Increased pressure on personal finances is creating new potential grey fleet dangers, FleetCheck is warning.

Peter Golding, managing director at the fleet management software specialist, said that drivers using their own cars for business were being tempted to cut corners to save money.

“The current economic situation means that even people on what might be called good incomes are feeling the pinch and looking to make savings. Their car is one place where they may well look to reduce expenditure.

“There are several ways in which they might try to achieve this. One is to postpone routine maintenance, either in the shape of regular servicing or in delaying replacing wear items like tyres and brake pads. Another is that they might reduce their insurance cover to third party only or not bother with the business element of their policy.

“We are already hearing anecdotal feedback that this is happening on some fleets and it is clear that fleet managers need to be extra-vigilant when it comes to the checks that they make on grey fleet drivers and vehicles.”

FleetCheck highlighted two weeks ago that the recent fall in company car numbers reported by HMRC almost certainly meant that the grey fleet was growing, probably as a result of drivers moving out of their fleet cars during successive lockdowns.

“Our view in the longer term is that these drivers will be attracted back into the company car fleet by the low-tax opportunity offered through EVs. However, until that point, grey fleet management is going to become a growing challenge for, both in terms of the shortcuts in expenditure that drivers might be tempted to make and there simply being more and older private cars being used on company business.

“It’s certainly an area where we are looking to offer increased support to our customer base and we expect other suppliers in the fleet sector to be doing the same. This is going to be one of the big issues of 2023 and beyond for our sector, we believe.”