Business Traveller - - MOTORING -

If choos­ing a com­pany car is too hard, then – if you can – why not take the cash al­ter­na­tive in­stead?

In­creas­ing num­bers of em­ploy­ees are do­ing so, but many for­get the con­ve­nience of a com­pany car. Af­ter all, some­body else pays ser­vic­ing and run­ning costs, in­sur­ance and road tax, and for in­ci­den­tals such as punc­tures.

Opt out of the com­pany scheme, though, and your pri­vate car, used for com­pany busi­ness, is known in the in­dus­try as part of the “grey fleet”. The ad­van­tage is that you can choose your own model, rather than pick from a list and maybe even have some money left over.

While this op­tion makes more sense for those who have a car as a perk, as op­posed to higher an­nual mileages, it’s not with­out prob­lems. For the em­ployee, there are the costs listed above, on top of the bur­den of hav­ing to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for your own trans­port.

Em­ploy­ees who opt out are of­ten driv­ing older cars (the av­er­age grey fleet car is eight years old), which usu­ally means higher emis­sions and lower re­li­a­bil­ity – not great if you’re head­ing to a meet­ing to rep­re­sent your com­pany. Some in­dus­try ex­perts worry this may be­come a health and safety is­sue in the fu­ture, too.

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