Jaama launches new pool vehicle booking portal

Martin Evans, managing director of Jaama

Jaama, the UK’s leading fleet and asset management software and risk management specialist, has launched a new driver pool vehicle booking portal module for its Key2 system.

Fleets that use Jaama’s multi award-winning Key2 asset management system and have pool vehicles within their operations are able to use the portal to encourage drivers to go online and book a pool car or van for a specific journey. The self-help portal then asks drivers a number of questions about the booking with all information fed back into Key2.

Employees using their own vehicles – known as the ‘grey’ fleet’ – on work-related journeys is a major issue for both public and private sector fleets.

Industry data suggests that there are approximately 14 million ‘grey fleet’ vehicles in the UK today, compared with, according to Office for National Statistics’ data, 890,000 company cars (provisional 2017/18 figure).

What’s more with an increasing number of employees opting out of company cars due to the spiralling benefit-in-kind tax burden and switching into various cash-based schemes enabling them to own or lease their vehicles, the size of the UK’s ‘grey fleet’ is rising.

This current trend gives further focus to industry research over many years that identifies the cost of mileage reimbursement as well as the compromising of employee safety and business reputation as key issues for employers that allow ‘grey fleet’ use.

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has estimated that UK employees travel more than 12 billion miles in ‘grey fleet’ vehicles each year at a cost of around £5.5 billion in mileage claims and allowances.

Furthermore, businesses have a legal duty of care responsibility to all employees irrespective of whether they drive their own vehicle or a company-provided vehicle on work-related trips. Additionally, industry research from the likes of fleet managers’ organisation ACFO and the BVRLA suggest that’s employees opting out of a company car will typically choose to drive a vehicle that has higher carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than the company-provided vehicle they gave up and that the average ‘grey fleet’ car is more than eight years old.

Jaama managing director Martin Evans said: “Vast amounts of fleet industry research over many years suggests that ‘grey fleet’ management is a major headache for fleet decision-makers notably in respect of cost, risk management and corporate social responsibility.

“Jaama has always provided Key2 users with tools to undertake compliance checks on ‘grey fleet’ vehicles and their drivers as we believe they should be as robust as in respect of drivers at the wheel of company-provided vehicles and those cars and commercial vehicles.”

He continued: “Amid concerns about employees driving their own vehicles on business trips, launch of Key2 Pool Vehicle Booking System is designed to make booking a pool vehicle as easy as possible for drivers and simultaneously banish ‘grey fleet’ usage.”

Having accessed the Key2 Pool Vehicle Booking System, drivers can make a booking for a specific journey and subsequently view and amend if necessary. Additionally, employees with the appropriate permission, can book pool vehicles on behalf of colleagues.

The portal will:

  • Ascertain journey criteria from the booking wizard (including if an employee is able to car share, the number of passengers and if it’s a suitable journey for an electric vehicle) allocate the most suitable pool vehicle
  • Display any requirement for out of hours’ vehicle key collection instructions to a driver by configuring, for example, depot opening times
  • Automatically display and monitor pool vehicle availability and status
  • In the event of a suitable pool vehicle not being available for the date and time of a journey, issue a driver with a mileage claim reference number for a personal mileage claim to be made
  • Record if any passengers are over 65 years old or disabled.

Furthermore, Key2 users are able to store Section 19 Permit numbers – a Section 19 Permit is required by all not-for-profit educational and other organisation, so they don’t have to have a public service vehicle operator’s licence – to enable a minibus or similar larger vehicle to be booked.

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