekends, as consumers have got used to home deliveries. The potential for burnout can’t go unchecked. 

“Drivers working in these sectors will be facing immense pressure, especially during the peak festive season, and managers must remember that the resulting stress and fatigue can have a huge impact on drivers’ wellbeing,” he continues.

“Managers must acknowledge these factors and ensure that drivers’ hours and workloads are reasonable, allow for adequate breaks, and do not place undue pressure on drivers to take on additional work or to be contactable out of hours.”


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