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BVRLA slams Equality Act red tape

Date: 08 June 2011

The BVRLA has called for the vehicle rental industry to be granted an exemption from the Government's Equality Act on the grounds that it's application would increase costs for consumers and operators through adding "an unnecessary layer of red tape".

The BVRLA claims a ban on age discrimination in the vehicle rental sector could cost the industry £34m a year and hike up the cost of hiring a car or van by 30%.

It argues that young and inexperienced drivers, particularly men, are statistically more likely to have accidents and therefore cost more in insurance fees.

Despite this, the BVRLA points out that significant numbers of rental companies do rent to drivers of under 21 years of age.

While the government agrees it is justifiable to charge higher rates to younger drivers, the BVRLA claims the new legislation would burden rental firms with having to provide statistics to justify their charges, which could be challenged in court.

It adds the industry would also face extra administrative costs linked to insurance claims and vehicle repairs, which would be passed on to customers.

BVRLA chief John Lewis said: "Older and younger drivers are already able to hire vehicles and the government accepts that some younger or experienced customers should be charged more.

"But our industry is still being threatened by this new tranche of pointless red tape. Costs for our vehicle rental companies and their customers will rise and no-one will benefit."

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