Research indicates that small to medium companies are generally ignoring the Duty of Care legislation or not implementing it in a way to produce an acceptable audit trail to prove compliance.
Employers must accept that the emphasis in managing employees driving on company business in their own vehicles has shifted from cost to safety. You now need to consider safety and maintenance of vehicles, different working practices, training and the introduction of stricter methods of measurement in order to provide the required accurate audit trail. The emphasis should be on an anti-accident culture. It is unlikely these measures will push up costs and many employers are reporting a reduction in costs due to tighter management of policies and procedures.
Company & Private Vehicles
It is estimated that there are 5 million privately owned vehicles being used on company business. There are only 3 million company cars. It is clear you will be expected to apply your duty of care to these drivers regardless of vehicle ownership.
You must protect your company from any possible prosecution by implementing policies and procedures for these drivers. Carry out a review to see who actually needs to drive on company business, reduce the numbers - reduce the risk.
You will need procedures to gather information about the driver's licence, insurance, vehicle roadworthy-ness (regularly reviewed) and maintain it in an accurate database, checks and balances that an employee must agree, in writing to abide by. Show you have done all that is reasonably possible to ensure these employees drive in accordance with the legislation. You must pay as much attention to these drivers as you would to the traditional company cars.