Are You Managing Your Road Risk?

Published on 25/05/2017

As a Company Director you have a legal Duty of Care to have a Company Car Policy in place that covers all vehicles used for the business - whether they are vehicles the business itself owns or leases, or vehicles owned or leased by your employees and used for business purposes.

Let's imagine, a member of staff has attended a networking event, they drove in their own car to the event. However, did you know that as a Company Director or Owner you are responsible for ensuring they have the correct Business Use Insurance and the Business must have a Policy in place to ensure attention is paid to roadworthiness?

That Policy may be as simple as a monthly walk round inspection - checking tyres and lights, as much as it is Law to have such a Policy in place it is as important that you have the records as evidence to support that the checks required within the Policies are actually taking place

As a Director/ Business Owner it is not a defence to say that vehicle inspections take place or that Driving Licence checks have been done if you have no evidence to support this claim

Similarly, we are all aware of the law regarding the use of mobile phones when driving and unfortunately you may well have heard about a recent high profile case where a driver using his smartphone to select music led to his truck being involved in a fatal accident. The Company had only two weeks earlier updated its Company Car Policy to include Music and Sat Nav usage with a mobile phone so the Directors were not prosecuted under Duty of Care Legislation, but if this had happened a few weeks earlier they could have been up for Manslaughter Charges for not having any Policy in place to cover such eventualities.

We all live busy lives and sometimes it's very tempting to call a member of staff who is out on client meetings on their mobile to quickly check something, but if you have a Company Policy forbidding the use of phones when driving - you've just broken it yourself! One company was recently prosecuted by the HSE on these grounds.

It's for these reasons that when introduced to a new customer Neva always starts with the Company Car Policy, it may only require minor alteration to keep up with regulation, it may have to be completely re-written.

This Policy must be for all drivers regardless who funds the vehicle and even if it is ashort term rental. Neva takes Duty of Care and their customer's reputations as if it were their own - valuable peace of mind for any business owner.

To this end they have developed a market leading technology - the award winning "C-Fleet Management System", backed up by a convenient driver app, this enables companies to manage their "Duty of Care" responsibilities for all vehicles used for Company Business regardless of how they are funded or owned.

This technology was recognised by the regional awards of the British Chamber of Commerce in 2015 when "C-Fleet" won the Innovation Product of the Year. Since then Neva has been winning regional and industry accolades from all quarters.

Last year Neva gained national recognition from its own industry, being awarded Best Leasing Company in the 1000-4000 Annual Sales category and also picking up the Best Leasing Broker Customer Service Award. Other awards followed in 2016 with one of Neva's key leasing partners LeasePlan awarding them Leasing Broker of the Year. This award was judged not only on sales growth year on year, but on more prevalent factors including customer service feedback, quality of documentation, breadth of products supplied and overall standards adhered to as well as the politeness and efficiency demonstrated by staff in dealing with LeasePlan on a day to day basis.

Formed in 1992 by current directors, Graham Prince and Nick Collinson, Neva is celebrating 25 years in business. They have ambitious objectives for growth, "Neva Consultants presently supplies and helps to manage 6000 vehicles, in three years time we aim to grow this to 7500 vehicles."

In the fast moving environment in which companies now find themselves trusting a supplier is vital due to the many factors to consider before entering into a vehicle procurement such as Petrol/Diesel/Hybrid/Full Electric/whole life costs/method of funding, rather than just what is the monthly payment. Companies then have to be sure that the supplier managing the fleet is focused on the In-Life Management of Costs, such as over mileage, driver management and fuel efficiency.

Graham and Nick state "we have 'big' Fleet Management tools for small and medium sized fleets. We take a certain pride in being able to demonstrate how and why we can save our customers money and manage their Fleets so they are able to concentrate on their core business."