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Increasing number of driving offences committed by employees can cost employers billions of pounds

Small businesses are seeing a significant number of driving offences committed by their own staff, research has shown.

In the past six months, just under a third (31%) of employees using a vehicle for work committed an offence while driving on the road.

A report from Enterprise Rent-A-Car reveals a culture of driving misbehaviour that could cost employers millions of pounds through fines, administration costs and insurance premiums each year.

More than half (51%) of the driving offences committed were due to speeding while a quarter (24%) were due to driving under the influence of drink or drugs. Inappropriate insurance was the cause of one in 10 offences and a failure to pay fixed-penalty notices affected one in six (16%).

Currently, more than one in three workers (35%) use their own car for business purposes, making it the most common form of business transport.

Rob Ingram, director of business rental at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, said: "Although employers cannot directly control their employees' driving habits, they can ensure that the car they drive for work is regularly serviced and safe to drive. Whether a driver is in a company car or a private vehicle, responsibility remains with the employer.  

"Using privately-owned vehicles for work purposes is often part of the problem. Not only do these vehicles tend to be older and less well-maintained than leased or rented vehicles but they require a great deal of time and effort to manage properly.

"They also need to be clear about what their drivers' insurance actually covers. A lot of drivers use their cars for work without the appropriate business insurance. This can result in significant fines and time lost for small businesses with drivers off the road."