Press Release

Minister recognises fleet ‘pioneers’ at BVRLA event

Release Date: 

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill has told BVRLA members that the Government will work collaboratively with the vehicle rental and leasing sector to find solutions to the UK’s major transport issues.

The Chief Executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, Gerry Keaney presented Mr Goodwill and other Members of Parliament with the industry’s policy recommendations at a Parliamentary reception in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening. Mr Keaney highlighted the association’s six main recommendations, which called on the government to:

  • Encourage the take-up of Autonomous Emergency Braking and consider making fitment of this technology mandatory for new vehicles
  • Introduce a national framework surrounding urban Clean Air Zones, in order to provide fleets with consistency and certainty
  • Investigate the possibility of adjusting current and existing road designs to encourage a smoother flow of traffic, thus reducing accidents and the resulting hold-ups, which result in increased NOx emissions
  • Continue to support ultra-low emission vehicles via the plug-in grant for all new electric cars and vans
  • Support the further encouragement of car clubs across all major cities, with the aim of minimising unnecessary car journeys and reducing emissions and congestion
  • Consider in-life incentives for drivers of ultra-low emission vehicles, including free or subsidised parking; or green express lanes in congested encourage the take-up of electric vehicles.

Responding directly to these points, the newly-promoted Minister of State for Transport Robert Goodwill told attendees ”I am very grateful to the BVRLA for organising the discussions which have culminated in this evening’s reception. There really is no substitute for getting the experts around a table and thrashing out some good ideas.

“As you recognise in your recommendations, governments can make a difference not just through passing new laws or imposing new taxes, but by setting an example and raising awareness - whether of air quality or new car technology. And as we look at how far the vehicle manufacturing industry has come in the last few decades, we must also recognise that pioneering fleet managers in the private sector have been great agents of change,” Mr Goodwill added.

The Government has since announced that it will continue to support a revised version of the plug-in car grant. From 1 March 2016, vehicles with a zero-emission range of more than 70 miles will benefit from a grant of £4,500, while vehicles with a shorter zero-emission range will receive £2,500 provided they cost less than £60,000. Currently, applicants can receive up to £5,000 off the list price of an eligible car. 

Commenting on this news, Gerry Keaney said: ““We are delighted that the government has addressed this issue, which has been one of our key policy priorities during 2015. This common-sense decision gives rental and leasing companies the confidence they need to continue leading the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles.”

Returning to the policy roundtable process, Keaney added: “We are also grateful to those organisations who shaped these policy recommendations, and our particular thanks must go to those who hosted our roundtables – Thatcham Research, the Transport Systems Catapult, the RAC Foundation, and KPMG.

“We look forward to working with the relevant government departments to ensure our contributors’ input is given proper consideration. Acting upon these recommendations would have a major impact in terms of reducing congestion, emissions and accidents while promoting the take-up of new, safe and sustainable transport.”

In attendance at the Parliamentary reception were the transport representatives from each of the three main political parties in government, plus representatives from the Transport Select Committee. In all, over 20 MPs joined a host of BVRLA members and fleet end users in the Strangers Dining Room.

Early next year, the BVRLA will place detailed policy papers with Government Ministers, senior departmental advisors and other key stakeholders. These will form the basis for further meetings between the BVRLA and Government officials throughout 2016.


Notes to Editors

A full transcript of Mr Goodwill’s speech in the Strangers Dining room is available to read online:

The following orgainsations contributed to the BVRLA’s policy recommendation process; Ageas Insurance; Alphabet GB Ltd; Arval; Avis UK; Barclays; BT Fleet; Clydesdale Bank; Department of Business, Innovation and Skills; Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Department for Transport; Diageo; Drivetime Rental; Emission Analytics; Enterprise; Fleethire; FMG Support (Group) Ltd; GKL Car and Van Rental; Greenpeace; Greater London Authority; Hertz; Hitachi Capital; HM Treasury; John Lewis; KPMG; Leaseplan; Lex Autolease; Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership; Marshall Leasing; Miles and Miles; Public Health England; Office of Low Emission Vehicles; RAC Foundation; Royal Mail; Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders; Synergy Automotive Ltd; Tusker Direct Ltd; Thatcham Research; Transport Systems Catapult; University of Buckingham Business School; Volvo; Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co; Zipcar.

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 700+ members operate a combined fleet of 3.8 million 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