Press Release

Fleets need consistency across Clean Air Zones

Release Date: 

The BVRLA has commented on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee‘s report on air quality.

BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said: “Air quality is a big issue for Britain’s urban areas, and we can understand why the Committee has called for councils to be given greater freedom to set up Clean Air Zones (CAZs). The vehicle rental and leasing industry is concerned that the UK could end up with a lack of consistency across CAZs – the Government needs to step up and deliver a framework for a nationwide network of low emission zones. It’s also important that motorists are not punished with retrospective measures for decisions that they have already made. Fleets operate vehicles on three, four and five-year contracts, and need time to prepare for any significant change.”

“Fleets need consistency, but a blanket ban of all diesel vehicles in city centres would be damaging to businesses – Defra must take a carrot-and-stick approach if it wants to drive the uptake of the least polluting vehicles, and bring the UK into compliance with EU air quality targets. The Committee rightfully recognises that Government incentives are needed to establish a self-sustaining low-emissions vehicle market. The BVRLA has repeatedly asked for in-life incentives that would benefit drivers of ultra-low emission vehicles, but the Government has failed to act.”

Elsewhere in the report, MPs said the Government must give councils greater powers to improve traffic movement. Keaney added: “We welcome this move. It’s important to design cities that encourage a smoother flow of traffic, and councils should be thinking about which road layouts minimise congestion and prevent stop-start motoring which increases NOx emissions.”

“Progress to improve air quality in cities is already being made, and the rental and leasing industry is leading the way, pioneering new integrated transport solutions such as car clubs, and investing in ultra-low emission vehicles. BVRLA members operate the newest, cleanest, most environmentally-friendly vehicles on UK roads, while their innovative range of new mobility services encourage motorists to adopt more sustainable transport habits.”


Notes to Editors

The BVRLA has published a policy paper on air quality which can be read online:

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 750+ members operate a combined fleet of around 4.5million 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 & Communications Officer
tel: 01494 545710
mob: 07790 271806