Malcolm Maycocks thoughts on Grey Fleet / Owner Drivers

At Licence Bureau, to avoid confusion, we avoid the industry term of Grey Fleet and prefer the term ‘Owner Drivers’.

We do this as it perfectly describes this grey issue, which involves drivers using their own vehicle to undertake work mileage whether they claim expenses or not. The fact is they are using their vehicle as a tool for work.

Now we have decided what they are the next item on the agenda is who?

Well initially this is simple as I will have in the business all those that receive car allowance (however may not drive for work) and all those that claim expenses for mileage. The problem I now face is how I identify those that drive but do not claim expenses.

It is imperative in any organisation to understand who drives and who does not. So confirmation of not driving is as important as driving. The reason for this is that with everyone signed up to this process then when their job role changes they know it is for them to make contact and go through the process of becoming a driver. This will make your ‘owner driver’ process more accurate and sustainable in the long term.

So how can I manage this?

Whether you use an external method like survey monkey or a bespoke service offered such as ours, I suggest this is communicated by e mail to all staff directly or via their supervisors. That way each person can individually complete.

Best practice, however, would allow you to introduce further questions based on health, incidents, and vehicles so you can build up a much more accurate picture and also include your mobility policy and include any up to date issues or changes in your organisation.

Now we know who, what and when we are faced with a number of compliance issues


  • Is the driver qualified to drive e.g. Full UK driving licence or non UK licence holder permitted to drive in the UK?
  • Is the driver aware of our policies for driving at work? E.g. Breakdown, safety, distance, overnight stays, drink and drugs, vehicle maintenance etc.


  • Is the vehicle fit for purpose e.g. carrying goods? Roadworthy?
  • Is the vehicle insured for business?
  • Is the vehicle taxed?
  • Does the vehicle have a warning triangle?
  • Does the vehicle carry a fluorescent jacket in case of breakdown?
  • Does the vehicle have a first aid kit?

Other considerations?

  • What does this vehicle say about our company?
  • Is the vehicle within our company policy age limit?
  • Is the vehicle within our company policy CO2 limit?
  • Is the vehicle covered for emergency breakdown?
  • How do we deal with vehicle replacement?
  • Much of the above can be covered off in your survey/audit. The answers can be validated against existing records, stored and analysed. A continual process be put in place to cater for new starters and those who change job roles.

What will you achieve?

  • As an organisation you will have compliance on all aspects of your road risk exposure
  • You have a full, auditable picture and knowledge of who drives what and when
  • It’s likely that you will reduce business journeys and make financial savings on time and efficiency
  • You’ll have a structure that employees understand and see as beneficial

Typical Positive Feedback

  • Thank you for pointing out my insurance did not cover me for work.
  • Thank you for notifying me that my insurance or MOT was due
  • This is a risk that should be tackled head on. It is simply a process which can be easily ran and maintained whether in house or externally.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further advice.