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Company cars highly valued by employees and businesses

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Six out of ten company car drivers say having a company car is an important consideration in any future job move.

Two thirds of businesses highlight the company car as an important employee benefit. Reliability, fuel efficiency and safety are top considerations when choosing a company car. Nine million employees regularly use their own car for work purposes

One in five businesses fail to carry out adequate insurance checks on employees using their personal car for work purposes. Six out of ten (62 percent) company car drivers state the offer of a similar choice and value of vehicle is an important consideration in any future decisions they make regarding job moves, according to new research from Lex Autolease, the UK’s leading fleet management provider.

Lex Autolease’s Report on Company Motoring, compiled from independent surveys of more than 1,400 businesses, company car drivers and employees who use their own vehicle for work purposes.  It found more than two-thirds of businesses (67 percent) believe the company car is an important employee benefit and one in five (20 percent) plan to upgrade their car policies in the next two years to help secure, retain and motivate the best employees. When asked to rank the most important factors in choosing a company car, drivers put reliability at the top, followed by fuel efficiency and safety.  In contrast the brand of car was ranked as the least important consideration. Tim Porter, Managing Director of Lex Autolease, said: “Our research proves the attractiveness of a company car to potential employees and suggests that businesses may need to review their benefits package to ensure they can secure prized talent in an increasingly competitive employment market.”

Employees using private cars pose safety risks

Despite the growth in popularity of the company car, Lex Autolease estimates that nine million employees regularly use their own private car for work purposes. These ‘grey fleet’ drivers can pose a significant challenge for businesses in terms of vehicle appropriateness, employee safety, the environmental impact of their vehicles and in extreme circumstances, the potential for corporate manslaughter charges. One in five businesses (20 percent) failed to carry out adequate checks to see if their employees had the correct insurance in place to use a private car for work purposes.  More than one in ten (12 percent) said they only undertook sporadic checks and further eight percent admitted they didn’t carry out any insurance checks at all.

Seven out of ten (70 percent) of private cars used by employees for work purposes are more than three years old.  Despite the mechanical problems associated with older vehicles, just four out of ten (40 percent) of businesses always checked the roadworthiness of these cars. Tim Porter added: “It appears many businesses remain oblivious to the cost challenges, environmental impact and safety risks associated with employees using their own vehicles for work purposes.  Our research reveals there are far more grey fleet drivers on the UK roads than those with company cars.  This represents a significant risk management challenge that businesses of all sizes need to address.”

The rise of the green agenda

Driven by regulation, manufacturer innovation, fiscal policy and concern for the environment, the green agenda is now prominent in the minds of most businesses operating vehicle fleets. Almost eight out of ten businesses (79 percent) ranked the environmental impact of their fleet as an important consideration and seven out of ten (70 percent)  claim this issue has become more prominent in the last two years.

This sentiment is reflected in benchmarking data from Lex Autolease’s fleet of 280,000 vehicles, which reveals average CO2 emissions across the fleet have dropped by 11 percent during the last four years. Porter added: “An increasing number of businesses have realised that implementing a green fleet policy can produce cost savings and environmental benefits.  Manufacturer innovations, particularly the development of cleaner and more fuel efficient petrol models, ensure that firms have a good choice of environmentally friendly vehicles to support their day to day requirements.”  

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