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Monitoring of Company cars

(19 Posts)
Giningit Thu 29-Oct-20 09:40:46

I’ve got a friend who currently has a company car, however he’s been informed that his new company car will now be fitted with monitoring equipment including a Dash Cam. The car will be tracked 24/7. Just wondering about the legality of this move? Isn’t this breaching his privacy? Anyone got any experience of this?

OP’s posts: |
Hellomoonstar Thu 29-Oct-20 09:49:00

My cousin work car is like this and it has a tracker and he needs to explain detours sometimes. For insurance purposes they say. He drives a special car to transport patients to hospitals but sometimes patients forget important things at home and drives them back to pick it up and then explain why he took a detour.

ILoveYoga Thu 29-Oct-20 09:55:41

Well, firstly, it’s not his car. It is the company car for which he drives on company business. The company can decide what options to use to decrease the insurance premiums.

When our daughter started driving, the insurance we chose had a box fitted and required a dash cam. This significantly reduced the insurance premiums. Of course they were using the data to ensure she was driving within the law. Dash cams can also be used to see circumstances in accidents (amongst other uses). Hence reduction in insurance premiums

If your friend wants to use the car for purposes other than work and first not want his employer to know what he’s doing, then your friend needs to use his own car and choose his own insurance which may not require a box nor dash cam.

Giningit Thu 29-Oct-20 10:02:26

He pays tax every year because the car is taxed as benefit in kind. He also pays private mileage back to the company. To all intents and purposes the car is his for private use when not working, so why would he not treat it as his car?

OP’s posts: |
Giningit Thu 29-Oct-20 10:04:03

The car is a requirement for his role and there isn’t an option to use his own car

OP’s posts: |
CrazyDuchess Thu 29-Oct-20 10:05:51

But its not his car..... the company owns it, and as such can do with it as they see fit. You friend benefits by using it to commute and if he has to pay back personal milage, its even less so "his" vehicle.

Ifailed Thu 29-Oct-20 10:08:28

It is the company's property, but they allow it to be used for private journeys so is taxed as a benefit in kind. As it's their property, they can fit whatever they like to it.

Giningit Thu 29-Oct-20 10:08:58

Have you had a company car?

OP’s posts: |
Ifailed Thu 29-Oct-20 10:21:18

He can ask the company to be sure they are keeping the data private as it comes under the Data Protection act.

As to having a company car in the past, yes, but not in the circumstances you describe.

Giningit Thu 29-Oct-20 10:32:59

Thanks @ifaled. My previous post was meant for Yoga but I’ll pass your info on.

OP’s posts: |
EvilPea Thu 29-Oct-20 10:39:05

The company are liable for a lot of things (accidents, insurance, being able to name the driver of theres any speeding offences). So they do need to cover their arses in that.

Believe me some of the crap I’ve unpicked that has happened in work company cars would make your hair curl, drug markers, hit and runs. My old work had a car impounded for months once as the plates were cloned and used in a burglary. Being used every weekend to drive to the south of France was a favourite with all fuel fill ups going through work.

I’d argue he could maybe turn the dashcam off for personal use. The tracker is probably insurance related so that’s that. it’s as much to protect him as them.

ILoveYoga Thu 29-Oct-20 16:55:03

Yes, actually, @Giningit, I have. If you have a company car and do not use it for personal use, you do not have to pay tax on it as a benefit in kind. Your friend can choose to do this arrangement with his employer and then use his own car for personal use

Have a read here as to how that works. Many, many people do choose this option to avoid paying tax on benefit in kind fir something they don’t use or choose not to use. So if you friend does not want his employer to know what he gets up to on his personal time by way of the car monitoring items, get his own car and use it during his personal trips

www.gov.uk/expenses-and-benefits-company-cars/whats-exempt

Giningit Thu 29-Oct-20 17:55:07

EvilPea

The company are liable for a lot of things (accidents, insurance, being able to name the driver of theres any speeding offences). So they do need to cover their arses in that.

Believe me some of the crap I’ve unpicked that has happened in work company cars would make your hair curl, drug markers, hit and runs. My old work had a car impounded for months once as the plates were cloned and used in a burglary. Being used every weekend to drive to the south of France was a favourite with all fuel fill ups going through work.

I’d argue he could maybe turn the dashcam off for personal use. The tracker is probably insurance related so that’s that. it’s as much to protect him as them.

Wow! I mean I’ve had company cars before but just shock

OP’s posts: |
Giningit Thu 29-Oct-20 17:59:07

Thanks @ILoveYoga. Unfortunately he didn’t get the option of a car allowance so never bought one, so doesn’t have his own car. He didn’t see the point of having two cars on the drive.

OP’s posts: |
Giningit Thu 29-Oct-20 18:11:17

I was told that because his original contract doesn’t state that he’d be monitored, then they can’t install telematics without his consent/a new contract being issued. Happy to be corrected though.

OP’s posts: |
TopBitchoftheWitches Thu 29-Oct-20 18:13:44

It's a company car, they can monitor how they like 🙄

ILoveYoga Thu 29-Oct-20 20:19:31

Not getting a car allowance does not mean he can’t buy his own car to drive for personal use. So he is deciding to use a company car for personal use. The company has chosen, for the car they own, to have dash cam, therefore your friend is choosing to accept these terms. Non issue

DeltaAlphaDelta Thu 29-Oct-20 20:43:38

I have a company car that i can use for personal use. I pay the benefit in kind tax and personal use mileage.

Our company fitted trackers to monitor business and to ensure personal mileage was paid correctly and a lot of people complained (not me, i couldnt care less) but the company did it anyway. we can turn the trackers to secret mode for personal use, but it still monitors journeys to record the location and personal mileage.

A dashcam shouldn't be recording into the interior of the car anyway, it will usually record the front and rear.

It really shouldn't be a big deal. The company wont care what hes using the personal aspect for (unless it illegal), only that the correct mileage is paid.

Our contracts didn't need to be changed for this either. Sounds like he making a big deal out of nothing. confused

Byllis Thu 29-Oct-20 21:34:13

I don't like the sound of this (nothing to hide, but my home life is private) although if there was something like the options mentioned above where you can turn monitors off when driving for personal use that would be very reassuring. I'd also want to know who had access to the information. I'd be less bothered if it was some third party service, and I guess that's more likely, but very uncomfortable if the monitoring was being done directly by my employer.

It's true that it's the company's car, but if it's a part of his remuneration package then either not taking it or taking it under less appealing terms is clearly not great news for your friend. My car is a pure benefit as I don't need it for work - I take it into account when assessing other roles (that generally pay a higher basic salary but don't offer a car or allowance) and if the car choice was no longer so good it would definitely push up the value of other options!

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