Rental vehicles and terrorism

2017 saw a spate of terrorist attacks where rental vehicles were used as ramming weapons to cause death and destruction in the UK and around the world. Since then, the BVRLA and its members have been working closely and more frequently with law enforcement organisations and government to identify and agree tactics to counter the terrorist risk.

We want to help those operating in the vehicle sector to mitigate the risk of an extremist attack. Therefore, we have put together a resource and guidance pack on the importance of effective customer qualification procedures, which includes:

  • Slide Deck
  • Videos
  • Facilitator notes: to enable in-house delivery by local branch management
  • Recorded version of content: takes 45-50 minutes to deliver
  • Security checklist
  • Vehicles as weapons: a threat and policy assessment for the UK vehcle rental sector (research document for background reading)

This can be downloaded by completing the details on this page

It is very important that BVRLA members provide the BVRLA with a security contact so we can send you security alerts from counter terrorism organisations, more detail is available here.

The BVRLA Vehicle Terrorism Position Paper can be viewed here.


Dr. Shiraz Maher, a lecturer at King's College London and Deputy Director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) explains the history and current state of vehicles being used in terrorism.

The BVRLA has worked with ICSR to co-author a 32-page report, 'Vehicles as weapons: a threat and policy assesment for the UK vehicle rental sector'. Published in March 2018, the report assesses the impact of terrorism on the vehicle rental sector. 

This links to the Executive Summary of the BVRLA's report 'Vehicles as weapons: a threat and policy assesment for the UK vehicle rental sector'. 

The BVRLA issued a press release on 20th March 2018: BVRLA and its members ACT to help defeat terrorism 

The BVRLA issued a press release on 27th March 2018: BVRLA Assesses threat of terrorism on UK rental sector

The BVRLA is accreddited by NaCTSO to deliver specialist terrorism awareness training, Project Griffin. The training team can be contacted via

The BVRLA has a fact sheet covering the release of customer data which includes what to do in an emergency situation.

The BVRLA's Guide to Insurance Risk Management provides advice on customer qualification and identity checks. 

The vehicle rental sector can help to deter terrorists by increasing visibility of, and demonstrating increased collaboration with, counter-terrorism organisations. The BVRLA is encouraging all those operating in the sector to support the ACT campaign to help increase awareness and vigilance amongst employees and customers of the vehicle rental sector.

A range of campaign material is available via the links below, including posters, leaflets and online material for use on websites and social media channels. The campaign’s hashtag is #ActionCountersTerrorism. Twitter handle is @TerrorismPolice.

What is ACT?

In March 2017, National Counter Terrorism Policing launched ACT (Action Counters Terrorism), a new branding platform which incorporates all of our counter-terrorism external campaigns to warn, inform and reassure the public.

Counter Terrorism Policing is a collaboration of UK police forces working alongside the UK intelligence agencies to protect the public and our national infrastructure.

In March 2018, the second phase of ACT was launched reinforcing the message that Communities defeat terrorism. With the enduring terrorist threat, it is now more important than ever that everyone plays their part in tackling terrorism. That’s why Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) is encouraging communities across the country to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by reporting suspicious behaviour and activity.

If you suspect it, report it in confidence at or in an emergency dial 999.

Some examples of suspicious activity or behaviour could potentially include:

• Hiring large vehicles or similar for no obvious reasons
• Buying or storing a large amount of chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reasons
• Taking notes or photos of security arrangements, or inspecting CCTV cameras in an unusual way
• Looking at extremist material, including on the so-called Dark Web, or sharing and creating content that promotes or glorifies terrorism.
• Someone receiving deliveries for unusual items bought online.
• Embracing or actively promoting hateful ideas or an extremist ideology.
• Possessing firearms or other weapons or showing an interest in obtaining them
• Holding passports or other documents in different names, for no obvious reasons
• Anyone who goes away travelling for long periods of time but is vague about where
• Someone carrying out suspicious or unusual bank transactions

You are not wasting our time, and no call or click will be ignored. What you tell us is treated in the strictest confidence and is thoroughly researched by experienced officers before, and if, any police action is taken.

Any piece of information could be important, it is better to be safe and report. Remember, trust your instincts and ACT.

ACT campaign materials:

Campaign image for online use
A6 Leaflet
A5 Leaflet
A4 Poster
A3 Poster
ACT film advert
Website advert (box)
Website advert (banner)