‘Grey fleet’ drivers failing to maintain their cars adequately

A recent survey of car owners who use their own cars for business purposes (known as grey fleet drivers) has found that many of them are not investing enough time or money in the maintenance of their cars.

Some 2,000 drivers took part in the survey, which was commissioned by Enterprise Rent-A-Car. It found that only 47 per cent have ever checked the tyre pressure on their car, while a third admitted that they had never so much as lifted the bonnet on their vehicle, despite relying on it for work trips.

Only 46 per cent had checked the engine oil level and 27 per cent said they currently had a warning light visible on their dashboard. One in five said they would take longer than a week to fix a problem that they were alerted to via a warning light.

Most alarmingly, ten per cent of the drivers questioned said they had been involved in a road accident that was definitely or probably caused by their lack of maintenance. This is perhaps unsurprising in light of the fact that 17 per cent admitted to only getting their car checked during their annual MOT.

Garage owners might not be too shocked by the news that grey fleet drivers are often less than attentive when it comes to servicing their cars. However, providing a reliable, trustworthy maintenance service to local car owners can help to encourage drivers to come and have more regular checks. Ensuring business continuity is a big part of this, as well as being fully insured against road risks is also a vital part of providing great customer service.

Director of business rental at Enterprise rent-a-car, Adrian Bewley, explained why employers are likely to be concerned about the results of the survey: “Employers have little or no control over the condition of those personal cars. However, if one of their drivers gets into an accident due to poor vehicle maintenance, the business could find itself liable for heavy fines, costs and damages.”

Those surveyed also demonstrated that they were lacking basic safety equipment in their cars, such as de-icer. More than 40 per cent were not certain that they had a roadworthy spare tyre in their cars, for example.