When setting up or considering fleet tracking for your company, you must take the time to either create or amend your company vehicle policy.
If your business relies on drivers and vehicles to transport goods to and from your customers, you will need to ensure policies in place detail all aspects of company vehicle use. Everyone must be on the same page to prevent misunderstandings about the rules and expectations. Mainly when external organisations, such as insurance companies, take an interest in your company vehicles and their reasons for operating on the roads.
Why is a Company Vehicle Policy Important?
Providing A Clear Outline of What is Expected
By having a document that addresses everything concerning company vehicle use, you clarify what to expect of your employees/drivers. The policy should be made available to all staff. It should outline several factors, including what is considered business/personal use of a company vehicle, whether private use is permitted (and if so to what extent), and what should happen in the event of an issue arising with a vehicle.
When a company does not set out its policy clearly, key aspects are likely to become forgotten or ignored. Where there is non-compliance, there are often accidents or legal issues. By having a clearly outlined policy, you also eliminate confusion. Employees have a place to go where they can get the ‘final answer’ to any questions they may have instead of relying on another employee’s recollection. With a policy, there are no questions, just a consistent list of rules and regulations that make things simple across the company.
By having a clear policy that outlines the responsibilities of the company and drivers, information regarding fuel, maintenance and other services, you can then hold the correct party accountable should something go wrong or be misused. Insurers, regulators and even law enforcement can hold your business accountable – depending on your company vehicle policy (or lack of), which is why it is crucial to have one in place.
For example, suppose one of your employees causes an accident through dangerous driving, and you don’t have a policy in place. Your insurance company may reject your claim, and the company would be held liable instead of the employee.
What Your Company Vehicle Policy Must Address
At the very least, your company vehicle policy must provide information on the following four questions:
- What is a company vehicle?
- What is deemed business use of a company vehicle?
- What is deemed personal use of company vehicle (if permitted)?
- What is considered business use of a private vehicle?
It may be helpful to seek help from a legal expert when setting out your company vehicle policy. To ensure the way your company answers the above questions complies with the relevant local laws and regulations.
In most companies, employees can use a company vehicle if:
- They require a company vehicle as part of their daily job, e.g. delivery drivers.
- They travel more than the required distance per year for work-related jobs such as meetings with clients.
- It is a job benefit.
It is also essential to set out the requirements that an employee must provide, including:
- A valid driver’s license.
- A clean driving record for a minimum of [X years], meaning they haven’t been held accountable for a vehicle accident or arrested on charges of violating vehicle/traffic laws, e.g. driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol.
An example of a list of driver obligations:
- Respect traffic laws and fellow road users.
- Conduct vehicle checks before every journey.
- Drive safely.
- Record any driving-related expenses such as fuel and tolls.
- Do not smoke inside the vehicle.
- Do not leave the vehicle unlocked or unattended.
Suppose your company uses vehicle tracking software for your fleet or company cars. In that case, it is also important that this is included within your policy, ensuring that employees know when the vehicle tracking is in place and the rules about tracking during personal vehicle use. Under the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR), workers have the right to know what information is held about them and the purpose for what its use may be. For this reason, covertly collecting data is considered to be in breach of the law.
For more tips on Fleet Management and Vehicle Tracking, why not take a look at our blog or to find out more by getting in touch with one of our helpful team members who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.