Press Release

BVRLA celebrates its 50th anniversary at 2017 Annual Dinner

Release Date: 

• Sold-out gala dinner event attracts over 900 people from the vehicle rental and leasing sector
• Top performers in BVRLA training and accreditation programmes recognised, along with three BVRLA Industry Heroes
• The BVRLA pays tribute to key figures from its first 50 years and unveils new look logo

The BVRLA recognised the contributions of outstanding performers in the vehicle rental and leasing industry at its Annual Dinner in London last night, with three sets of awards presented to worthy winners.

The 2017 awards were sponsored by Honda and presented by its Head of Cars, Phil Webb. The Industry Achievement Awards were presented to the top performers who participated in BVRLA training or accreditation programmes during 2016. The final accolades on the night were the Industry Hero Awards, rewarding the unsung stars of the sector who had been nominated by their managers.

Each winner picked up their awards in front of over 900 industry colleagues at the association’s ‘Big Event’ in the London Hilton on Park Lane.

BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said: “Our awards recognise the very best individuals in the rental and leasing industry. Whether it’s the top performers from our accreditation and training courses, or the Industry Heroes who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, our winners are excellent ambassadors for our sector.”

Industry Achievement Awards
The Certificate for Rental Operator Skills is a benchmark of quality and an endorsement of professionalism in daily vehicle rental, and the City & Guilds Achievement Award goes to the individual who attained the highest pass mark in the 2016 examinations. The 2017 recipient is Christopher Hume of Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental, who achieved the remarkable score of 98%.

The BVRLA’s Fleet Consultant Development Programme was set up eight years ago, and it continues to give senior sales people a greater understanding of the needs of their customer – the typical fleet manager. The top performer in 2016 was Jonathan Ellis from Volkswagen Financial Services, who gained a pass with distinction.

Industry Hero Awards
Each year, the BVRLA asks its members to nominate colleagues who have shown exceptional levels of service and made measurable contributions to their organisations. A team of BVRLA judges then assess the merits of each entry to name the Industry Heroes.

The first Industry Hero award went to Ashley D’Alanno of Licensed Carriage Hire. In just two years, Ashley has had a massive impact on the business, launching a range of new services, including a bespoke replacement vehicle service for celebrities and VIPs. Ashley’s ability to meet and surpass the needs of some very demanding clients impressed the BVRLA judges. 

The next winner was Janine Lemon of LeasePlan UK. Janine has helped lead the development of a brand new digital customer services function, turning a theoretical design into a working reality. With a tenacious focus on improving the customer experience, she has managed to build a team that has embraced new ways of working. She has made such an impact that her employer has moved her into a new training role where she can share her management techniques and experience with others.

The final Industry Hero recipient was Jennifer Thomas of ALD Automotive. Jennifer has been the driving force behind a major rethink in the way ALD deals with vulnerable customers – customers whose personal circumstances mean their requirements need to be addressed on an individual basis. She has engaged with colleagues at every level of the business to review how they can move vulnerability from an issue of compliance to one of cultural change and customer service. The judges believe this work - running working groups, developing training modules and raising awareness via the corporate intranet – deserves praise from the BVRLA.

During his address, BVRLA Chairman Simon Oliphant paid tribute to some of the former officers of the association, many of whom were in attendance.

“It is people that make the real difference in business. I am the 26th Chairman of the BVRLA, and I have benefited from following in the footsteps of the many talented and dedicated officers who have served the association over the years and helped it to evolve.”

Oliphant unveiled a short video about the work of the BVRLA as well as a re-freshed BVRLA logo. 


About the BVRLA
Established in 1967, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association is the UK trade body for companies engaged in the rental and leasing of cars and commercial vehicles. Its 900+ members operate a combined fleet of around 4.7million cars, vans and trucks. BVRLA members buy nearly half of all new vehicles sold in the UK, supporting around 317,000 jobs and contributing nearly £25bn to the economy each year.

By consulting with government and maintaining industry standards, the BVRLA helps its members deliver safe, sustainable and affordable road transport to millions of consumers and businesses. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:
Toby Poston – Director of Communications & External Relations
tel: 01494 545700
mob: 07979 756533

Jamie Fretwell – Media Relations & Communications Manager
tel: 01494 545710
mob: 07790 271806