A 'black box' recorder is being tipped as a solution to the problem of fraudulent expense claims by company car users. Phantom, based in Stockport, specialises in vehicle security technology, including tracking systems that can be used to locate and return stolen cars. Technical director Adam Langley spent six weeks applying Phantom's expertise in vehicle tracking to a new system for calculating drivers' expenses. Auto Expenses uses a global positioning system device to locate a vehicle wherever it is. Phantom is offering to covertly fit the devices in company vehicles but can also provide units which can easily be installed by drivers.
Mr Langley said: ÃÂWe thought it would be great to develop a cheap and simple device that could be used to calculate petrol expenses. ÃÂWe tested it first on our own salespeople and quickly found we were able to save ÃÂ£20 a week per car on miscalculated and over-estimated mileage. If you run a large fleet, then you could save a lot of money.ÃÂ Auto Expenses, which costs from ÃÂ£5 a month, records information about a vehicle's use which can relayed to a central computer on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Mr Langley said: ÃÂAs soon as the ignition is turned on, it sends a message to the system to record the time that the journey starts and ends, and the distance travelled. ÃÂAll users can log on to the system at any time to view a list of all the journeys they have made. They tick a box to record it as a business or personal expense. ÃÂIf they repeat a journey on a later date, then the system remembers if it was personal or for work purposes.ÃÂ Phantom said the system also reduces the time spent by company employees on submitting claims each month. The company was founded in 2002 by managing director Steve Cherry and his brother Simon. Around 90 per cent of its ÃÂ£1.6m annual revenues are generated by installing and managing vehicle tracking systems. The company is aiming to achieve turnover of ÃÂ£3m by 2014.
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