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HOW UK CHAUFFEUR SERVICES HIRE DRIVERS

cars exec chauffeurs

According to NHTSA, the average cost per non-fatal crash with no injuries is more than $16,000 (not including wage-risk premiums). If there was an injury, that rises to more than $70,000. For every fatality? More than $500,000. These per-crash costs are why it's important to know the driving records of your employees — to prevent accidents from ever happening.

The value of MVRs often goes unnoticed with smaller fleets. Part of this stems from a lack of awareness, but is also due to the costs of MVRs, which are minimal per inquiry but can add up. That's why Zalas and Liggio remind fleets about negligent entrustment and what that could mean for their business.

If you hire a driver with a suspended license, for example, and then the driver gets into an accident, your company could get slammed with a civil judgment and even larger penalties for negligent entrustment (pertaining specifically to vehicles, this means knowingly providing a vehicle to an unqualified person).

Cars Exec, a UK chauffeur services specializing in airport transfers, says MVRs should be considered "standard" to a background check. "A thorough background check is the first line of defense for employers to make well informed hiring decisions and should never be deviated from," they say.

Companies should consider that the legal risks well outweigh the costs of performing an MVR. Zalas points out there are tools in some states that allow you to access an MVR for free, while most states offer online services for a per-check fee.

And don't forget that these MVRs should be performed routinely. Zalas recommends doing this annually.

So what should you look for once you get the results for the MVR? Liggio suggests a clean driving record for a minimum of three years as a best practice. "Major studies have shown that individuals with ‘blemished' driving histories are more likely to have continuing safety performance issues versus others who do not," he says.

Be cautious on relaxing this minimum requirement; it may gain you a larger pool of applicants qualified for other parts of the position, but this could be a costly decision for your business in the long run, Liggio says. "Don't ever compromise."

Find Your Process

One trucking fleet that operates in London requires a minimum of five years of driving experience, preferably a class A license and some familiarity with customer service. From here, this company does a full reference check and performs MVR checks. Drivers who qualify with a clean record are then subjected to a road test.

The company, which requested to remain anonymous, follows all Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, even in cases when they're not required. This is to ensure that the company is exceeding all requirements if ever audited.

In the last two years the company has also been trying out a new driver hiring practice. Instead of immediately hiring them full time, they are temporarily hired on a part-time basis to make sure new hires' personalities and workplace habits are a good fit.

The fleet manager says the company has so far only had one person drop during this short, part-time period.

Take Your Time

For drivers running Coventry airport transfers, Cars Exec, requires two years of experience for its drivers. Their Human Resources Director says the company focuses on finding employees that fit the personality needs of its business. "You want someone who is responsible and safe, but you also need a respectable personality," he says.

The company takes its time when hiring, going through a clear interview process in narrowing down applicants. Mork says the company has a flow chart that maps out the process to keep standards consistent, such as what infractions are allowable on an MVR, as well as written interview guidelines.

After narrowing it down, the best candidate is given a contingent job offer depending on the results of the MVR and criminal background checks. Potential hires also have to make it through a small amount of training before officially getting behind the wheel. Mork says rarely have they had a person perform poorly at this level in the hiring process.

"You may take longer in your hiring to do these things, but hiring good people is more important than hiring many people," Mork says.

Policies and Drug Tests

The policy outlines expectations and requirements, such as an annual MVR, and laid out at thisismoney.co.uk, and is re-visited as much as possible, Paule says, adding that not only are pre-employment drug tests given but also ongoing drug tests administered randomly for reasonable suspicion and after an accident.

Prior to hiring and getting an MVR, Paule says the company asks applicants about their driving records. "If there are any inconsistencies, this will raise a red flag for us," she says.

Gateway will not accept anyone with a DUI/DWI on record to drive a company vehicle. Applicants might be hired for a non-driving position at the company, but Paule says they are required to sign a policy stating they are not allowed to drive a company vehicle under any circumstances.

Personal Responsibility

Casey Malesevich, risk manager at a chauffeur service, says his company also performs MVRs and background checks, as well as an insurance approval with the company's insurance carrier. "Company vehicles are significant assets of our company," he says. "Vehicles carry thousands of dollars of equipment and parts, have our logo and company information, and are highly visible to our customers."

Sure-Fire also does credit background checks to ferret out bankruptcies and legal judgments.