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BVRLA conference: BVRLA members lead ULEV adoption

Date: 17 December 2015   |   Author:

More than 120 senior rental, leasing and fleet management figures attended the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association's 2015 industry conference.

Held at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull on 3 December, the event covered topics from comparing the value of petrol and diesel models following the VW emissions scandal to how telematics kit can help inform fleet managers whether electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles are suitable for individual staff.

This event saw BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney talk about the association's activities over 2015 and its plans for 2016, and stating that the BVRLA has grown from having 729 members at the end of 2014 to being very close to hitting 800 before the end of this year.

This reflects strong growth in the industry as a whole, Keaney said, with positive figures across brokers, the independent rental sector and in CV rental. Where there is further room for growth, however, is in personal leases, he claimed, with personal contract hire and personal contract purchase schemes offering a "real opportunity" for leasing companies to deal with private individuals as well as corporate customers.

Meanwhile, BVRLA members have made a positive environmental impact, with the sector seeing twice the adoption rate of low-emission vehicles of the overall market, with the average new BVRLA car emitting
113g/km, compared with the 122g/km UK new car average.

Keaney also stressed the increasing importance of safety among its fleets in light of the first year of increasing road deaths and serious injuries for almost 20 years.

"Something we feel very passionate about in the BVRLA is autonomous braking," he said. "We think something like autonomous braking can make a significant contribution to reducing those low-speed collisions, less than 25mph, and that's something we're encouraging Government to look at, in terms of how they can incentivise manufacturers and lead with their own fleets."

The BVRLA chief executive added that the organisation was "delighted" to be one of the very first approved alternative dispute-resolution bodies and is now looking forward to 2016 and anticipates industry challenges around air quality, budget cuts and real-world vehicle emissions testing, stating "we can be a significant enabler in driving down CO2 and NOx if [the Government] allows us to work with them".