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A Guide for Driving for Work

By Leasecar, 30 Oct 2018

Employees in the UK are often required to travel for work – for conferences, meetings, sales pitches or site visits. In many cases, the employee’s car is the chosen method of transport. Travelling in a private car offers many advantages, including relatively low costs, the convenience of door-to-door travel and the ability to transport up to five people without massive jumps in price.

There are a few things, however, you need to be aware of if you or your employees plan to drive privately owned or leased cars for work. It’s important to clarify issues around insurance, payment and liability before any trips are undertaken. To help with this we’ve looked at the most searched for questions on google around driving for work and, after consulting with HR experts and professionals, pulled the answers together for you.

Travelling by Car

There are a number of transport options open to those travelling for work and all offer their advantages and disadvantages.

For long distance travels, such as meeting overseas clients, air travel offers an obvious solution as often the fastest option. For domestic trips, trains are a popular choice, allowing employees to travel without worrying about checking directions, and freeing up some travel time for cracking on with work projects. But trains leave workers reliant on timetables, can be subject to delays and very rarely offer door-to-door service.

This is where cars provide a useful option for work travel. They often give a cheaper alternative to train travel and can obviously take travellers from one door to another without any connections or transfers.

If employees do travel by car there are two major options open to businesses – travel in cars owned or leased by employees, or travel in company cars. Company cars bring a range of benefits. Jemma Fairclough-Hayes, CEO of Orchard Employment Law and HR trainer, explores these. She highlights how company cars “enhance remuneration packages so they are more attractive to staff.”

She also points out that company cars are a great opportunity to extend branding. Having a fleet of cars “creates a company brand, where all cars can be the same, wrapped with the company logo and a similar style of vehicle.”

Jemma also emphasised some of the drawbacks of company cars, one of which was cost. Unless employees are travelling regularly for work, the expense of company cars can be excessive.

Letting employees drive their own cars, however, removes the expense of acquiring and maintaining multiple vehicles. This is a sensible choice for businesses whose employees travel irregularly and often not within easy walking distance of public transport.

Business Car Insurance

If employees are driving their own cars for work-related travel outside their regular commute, they need to be covered by business car insurance. Although it is the employee’s responsibility to make this extension of their insurance policy, you should share information with them about what the insurance is and why it matters.

The ins about outs of business car insurance are discussed in our infographic above, so it might be worth circulating among your employees. HR expert Jemma Fairclough-Hayes summarises key points to be aware of:

  • Ensuring the employee tells their insurance company that their vehicle will be used for business.
  • Giving your employees an accurate estimate of how many miles they’ll be driving.
  • Checking the excess amount on the insurance policy and establishing who is liable for paying it.

Keeping employees Safe

It is important employees are made aware of risks and how to minimise them before embarking on a trip.

Jemma Fairclough-Hayes recommends that companies develop and introduce a company car or driving policy. She suggests including some things which drivers will be aware of but are worth reiterating. For example, it is important to emphasise the need to adhere to drink driving and speeding laws.

It is also important to include guidance that helps keep employees safe whilst driving, such as how long employees should be on the road for, how often they should take breaks, where it is safe to stop on the motorway, and how to stay alert on long journeys.

It’s also important to think about employee health whilst driving. Bad posture and driving position can lead to muscular problems if held for lengthy periods of time. Think about discussing correct seat positions and posture with your employees, similar to how you would approach display screen equipment safety.

This should give you a great jumping-off point for getting prepped for driving at work.

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