A survey by HSBC into business car expectations has revealed that 49%of fleet managers do not check if private cars being used for business purposes are insured.

And using privately-owned vehicles for business purposes is becoming increasingly common with
75%of fleets comprising some privately-owned vehicles, up from 68%in 2002.

The survey's author, Professor Peter Cooke of the Centre for Automotive Industries Management at
Nottingham Trent University, said that of the 51%of fleet managers who do check insurance only 12% check randomly, with 33% conducting annual checks.

He said companies risk damaging their image by not ensuring cars have appropriate insurance cover.

But, despite the apparent lack of interest, insurance ranked as the most important emerging issue for 15% of fleet managers, alongside legal issues and behind only health and safety.

Cooke said: "Insurance is really coming up the list in terms of importance and I think it will
continue to do so."

The survey also found that comprehensive car insurance remains the most common type of fleet cover at 89%,but its use is more common in smaller fleets. Only 25%of cars in fleets of more
than 1,000 cars have comprehensive insurance; the rest are covered by third party insurance or are self-insured.