Using staffs own cars - a transport solution or an unacceptable risk ?


During my many meetings and conversations with schools and colleges, the subject often arises of members of staff using their own cars to transport pupils from A to B as well as travelling to external meetings and conferences or training courses .

Many of the schools we help are naturally risk adverse and will be following the law and best practice in a lot of what they do. The subject of driving on school business is one subject, however, where some confusion reigns .

Provisions under the Road Traffic Act and Health and Safety and at Work Act create a responsibility between the employer ( School/College) and employee ( teacher, support staff member) and effectively make the vehicle a "place of work"  whether owned or run by the school or the employees own vehicle. 

The school or college has a responsibility to assess and reduce all risks involved with members of staff "driving at work" irrespective of the vehicle being run by the school or owned by the employee.  

1. Is the driver correctly licenced ?

2. Have you undertaken a risk assessment of the driver (Previous driving history - Medical history etc)

3. If they are using their own vehicle - Have you assessed its road worthiness ? Seen an MOT ? Service history ?

4. Have you seen a copy of the drivers insurance for their own car - They MUST be insured for business use.

Consideration must also be given to the cost of an employee using their own vehicle . Under current HMRC approved mileage rates the employee can claim 45p/mile for the first 10,000 miles in any tax year after which it reduces to 25p/mile.  a 180 mile round trip in a teachers own car could cost the school £81.

A potentially safer and more cost effective solution would be to hire in a suitable business type car for the journey, even with fuel costs there would be a saving to the school . 

EVA Rental is already helping a number of organisations on this basis with great evidence of savings  . What's more members of school staff are arriving at meetings in modern, efficient reliable cars that are correctly insured.

For assistance with creating a school driving for work policy that will cover all of the above, please remember EVA will be delighted to help.

John Couppleditch 


Posted by: