Using Your Personal Vehicle as a Home Carer

Employers owe a duty of care to their employees under health and safety law, to ensure the risks of driving at work are managed under an effective health and safety system. It is therefore important that your employer has procedures in place to ensure that the vehicles you use conform to the road traffic laws and are safe and properly maintained.

What should you employer expect from you, as a home carer?

Safe-driving - ensure all staff understand that you expect everyone to ensure their personal vehicle is fit for purpose.

Consult - ensure you consult with your staff regarding your policy on safe driving, and that this is regularly reviewed in health and safety meetings.

Conduct - suitable risk assessments and put in place measures to ensure that work journeys are safe, staff are competent to drive safely and their vehicle is maintained and suitable for use.

Agree minimum conditions of use

Your employer should always ensure that care workers’ vehicles are road worthy and always keep a record of their car details. As part of the recruitment, training and staff appraisals process, you should have been reminded that:

  • Your vehicle needs to be taxed, have a valid MOT and an appropriate business-use insurance cover

  • Your vehicle needs to be maintained according to the manufacturer’s service schedule

  • Your vehicle is only used in accordance with their insurance cover

  • Regular safety checks and pre-drive safety checks are conducted

Conduct document checks

You may be asked by your employer to submit your vehicle documents on a yearly basis, or more regularly. Ensure your documents are kept safe so that you are able to provide them to your employer when required.

  • Driving licence - this should be checked annually by your employer, who will need the last eight characters of your driving licence number and a code from you in order to check it.

  • MOT certificate – after the third birthday of any vehicle, an MOT needs to be passed annually. 

  • Servicing - manufacturers generally recommend vehicles are serviced annually or every 10,000 miles. A service schedule will then be stamped by the garage.

  • Insurance cover for business use - it is essential that anyone who uses their car for business use has the appropriate insurance cover, which must include business use.

  • Registration document - this document proves the user of the car is the registered owner of the vehicle and they have permission to use it.

  • Vehicle excise duty - vehicles must have up-to-date tax although there is no longer a legal requirement to display a tax disc on the windscreen.

In addition to your document checks, you will need to make your employer aware of any endorsements you have received on your licence. If you have points, you may need further assessment and training.

Vehicle safety

It is good practice to regularly evaluate your personal vehicle against a checklist each week to ensure that:

  • Tyres are undamaged, have enough tread depth and are at the correct pressure

  • Oil, coolant and windscreen wash levels are correct

  • Brakes, lights and indicators are working

  • Windscreen and windows are not damaged

  • Washers and wipers are working

  • Mirrors are correctly positioned

Record and investigate

Ensure that you understand your employer's process to record an accident should one occur while you are using your personal car for business use. This will enable an investigation to take place to determine whether the condition of the car played a part in the accident and, if necessary, what action needs to be taken.