Volunteer drivers are the backbone of any community car scheme. If a volunteer enjoys driving, then the opportunities are plentiful and their services are high in demand.
Volunteer drivers assist getting people to hospital, social events, picking up donated goods and more, for people who would otherwise not be able to get there. If the driver is using their own vehicle, then most charities will reimburse the drivers for the mileage covered. They might even provide any further additional training that might be required to perform the services. Most organisations should also complete the necessary checks such as DBS checks (if required) or additional eye sight tests.
It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure they have MOT tests completed on their car, the vehicle is taxed and indeed that they are insured to drive the vehicle, although it’s is important that the car scheme provider also performs these checks, simply by checking their driver’s license and doing a quick vehicle check (you can perform such checks here).
The majority of car insurance providers are signed up to the Association of British Insurers (ABI – find out more here), meaning they will cover volunteer drivers who use their own vehicle for such services. It is good practice however to advise the driver to double check with their insurance provider to ensure they are covered.
Mileage, Fuel Rates and Allowances
Something which must be considered however, is the mileage allowance figures. Up to 10,000 miles your drivers can claim 45p per mile, but once they go over this they can only claim 25p. You can find out more here on mileage, fuel rates and allowances. When the driver goes beyond 10,000 miles they may be required to inform HMRC or seek further clarifications from them.
Automating the Process
Managing your volunteer driver’s is one of the key processes in maintaining a streamlined service, maintaining a good working relationship and ensuring you maintain sustainability of your services for the longterm.
Managing mileage totals is hard work, nigh impossible without software Without maintaining a total, you put your services at potential risk, particularly if demand for your services is high. Even if your services do not perform a high mileage, thus mileage is low for driver, knowing that your drivers are under the threshold is also comforting. A recent study we conducted showed that demand for community transport services is on the rise – in fact one of our providers who use Road XS, saw their demand year on year increase 107%, so it’s worth keeping your eye on behalf of the drivers the mileage they are completing.
It does seem counter intuitive given the fact they are volunteering their time and the cost of fuel is increasing, but those are the current rules so need to be followed and met. It is worth keeping an eye on the allowed rates so you can adapt over time.
Within Road XS you can see the total completed mileage by any driver each year. It also includes a running tally counting down to 10,000 miles and the 45p claim allowance. Once the driver has reached this total, the software automatically calculates each journey thereafter for that driver to 25p a mile – ensuring you meet HMRC compliance and keeping your life easy and stress free regarding this issue.