Rented and leased cars are the cleanest on the road, according to new data released by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA). 

Ahead of UK cities beginning to implement clean air zones (CAZs) from January 2020, the BVRLA’s Fleet Sustainability Credentials report says 94% of the car rental fleet and 75% of leased cars are CAZ compliant – well ahead of the 57% average for all cars on the road in the UK. 

With rented and leased vehicles managed on a frequent renewal cycle, the BVRLA says the vast majority of the car fleet will be CAZ-compliant by 2020, and that the sector will continue to supply the second-hand market with younger, cleaner CAZ-compliant vehicles, where they provide a more affordable option for businesses and individuals looking to upgrade their vehicles.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “These figures show in no uncertain terms that our sector offers the fastest route to clean air in our urban areas.

“Our members offer a range of flexible and affordable solutions for every application and stand ready to assist individuals and businesses that are looking to replace older, more polluting vehicles with cleaner and greener options.” 

The BVRLA has written to 23 local authorities asked to come up with air pollution plans by the government, calling for proportionate and effective proposals.

It says CAZs can be an important tool to tackle air quality issues in heavily polluted areas, but warns any introduction must be balanced against a potential impact on the wider economy and people’s quality of life.

Keaney added: “A comprehensive national framework is vital to ensure we get the consistency of signage, charging and restrictions required by fleets operating across the UK.

“In our letters to the local authorities we explain the wealth of knowledge and experience that we can put at their disposal, with our members being able to represent the views of both small and large, as well as local and national fleet operators. 

“We all want to see fewer, cleaner vehicles used in cities, and the best chance of delivering this new vision of urban mobility will come from working together.”