As a Fleet Manager, you will be very much aware of the guidelines for your vehicles, such as how much weight they can carry and, where relevant, which temperature controls should be applied.  This is all, of course, really important information but it’s not the whole story - one of the questions we’re asked most frequently is ‘can I carry passengers in my fleet vehicles?’  

What is fleet insurance?

Fleet insurance is a form of insurance for multiple vehicles, it can either be purchased by individuals or businesses. Fleet insurance can cover either commercial or personal usage. Like personal vehicle insurance cover is available at various levels, for example - Comprehensive, Third Party, Fire & Theft or Third Party Only. 

Carrying passengers

So, the big question - can you carry passengers in your fleet vehicles?  

In short, yes, passengers can be carried in a fleet vehicle provided you are not exceeding the legal limit for that vehicle.

Things start to get a bit more complicated when a fleet vehicle is being used for the purposes of “Hire & Reward”.

Any fleet carrying either goods or passengers for Hire & Reward will require a specific extension to standard business cover.

There are some exemptions to this requirement and you should speak with an insurance professional to understand this further.

If your fleet of vehicles are used specifically to carry passengers, whether paid or unpaid, then you will require specific insurance.  Such cases include: 

  • Taxis
  • Minibuses
  • Coaches
  • Driving instructors
  • Chauffeur services

Taxi insurance - This kind of insurance can cover different kinds of vehicles within a fleet, for example, estate vehicles and MPVs designed to carry up to six passengers.  Taxi insurance covers both your vehicle, your driver and your passengers - including damage caused to a vehicle by a passenger.   When insuring vehicles that will be used for public or private passenger hire, it’s absolutely essential that you speak to a professional fleet insurance company to make sure that you have adequate cover.  Just this year, a minicab driver in Aylesbury was fined £1,144 for carrying passengers without adequate insurance - these kinds of fines are common and can make a significant dent in the pocket of a small business.  Most companies using vehicles to carry passengers will also need to have public liability cover to protect against injury to passengers and other road users.

Conclusion

So, to return to the original question - yes, you are able to carry passengers in your company vehicles, however, it is your responsibility as a Fleet Manager to make sure that you have the right insurance to cover this.  If your vehicles are going to be used to carry passengers on a regular basis, it’s a really good idea to mention this when first speaking with your insurance provider to make sure that this is covered in your premium.

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