The BVRLA has urged policymakers to work with the vehicle rental sector in maintaining the essential movement of goods, people and services during the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
As the government considers the next stage of its response to the crisis, the association has pointed to transport and business restrictions introduced in a number of EU states, where vehicle rental branches have been excluded due to their key role in delivering essential mobility services.
BVRLA rental members operate 1,800 outlets across the full breadth of the UK, including 647 airport and train station branches. They operate a combined fleet of 371,000 cars, vans and trucks and play a vital role in providing flexible and affordable access to road transport. There are an estimated 17 million car and van rental transactions each year, involving more than 10 million customers.
The UK vehicle rental industry is already an integral part of the supply chain and operating model for many businesses across the logistics sector, NHS, Police, social care, local and central government. Whether it is HGVs, vans, ultra-low emission cars, minibuses or temperature-controlled trucks, BVRLA members provide access to a huge variety of different vehicles at very short notice.
“As the government considers the measures it might take to limit the impact of COVID-19, it is vital that it appreciates the role that will be played by rental vehicles in maintaining the essential movement of people, goods and services,” said BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney.
“Any plans to restrict business or transport must exclude vehicle rental. We have already seen the sector exempted from such closures in France, Austria and Spain, due to its essential role in providing mobility.”
The BVRLA continues to work with policymakers in a range of government departments to keep them up-to-date with the impact the COVID-19 virus is having on the vehicle rental and leasing sector.