Duty of care

A Driver’s Handbook Example

(Name of Company)

A Driver’s Handbook

Contents

Introduction
Fitness To Drive Company Vehicles
Driver Responsibilities
Vehicle Selection
Running Your Company Car
Returning Your Company Car
If You Are Promoted Or Change Job Roles
Taxation
Deviation From And Changes To The Car Policy

Introduction

This handbook is written for all drivers on company business as part of the company’s car policy. The purpose is to set out for each driver the rules, practices and responsibilities the company has put in place to alleviate the risks to the health and safety of its employees identified under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Each driver must also ensure that others are not put at risk by his/her work-related driving activities.

Additionally, the company aims to offer a competitive reward and benefits package and the company car policy outlined in this handbook is a key part of this.

The company operates a single policy approach to driver support and control. All employees who drive company cars and vans on company business or who drive on company business in their own vehicles will be treated to exactly the same standard.

The company’s aim is to reduce the use of vehicles for company business, wherever practically possible to reduce road risks and to promote a greener environment. All drivers must decide if the journey is really necessary, if there is another, better solution and whether the journey can be completed more efficiently using other forms of transport including public transport.

Fitness To Drive Company Vehicles

As part the ‘Company Driver Fitness To Drive Policy’ it is the driver’s responsibility to inform the company if there is a change in circumstances which would affect his/her ability or legality to drive. The driver must complete when requested by the company the ‘Driving Health Declaration’ and the ‘Company Licence Check’.

Driver Responsibilities

General

The driver is expected to:

  1. Read this handbook on a regular basis
  2. Read the manufacturer’s vehicle handbook where applicable
  3. Obey all road traffic laws, applicable to all drivers
  4. Observe speed limits
  5. Observe company-specific guidelines mentioned in this handbook such as no smoking in company vehicles
  6. Take care of the company asset
  7. Ensure that all scheduled servicing is carried out on time and in accordance with the manufacturer’s and/or employer’s (including any contract hire supplier)
  8. Comply with insurance requirements about who can drive; and make prompt provision of details of any crash or incident
  9. Make all required returns of mileage, expenses, fuel etc promptly and accurately
  10. Report to the (contact name) any circumstances which may result in a claim or prosecution related to driving

Weekly Safety Check

The company expects its drivers to conduct weekly safety checks of their vehicle including the following:

  1. Tyres are undamaged, have enough tread depth and are at the
    correct pressure
  2. Oil, coolant and windscreen wash levels are correct
  3. Brakes are working
  4. Lights and indicators are clean and working
  5. Windscreen and windows are not damaged
  6. There are no signs of vehicle damage
  7. Washers and wipers are working
  8. Mirrors are correctly positioned

Pre-Drive Check

In addition, drivers are reminded to conduct pre-drive checks to ensure that:

  1. Tyres are properly inflated and undamaged
  2. Lights and indicators are working
  3. There is no visible damage to the vehicle body or windows
  4. The washers and wipers are working
  5. The mirrors are correctly positioned
  6. The brakes are working
  7. All occupants are using their seat belts
  8. All occupants head-restraints are adjusted correctly
  9. Any loads are securely restrained before setting off

Fit For Purpose

Vehicles may be used for a variety of purposes. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure the type of vehicle used is fit for its purpose as follows:

  1. If the work tasks only (or mainly) involve carrying goods, specify appropriate goods vehicles
  2. If combined loads of passengers and goods are normally carried, then the type of vehicles specified should enable goods to be secured properly and that passengers should each have a seat and seat belt
  3. Unsecured loads in cars can greatly increase the severity of injuries to the occupants in collisions.

Driving Safely

Company expects all drivers to drive safely, sensibly and economically. The company will provide fact sheets to help all of the drivers on company business to focus on safety both for themselves and other road users.

The company draws attention to the following:

a) Driver Fatigue

The company promotes journey planning as a means of reducing the risks of tiredness and poor driving.

b) Driver Stress

The company is aware that there are many areas of stress our lives. It is not in anyone’s interest for a driver to be either stressed when he/she gets into a vehicle or become agitated as a result of the journey.

c) Speeding

There is no situation whatsoever where any driver on company business needs to break any speed limits. The company will not pay any fines where employees break the law. Speeding issues are covered in more detail in the company’s ‘Safer Speed Policy’.

d) Mobile Phone Usage While Driving

The company’s position is clear, under no circumstances are drivers using company vehicles or any driver on company business using their own vehicle, to make or receive and phone calls whilst driving unless the vehicle is fitted with Bluetooth facilities.

e) Drink & Drugs

The company forbids the use of alcohol or drugs at work. Under no circumstances are any employees to drive vehicles on company business whilst under the influence of drugs or drink.

Vehicle Selection

Vehicles are to be provided by the company according to job need and remuneration. There are 3 levels, all with customer-facing roles.

For Directors and Senior Managers on Level 1, the budget is to a maximum of £800 per month ex VAT.

For Managers, Sales Staff and Implementation Engineers on Level 2, the budget is to a maximum of £500 per month ex VAT.

For Engineers on Level 3, the budget is to a maximum of £500 per month ex VAT.

These figures will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Grades/Levels Position Mileage Allowance Vehicles
Level 1 Directors and Senior Managers 30,000 per annum Audi A4/ A5/A6 BMW 3 & 5 series/ Mercedes C class
Level 2 Managers/Sales Roles 30,000 per annum VW Passatt/ BMW 1 Series/ Ford Mondeo / Vauxhall Insignia
Level 3 Engineers 40,000 per annum Vauxhall Astra Estate or Ford Focus Estate
Funding Contract Hire 3 Years Full Maintenance including tyres 3+33
Restrictions No 4 x 4 models, no convertibles

The Company reserves the right to review constantly the makes and models offered and remove any from the list those which do not meet the company’s current criteria including CO2 emissions and MPG.

(Increasingly companies are using CO2 levels or average fuel consumption figures to determine and restrict choice)

Trading Up

You can choose a car that costs more than your monthly allowance (up to a maximum of 15%). If you do this, you will be responsible for paying the difference in the rental cost, all of the additional Employer’s National Insurance costs and your increased benefit-in-kind payment. Taken together, this means that the amount you will pay will be the actual additional rental plus the current tax year’s employer’s NI. The company will action national insurance at the current year’s rate.

The money will be deducted from your net monthly salary by Payroll.

Any trade up costs towards the vehicle may be considered by the Inland Revenue as a contribution towards private use and might therefore be classed as a deduction from your taxable earnings. You should ask your local Inland Revenue office for advice based upon your personal circumstances.

Your contribution is the difference between your monthly entitlement and the
car’s monthly rental cost plus the additional employer’s National Insurance
contribution. The maximum upgrade contribution is 15% of your monthly
entitlement.

Your upgrade contributions will be collected through an authorised monthly
deduction from your salary for the term of the vehicle contract.

When the upgrade includes fitting accessories, the accessories are owned by the
contract hire company.

Allocation Of Existing Vehicles.

Wherever possible you will have the opportunity to choose a new car:

  1. When you join the Company.
  2. Receive a promotion to a role which is eligible for a company car.
  3. Reach the end of your existing company car contract.

However, in order to manage the car fleet efficiently, the Company may decide to reallocate a ‘spare’ vehicle from the existing fleet for the remainder of the contract term. If this happens, the car which is allocated will be in line with your car entitlement under the policy.

If you are allocated a vehicle which costs more in rental than your monthly allocation, you will not normally have to pay upgrade contributions. In this case any contributions would be at the discretion of the Company.

Accessories

To ensure your comfort and safety, the Company has determined a level of accessories which may be fitted to company cars, the cost of which will be included in the monthly contract allowance. These are as follows:

Satellite Navigation
Bluetooth hands free phone kit
Metallic Paint
First Aid Kit

Ordering And Receiving Your Company Car

  1. You are responsible for contacting (name of contact) direct to order your company car.
  2. (name of contact) will provide a quotation for the proposed car based on the mileage allowance and budget in your level.
  3. (name of contact) will confirm the order and the time scales involved.
  4. You should inspect your car fully on delivery. You must complete the delivery note to either confirm the acceptability of the vehicle or to bring attention to any faults, problems or difference in specification from that ordered.

Running Your Company Car

1. Defining Business And Personal Journeys

You can use your company car freely for personal as well as business journeys subject to the conditions outlined in ‘Authorised Drivers’ below.

In order to avoid confusion, business travel is defined as:
Journeys you have to make to or from a workplace as part of your job, but which are not your ordinary journeys to and from work.

Ordinary commuting, which is classed as a personal journey is defined as:
To and from home to your permanent place of work.

2. Private And Business Mileage, Fuel, And Expenses

All drivers on company business must record their business mileage. Likewise, private mileage must be recorded. The cost of the private mileage will be deducted from your salary on a monthly basis. To do this you must provide (name of contact) with the information.

Drivers will be issued with fuel cards.

Appendix A

Mileage rates for employee owned car on company business (Where there is no entitlement to a company car)

Car engine size (cc) Business miles
All cars (2014-2015) First 10,000 Over 10,000
0.45 0.25
Rate (pence per mile) Rate (pence per mile)
Appendix B

Company Cars – Advisory Fuel Rates for private mileage

Petrol Cars (from 1st March 2014)
Car engine size(cc) Rate (pence per mile)
Up to 1400cc 0.14
1401cc to 2000cc 0.16
Over 2000cc 0.24

 

Diesel   Cars (from 1st March 2014)
Car engine size (cc) Rate (pence per mile)
Up to 1400cc 0.12
1401cc to 2000cc 0.14
Over 2000cc 0.17

3. Insurance

A copy of the company’s vehicle insurance policy is available on request from (name of contact) who will also provide clarification on any insurance issues such as exclusions or restrictions.

All Drivers on company business not covered by the company insurance, including Car Allowance Drivers and Occasional Drivers must produce insurance details to (name of contact) on request.

a) Keeping the car secure

Vehicles are inherently insecure so you should never leave valuable personal or company property in the vehicle if you can avoid it. All personal effects or company property should be removed from unattended vehicles or locked in the boot (out of sight). Always activate all security features when you leave the vehicle, even if only for a short time.

b) Insuring your personal property

Your personal property is not covered by the Company’s insurance so you should consider making your own insurance arrangements.

c) What to do if involved in an accident on the road

Stay calm if you are not injured, phone the company for assistance and advice if required and before discussing the situation. Complete the company’s Accident Report Card as soon as possible. When used replacement cards can be obtained from (name of contact).

c) Claims excess

The company will not normally expect the driver to pay for any applicable insurance excess even where the driver is blameworthy. If the frequency of accidents for any driver rises to a level causing concern, the company reserves the right to review this aspect of the car policy.

4. Maintenance Arrangements

It is the driver’s responsibility to make maintenance arrangements. Details of the manufacturer’s requirements are found in the service book. To arrange servicing and repairs use the contract hire service card in the car. If you are unsure or the information seems not readily available contact (name of contact) for clarification

As well as the above it is your responsibility to take proper and reasonable care of the car by cleaning it inside and outside regularly, promptly repairing any damage and submitting the car for an MOT if required.

5. Driver Training

You must at all times drive with your own and others safety in mind. If the frequency of accidents for any driver rises to a level causing concern, the driver does not adhere to speed limits or the level of driving skills appears to fall, the company reserves the right to send the driver on a suitable course of training.

6. Authorised Drivers

All drivers of company vehicles must be in possession of a full driving licence valid in the UK. You must tell the Company immediately of any endorsements and/or driving bans. If you qualify for a company car, you must produce:

Your driving licence to the Company is to be checked (state period annually/quarterly etc).

The driving licences of any spouse/partner or children over 21 if authorised by the Company.

Those who are permitted to drive are as follows:

  1. Any employees who are part of the company car scheme.
  2. The spouse or partner of the driver.
  3. Permission for other relatives may be granted at the discretion of the Company

All authorised drivers must be over 21 years old to drive a company vehicle.

Company cars are not to be used for driving tuition.

Under no circumstances can the car be used as a taxi, for rental or for other arrangements involving payment for its use.

Under no circumstances may the car be used for any form of competition, rally or motor sports.

Drivers shall not part with the vehicle nor hold themselves as the owner of the vehicle nor sell, assign, charge, pledge, underlet, hire out or loan or otherwise dispose or purport to dispose of the vehicle. These are disciplinary offences.

7. Driving Abroad

You can use your company car in the EEC, Norway and Switzerland for business purposes and for social or domestic use subject to the following:

You must obtain approval from (name of contact) who will provide you with the information regarding the arranging of the correct documentation.

When travelling overseas you must take your driving licence and carry it with you at all times.

8. Passenger Airbags

If you have a company car with a passenger airbag fitted please be aware that disabling it to fit a child seat significantly increases the risk of serious injury to a front seat passenger in the event of an accident. You could be held personally responsible

9. Driving Hours And Breaks

In order to maximise concentration when driving, the following guidelines are provided.

  1. Plan your journey to include a 15 minute break every two hours of driving.
  2. Allow plenty of time for your journey.
  3. Plan your route well in advance.
  4. Plan your workload carefully.

Remember; if you feel tired or drowsy, find a safe place to take a stop and take a break. Feeling tired at the wheel can affect your ability to concentrate, correctly perceive, assess and respond to road hazards and to make safe driving decisions.

10. Driving Offences And Fines.

It is your responsibility to tell the Company if you lose your licence or are disqualified from driving either temporarily or permanently. If this happens the Company may take the vehicle back immediately. If you cannot perform your job satisfactorily as a result of losing your driving licence, the Company may also institute formal disciplinary procedures which could lead to dismissal.

The Company makes no provision and is under no obligation to fund alternative transport. The Company will not be liable for any benefits that would have been incurred had you been able to drive.

You must pay any parking and other motoring fines you incur in your company car, and cannot claim these on expenses.

By accepting the allocation of a company car, you accept these conditions of use.

11. Road Traffic Act 1991

In order to comply with the Road Traffic Act 1991 you must keep whatever record is necessary to identify the driver of your car at any time.

The Company may be called upon to identify the driver of a car who is alleged to be guilty of a particular offence, (eg. through photographic evidence of speeding) and it is essential that you must be able to state who was driving your car at that time. Failure to do so may be a disciplinary matter.

12. Smoking In Company Vehicles

It is the company’s position to comply with the UK Health Act 2006 regarding smoke free premises and vehicles, which came into force in England on 1st July 2007.

All of the vehicle contract hire companies, supplying the company, prohibit smoking in their vehicles as the resale value is dramatically reduced. The company supports this prohibition and a driver will be liable for any dehire charges levied by the contract hire where smoking has devalued his/her vehicle.

Returning Your Company Car

1. Returning Your Car At The End Of Its Contract

When your car reaches the end of its contract, you should contact (name of contact) to arrange its return and order a new vehicle if appropriate.

2. Returning Your Car When Leaving The Company.

You must return the car if you leave the Company for any reason.

The company reserves the right to consider any request for using the car in your notice period on an individual basis, on its own merits, at the time.

If you leave the Company without notice, for whatever reason, you must return the vehicle immediately.

3. Other Circumstances In Which Your Car Must Be Returned.

Inform your HR Manager and return your company car promptly in the following circumstances:

  • Any medical condition or treatment which prohibits driving.
  • Extended leave given by the Company.
  • Violation of the company car policy and conditions of use.
  • Convictions for careless or dangerous driving, excessive number of blameworthy accidents or disqualification.
4. Ensuring The Return Of Your Car In Good Condition.

When you return your car at the end of its contract (or on leaving the Company) you must return it in a clean and tidy condition to an agreed company location.

The car, including any spare wheel, tyres, tools, handbook, accessories and service history, must be returned free from dents, scratches, damaged paintwork or upholstery but excludes natural corrosion by weather and chipping to paintwork caused by flying stones.

If there is evidence of abuse, improper use, neglect or maltreatment, you will be responsible for the cost of reinstating the car to an acceptable condition, and the Company will invoice you for this expense.

If You Are Promoted Or Change Job Roll

1. Promotion

If you are promoted to a role which has a higher grouping on the company car policy, you cannot change your car until the end of its existing contract.

2. Change In Job Role Or Transfer To Another Area Of The Business

The Company reserves the right to withdraw your company car without compensation if you change roles within the company to a position which does not qualify for a company car.

Taxation

You are personally responsible for any income tax requested by the Inland Revenue as a result of receiving a company car and fuel card. The Company will not be liable for any payments. If you require any P11D information contact (name of contact)

Deviation From And Changes To The Car Policy

From time to time there may be a business/commercial reason, where the application of the key principles of the car policy is not appropriate. In these instances, authorisation must be sought from the Company.

The company car policy is applied at the discretion of the Company, who has the right to change the policy without notice and compensation. However, every effort will be made to give drivers advance notice of any changes to the policy.