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BVRLA predicts big role for rental, leasing and fleet in Covid-19 Recovery Plan

Date: 22 June 2020   |   Author: Sean Keywood

A swift economic rebound and faster decarbonisation of transport can be achieved by UK policymakers working with the vehicle rental, leasing and fleet sectors, according to the BVRLA.

The industry body has made this the key message of its newly-published Covid-19 Recovery Plan.

In the document, the BVRLA names five priorities for the government, which it says can deliver more sustainable transport for a stronger economy.

It says the government should: maintain the financial liquidity that underpins the motor finance market; provide a tax and incentive regime to stimulate demand for vehicles; focus on key levers for accelerating transport decarbonisation; take a more active role in the introduction of clean air zones; and support the role of flexible car models in enabling more sustainable transport choices.

Among the specific policy measures it proposes, the BVRLA calls for the 0% BIK tax rate for zero-emission vehicles to be extended into 2021-22, and for a targeted scrappage scheme that encourages motorists to move from older cars into new or used battery electric, plug-in hybrid or Euro 6 petrol or diesel vehicles.

The BVRLA also wants the government to eliminate first year VED on cars and vans until April 2021, introduce 100% first year allowances for leased and rented vehicles, and make accessing electric vehicles through rental and car clubs exempt from VAT.

Other measures proposed include more clean air zone support for national fleets, national targets to reduce the use of grey fleet vehicles, a national road user charging framework, and additional funding and support for mobility credit-based scrappage schemes in clean air zone areas.

The BVRLA also wants the government to introduce a temporary waiver on permits and charges for car rental and car club operators, and push ahead with mobility-as-a-service pilots.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: "BVRLA members have a unique perspective on the issues facing road transport in the UK and have the purchasing power to tackle them.

"They have a long track record of working constructively with policymakers to drive down emissions, improve safety and make road transport more cost efficient and accessible."

As well as publishing its recovery plan, the BVRLA has also written to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak giving more detail of the tax and stimulus measures it says should be introduced.

In the letter, it states that any attempt to boost the market, such as a scrappage scheme, has to focus on the entire automotive supply chain.

The letter also warns that fleets cannot be renewed or decarbonised without access to affordable finance.