The grey fleet is an important, but often neglected, aspect of fleet management. It consists of vehicles owned by employees in which any business travel is carried out.

This guide focuses on best grey fleet management practice and highlights opportunities to reduce the financial, environmental and duty of care impacts of your grey fleet by reducing miles driven and using alternative travel modes.

It is difficult to calculate the number of grey fleet vehicles on the road in the UK, however it has been estimated that 14 million are in use with 9 million used for business journeys on a regular basis. Comparing this figure with the 940,000 company cars on the road (HMRC 2012/13 based on recovery of Benefit-in-Kind taxation), helps to underline why it is crucial that opportunities to reduce emissions and cut costs from grey fleet use are identified.

Cash opt-out cars are grey fleet too. Employees receive additional salary, enabling them to acquire a vehicle as an alternative to a company car. This form of grey fleet may be a result of an active choice by drivers opting out of a company car, or by default in the absence of a structured company car scheme.

It will not always be practical to eliminate grey fleet entirely. For some employees and some journeys, the grey fleet will be the best option. And although it must be monitored and managed carefully, often it is not.