Tag Archives: Fleet vehicles

10 Top Tips to keep your SME fleet legally compliant

IF YOU run a small fleet of 5 or more vehicles you have a legal obligation to ensure you assess the road risk of your drivers and that your company cars comply with safety and documentation requirements.

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Many small business owners understand these responsibilities and ensure that their company cars and drivers operate under the rules of Corporate Governance and meet HSE requirements. 

It’s crucial that you can demonstrate that the vehicle is safe and the driver is trained

10 Top Tips of what you need to do split up into the requirements for drivers and vehicles. 


1.  Keep full records and vehicle documentation where they are both safe and accessible. Appoint someone sensible to be responsible for them. For each vehicle you should have the V5 (log book), insurance documentation, MOT (if applicable), service records and maintenance reports.

2.  Keep a dedicated ‘Daily Log’ for each vehicle, where regular checks can be recorded. These must show that every vehicle is safe, and roadworthy. This becomes the vehicle’s ‘audit trail’.
These daily checks are done by the vehicle’s driver and/or the business car manager, but whoever does it, keep contemporaneous notes on what was found and what action was taken to correct any faults or damage.

3.  Don’t neglect those company cars that are used only occasionally, and don’t neglect employees’ own cars that are used on company business – the so-called ‘grey fleet’. If the vehicle is being used on company business, you are responsible for ensuring that it is legal and roadworthy. It even applies to contractors’ vehicles.

4.  Resolve problems straight away, and if you find something dangerous or even just potentially dangerous the vehicle must not be used.


5.  Your responsibilities cover any driver working on your company business. So whether the driver is a full or part-time employee, an agency driver or someone working for a sub-contractor, you must ensure that they are fit to drive.

6.  You must have a ‘Driving at Work’ policy for your business drivers.
Keep it up to date as legal obligations and requirements change.
Give a copy to every driver; they should sign to confirm they’ve received it, and again to confirm they’ve read and understood it, and will comply with its requirements.
Your Driving at Work policy should cover such issues as mobile phone use, smoking, eating, driving, drug use, speeding and other driving offences. It should describe what the driver should do in the event of an accident. Consider the risks your drivers may encounter if, for example, you expect them to make long journeys or deliveries, and cover these points too.

7.  Always do a full driver’s license check, not just a simple visual check. The information needs to come from the DVLA to ensure that you achieve compliance and are 100% sure the driver is legal to drive.
License checking is a vital part of the risk management process. It should be repeated at least annually, and more frequently for drivers with points on their licenses. I always recommend that companies check drivers’ licenses before they are employed – and that includes agency and part-time workers.

 8.  You have a legal responsibility to assess each and every driver for road risk. This can be done online but it’s imperative to remember that if any driver shows up as ‘high risk‘, you must follow up the assessment with training.
Again, much of this can be done online unless the driver’s risk assessment demands in car training. Online training is cost effective, particularly if large groups of drivers are involved, it ensures that you can demonstrate that you have met your Duty of Care, and it creates an audit trail for your records.

9.  If your risk assessment finds a driver who is at high risk, failure to act can mean that you may be held culpable if the driver is subsequently found to be at fault in an accident.
Since you knew there was a risk, it was your responsibility to act and failure to do so puts you in a worse position than if you’d been ignorant of the risk.
So make sure that you satisfy yourself that you have access to remedial training before you begin your risk assessments.

10.  It is  also recommended  that you ask that your drivers to take annual health and eyesight checks which can catch problems early and help to ensure drivers are physically fit to drive and comply with the minimum eyesight requirement.  

It seems exhaustive but it’s worth implementing a plan of action and a driving at work policy.

Comply and stay legal or, chance your arm and hope that your drivers aren’t involved in an accident where the consequences leave your and the company exposed to prosecution through criminal or civil proceedings.

We hope you will find the above information usefull as we  feel we should always try to keep  all our CVSL customers  well informed about any new  legal requirments.


Why CVSL Recommend Checking For Damage Before Returning Your Leased Vehicles

Fleet managers  could save thousands of pounds per year by taking 10 minutes to check the external condition of leased vehicles before they are due to be returned,

This should involve inspecting bumpers, alloys and paintwork for scuffs, bumps and scratches a few weeks before the official end of lease inspection is due.

According to industry figures, 27% of returned vehicles incur a fair wear and tear recharge.

This is generally because damage has been left untouched or not repaired to a high enough standard.

Large  and small fleets could quickly realise significant savings by checking vehicles and organising appropriate repairs themselves through accredited repairers or bodyshops.

follow these five ‘10-minute check-up’ tips:

  1. Ensure the vehicle is clean and dry: dirt and wet can mask scratches and scuffs.
  2. Choose a well-lit location.
  3. Start at one corner – such as the driver’s side headlight – and walk slowly around the vehicle examining each panel, as well as the roof, doors and bonnet.
  4. Crouch down to check the vehicle along its length, on each side.
  5. Pay special attention to wheels and bumpers – these are prime areas for scuffs and scrapes.

As a rule of thumb, minor damage smaller than an A4 piece of paper can be repaired to a high standard by a SMART repairer.

Larger areas of damage require attention in a bodyshop.

Both options are more cost-effective than simply accepting the wear and tear recharge.

Wear and tear recharges have really escalated over the past three years we have heard of many cases where a firm has been billed around £900 for repairs that would have cost a fraction of that with an accredited SMART repair technician. By taking a planned approach and making time to inspect vehicles internally, businesses could save a lot of money.


Budget: Fuel duty scrapped and new company car tax bands introduced

The chancellor has cancelled the planned rise in fuel duty, while also introducing two new company car tax bands for ultra-low emission vehicles.

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The 1.89 pence per litre fuel duty increase that was planned for September 1, 2013, will be scrapped. This means that fuel duty will have been frozen for nearly three and half years, the longest duty freeze for over 20 years

Meanwhile, the Government is introducing two new company car tax (CCT) bands for ultra-low emission vehicles.

From April 2015, two new CCT bands will be introduced at 0-50g/km and 51-75g/km. The appropriate percentage of the list price subject to tax for the 0-50g/km will be 5% in 2015-16, and 7% in 2016-17.

The appropriate percentage of the list price subject to tax for the 51-75g/km CO2 band will be 9% in 2015-16 and 11% in 2016-17.

In 2017-18 there will be a 3 percentage point differential between the 0-50 and 51-75g/km bands, and between the 51-75 and 76-94g/km band.

In 2018-19 and 2019-20 there will be a 2 percentage point differential between the 0-50 and 51-75g/km bands and between the 51-75 and 76-94g/km bands.

In future years CCT rates will be announced three years in advance.

The thinking behind this is that this will stimulate the market for ultra-low emissions vehicles. And with the added incentives of low taxation motoring this could persuade more fleets to use them as part of their everyday operations.” 

Some other measures announced, included:

Fuel benefit charge (FBC) – From April 6, 2014, the FBC multiplier will increase by RPI for both cars and vans. Van benefit charge (VBC) – the Government will freeze the VBC at £3,000 in 2013-14 and will increase it by the RPI only from April 6, 2014. The Government commits to pre-announcing the VBC one year ahead.

Capital allowances for business cars: first year allowances (FYA) – As announced at Budget 2012, the 100% FYA for businesses purchasing the lowest emissions vehicles will be extended until March 31, 2015.

From April 2013, the carbon dioxide emissions threshold below which cars are eligible for the FYA will be reduced from 110g/km to 95g/km and leased business cars will no longer be eligible for the FYA.

The Government will extend the FYA for a further three years until March 31, 2018. From April 2015, the carbon dioxide emissions threshold will be reduced from 95g/km to 75g/km.

Capital allowances for business cars: as announced at Budget 2012, the carbon dioxide emissions threshold below which cars are eligible for the main rate of capital allowances will be reduced from 160g/km to 130g/km from April 2013.


Why Fleets Are Paying The High Price At The Pumps

Fleets are paying nearly 5p per litre more at the pumps than they did at the start of the year, thanks to a weakening pound and soaring wholesale prices.

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The average price of diesel in the UK is now 145.10ppl, up 4.78p from the middle of January when diesel cost 140.32ppl, according to the AA.

Petrol, meanwhile, has risen to 138.32ppl – up 5.61p on a month ago (132.71p). However, further increases are likely.

The AA says that fleets are suffering as the pound weakens against the dollar and the wholesale prices are going upwards all due to the stock market speculation.

As pump prices are usually two weeks behind the wholesale changes  the full impact of the price rise has not truly felt by the end user but as the increase filters through the consequences will begin to take effect.

The increase in pump prices comes as the Freight Transport Association (FTA) renewed calls for Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to reduce fuel duty by 3ppl in the Budget on March 20.

It also wants the Government to stimulate investment in low-carbon fuelled vehicles by fixing duel rates for natural gas and bio-methane relative to diesel rates for at least 10 years.

But, with petrol sales falling to the lowest level tracked by Government in 23 years, less revenue will be heading to Treasury coffers. Also with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) figures show UK diesel sales fell year-on-year in January, down to 1.923 billion litres for cars, haulage and other uses.

This is higher than the all-time low of 1.833bn litres in January 2010, when widespread and extended periods of heavy snow cut road use. But, with petrol sales falling to the lowest level tracked by Government in 23 years, less revenue will be heading to Treasury coffers.

While the Chancellor will have little appetite to either cut fuel duty or postpone future increases while tax receipts are falling, he has been forced into this action several times already, including scrapping the January 3.02ppl rise.

So let’s wait and see what happens in the Budget, As usual we will keep all our CVSL clients up to date with how any changes in the budget will affect your Personal Contract hire vehicles or your Contract hire and fleet vehicles.