Stay on the right road with your business’s company cars

By Camargue

10 September 2015

Company directors and owners can sometimes feel as if they are stuck on a roundabout of regulation and red tape as they try to get on with the core function of their business.

When it comes to running a fleet of corporate vehicles the complications and legalities involved are not for the faint-hearted. Be warned – fleet problems are not just confined to 'big business': if your company has even just one employee who is driving for work-related matters, the headaches can begin.

Employee safety and Duty of Care

Duty of Care should be high on any organisation's risk register and it is perhaps the hottest topic for fleet managers. Keeping up to date with the legislation governing road safety can be hugely time-consuming. And if you get it wrong it can be extremely costly. In the worst cases, fines and imprisonment await negligent owners and directors, with corporate manslaughter charges a risk no company wants to take.

Policies are key to your business staying on the right side of the law and, crucially, ensuring that employees follow them. Indeed, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) document Driving at Work advises that companies 'plan, do, check, act' to fulfil their legal duties when managing health and safety (H&S).   

Signposting can help: Camargue's Vehicle Policy Audit can highlight any failings or shortcomings in your current offering, share best practice or indeed establish policies if none exist. Driver training and behaviour, speeding, fines and damage to a company vehicle, and suitability checks when employees are using their own cars should all be considered when devising your business's policies.

Managing and costing a fleet of vehicles

Once a business owner has tackled the hurdles of H&S, you have to consider the actual cost and practical issues of running a fleet of vehicles. Using third-party expertise and outsourcing fleet matters can undoubtedly save a business time and money.

Selecting the right supplier is vital, and your company's decision-makers should ensure that they use an organisation with years of industry experience. You can avoid some common pitfalls this way, and tap into their preferential supply terms.

Look at the bigger picture

Plus when it comes to fleet maintenance the old adage that if something seems too good to be true it probably is, is certainly relevant with some dealers. Some car manufacturers promote fixed cost maintenance plans that appear to cover everything. Tread carefully though – the devil can be in the details. That bargain may end up costing you more in maintenance costs by stealth.

Camargue offers a business maintenance plan: it's a provision against future costs for a fixed monthly fee. If a client does not use the maintenance 'pot' it gets refunded at the end of the contract, or carried forward into the new contract as advance payment.

Savings from a third-party supplier should not stop there. Business owners and their professional advisers should look for experienced companies with expertise in selecting the right finance packages for fleet vehicles. There are a bewildering array of options available and your adviser should be able to help you find, run, finance and maintain your fleet, while keeping eyes focused on the whole life cost of running your vehicles.As industry compliant experts, Camargue can help navigate and make sure your company's car policies are heading in the right direction. You can get on with steering the business forward.

Camargue Group is working with ICAS to provide access to exclusive vehicle audit and finance options especially for ICAS members. If you would like to find out more, please visit the Camargue page.

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