Community transport schemes, where volunteer drivers use their own cars, can be particularly effective in rural areas where transport options are especially limited and your community group does not want to take on all the liabilities of owning or leasing a vehicle themselves.
If your community group is considering volunteer drivers using their own cars - you will still have a legal responsibility to ensure that any vehicle used:-
You are also responsible for ensuring that:-
You should also ensure that your community group has insurance cover.
Paying your Volunteers expenses
Your community group may want to reimburse your volunteer drivers for mileage and related ‘out of pocket’ expenses such as car parking charges. To comply with legislation, the driver must not make a profit on the expenses claimed for each journey.
The law does not state a rate per mile but Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC - formerly the Inland Revenue) publishes Approved Mileage Allowance Payment (AMAP) rates per mile, above which it considers that a profit is being made.
It is important that your community group does not pay over these rates, since this could be seen as the driver making a profit. This could jeopardise the driver’s own car insurance as well as putting them in breach of licensing exemptions. You should also seek to discourage passengers from tipping the driver (in cash or in kind).
Best practice would be for you to have mileage expense claim forms for your drivers.
Your community group may want to charge fares. This is permissible as long as you are not making a profit so fares should not be extortionate. Agree to base fares on the driver’s mileage plus a little for administration – the fare will be for the trip and passengers will then be able to split the costs between them. Have different rates according to miles or typical journeys but keep it simple and make sure that all passengers are aware of the fares before they make their journey.
Consider too how these fares will be paid. Do you want your volunteer drivers to collect them or will passengers pre-book and pay at the time of booking?
Drawing up Best Practice Guidelines
When putting together your guidelines for the Car Scheme, your community group may want to consider:-
Other Community Toolkit Topics to look at:
Working with Children and Vulnerable Adults....guidelines when working with children and vulnerable adultsCommunity Transport....setting up a community transport schemeVolunteer Drivers....guidelines for the management of volunteer driversCommunity Transport Association....role of the Community Transport Association
For more information visit
your local support organisation