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Company Vehicles and Nominated Additional Drivers.

It is common practice to check the driving licences for vocational and company car drivers in order to ensure compliance with duty of care requirements. Grey Fleet drivers are also beginning to be assessed in the same way. But there is another category of driver that sometimes gets overlooked. This means that for some businesses and organisations there is a hidden risk that is not being addressed.

Many company vehicles are provided to employees where personal use is permitted. For 2016/17 there were 940,000 drivers paying BIK tax. If taking a nominal 12% of that figure it means that there are close to 113,000 drivers that should be validated for an entitlement to drive. This implies that all of the licence, age and driving experience requirements considered for an employee should also be applied to a nominated non-employee before approval to drive is given. But does this happen?

In a similar way to how grey fleet drivers were previously overlooked, it has been stated that a less than ideal situation exists for nominated drivers. A company provided vehicle, driven by a nominated driver, carries the same risk factors; medical conditions of the driver; driving licence convictions, endorsements and points; accidents and incident involvement.

If it is proven that the HR or Fleet policy relating to nominated additional drivers, fails to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to check a driver’s suitability for being allowed behind the wheel of the vehicle, then this can lead to:

  • Corporate liabilities in the event of a serious road incident.
  • Increased insurance costs for the group insurance policy, in the event of increased licence convictions.
  • Potentially disqualified drivers using a company provided vehicle.
  • Corporate loss of credibility if exposure to risk has been identified.

In essence, any nominated additional driver should be evaluated in the same way that the company vehicle driver is assessed regardless of their non-employee status. The risk evaluation is the same and policies should be adopted that reflect this understanding.

Licence Link the online driving licence, CPC and Tacho card checking service, provides a simple and effective way of ensuring that any additional nominated driver is licence checked using the same exacting processes that any other driver is processed in the system. Associating an additional driver to a company vehicle driver has proven to be a successful way of managing employer risk.

All drivers are reported upon in the same way and critical alerts will include additional drivers, detailing licence changes, expiry, risk due to penalty points and highlighting mandates due and expiry.

With alerts, audit tracks and driver record association, a driver that fits the category of a Nominated Additional Driver can be licence checked, risk assessed and managed with all of the preciseness that Licence Link provides.

 

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