An accident on the road can happen quickly. However, when a company car is involved, it becomes particularly tricky. The questions that often arise include: Who is liable for the accident? And who covers the costs? Not only does the degree of negligence play a crucial role, but also whether the accident occurred during working hours or during the employee’s private use of the company car. In this post, we clarify the liability issue in the event of an accident with a company car and highlight what employers should pay attention to.
Accident with a Company Car: Who is Liable?
After an accident, the prompt settlement of damages in the fleet is particularly crucial. Otherwise, there is a risk of disrupting business operations and incurring unnecessary costs for the company. But a quick question arises: Who is actually liable?
In general, the employer or the company is the holder of a company vehicle. Therefore, in the usual case, the employer is liable if an accident occurs during a business trip or on the way to work. The relevant details can be established in a company-specific car policy to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.
Typically, the employer delegates their holder liability to a person in the company who is professionally and personally suitable for it: the fleet manager. This individual is responsible for ensuring that the company vehicles are operationally sound, and the drivers are fit for driving. Therefore, driver’s licenses must be regularly checked for validity, and drivers must undergo UVV driver training as part of their responsibilities.
Accident During Working Hours
- Minor negligence: The employer is liable for the accident.
- Moderate negligence: In this case, there is a shared liability, where the employee bears a deductible between 500 and 1,000 euros under comprehensive insurance, and the employer covers the remaining costs. If no comprehensive insurance is taken out for the company car, the amount the employee has to pay depends on the total amount of the damage.
- Gross negligence: If the employee disregards a stop sign or a red traffic light, it constitutes gross negligence, and he or she is fully liable for the damage. However, if the damage amount exceeds the income, the employer must proportionally cover the incurred damage.
- Intent: In this case as well, the company car driver is fully liable for the accident.
Accident during a private trip
Safe on the Road: Driver Training according to UVV
To minimize the risk of accidents and damage to the car, and to enhance the safety of drivers, the legislator mandates regular driver training according to UVV. During this training, employees learn the safe handling of company vehicles and how to properly behave in the event of an accident. An especially useful method is conducting the training as an e-learning course, since it can be flexibly conducted online. The training content is already prepared and can be accessed immediately.
Safely instructing employees?
Train your drivers at least once a year in the safe handling of vehicles according to UVV. The best way to do this is through e-learning.
The most important aspects regarding an accident with a company car.
Further Fleet Knowledge
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