Britain’s car and van rental and leasing sector generates around £14 billion annually within the UK economy and underpins more than 183,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to analysis commissioned by the BVRLA.

The study, carried out by research consultancy Oxford Economics, found that the rental and leasing industry’s annual contribution to UK GDP represents the combined local economies of Bath and Bristol.

The survey quantifies the sector’s operations, British-built vehicles and components it buys and the value to UK dealerships, plus the impact on the used car market, which accrues around £2.8bn in tax revenue each year.

In employment terms the number of jobs supported by the industry equates to one in every 175 British workforce employees.

Vehicle rental and leasing operations represent one of the UK car and van manufacturing sector’s largest customers, buying 220,000 vehicles during 2011.

This was 15% of total output and 82% of UK-manufactured vehicles sold to domestic customers. In this context the expenditure contributed £2.4bn towards GDP, supported 52,000 jobs and produced £810m in tax receipts.

Oxford Economics also claims that rental and leasing firms are leaders in driving down emissions, with the average lease car registered last year generating 123g/km or 25% less than the UK car norm.