BVRLA raises key fleet issues with new Government in fleet manifesto

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has sent its Fleet and Mobility Services Manifesto to the new administration following the General Election on June 8 which has left the country with a hung parliament.

Although the Conservative Party won the most seats, a number of setbacks left it without a majority in the House of Commons and reduced to trying to form a government backed by the Democratic Unionist Party.

The BVRLA’s manifesto centred around six key points for fleets, aimed at whatever party formed the next government, and raised concerns over a number of outstanding key fleet issues.

The manifesto also outlined how the vehicle rental and leasing industry sector could enable policymakers to drive down emissions, improve road safety and make road transport more cost efficient.

The document covered six key areas – emissions, air quality, road safety, Brexit, red tape and connected cars.

The BVRLA called for the new administration to:

1. Carry out a wholesale review of company car taxation, recognising the benefits of company cars in terms of reduced emissions and revenue to HM Treasury.

2. Build on the recently published Clean Air Zone Framework for England by providing additional guidance to ensure consistency in terms of standards, enforcement, timescales for introduction and penalties for non-compliance.

3. Introduce a flexible and targeted diesel scrappage scheme, which provided assistance for companies looking to replace or retrofit older, more polluting commercial vehicles. This scheme should also incentivise private car owners to swap their existing car for a pure electric alternative, or give up their vehicles to use more sustainable modes of transport, such as car rental and car clubs, said the BVRLA.

4. Encourage and incentivise the fitment of autonomous emergency braking and other safety technologies proven to have a demonstrable impact on reducing road accidents.

5. Remove the need for commercial vehicle examiners to be directly employed by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, and provide HGV testing via the same MOT testing model available for private cars and light commercial vehicles.

6. Set up a Mobility Data Hub to provide a neutral voice advocating and providing guidance to realise the full potential of connected vehicles and their data. This would ensure fleet operators, OEMs and third-party suppliers could share data in an open, secure and fair way.

Commenting on the manifesto, BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney, said: “It is essential that the new government understands the vital role our members’ huge purchasing power can play in delivering safer, sustainable and more cost-efficient road transport.

“Policymakers face a real challenge, not just in terms of Brexit, but also in how the UK embraces the move towards data-driven mobility services.”

Following the Election result, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) called on the parties concerned to establish a credible government as quickly as possible to provide political and economic stability.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “UK Automotive is vitally important to the UK economy and jobs across the country and now more than ever we need strong engagement by government with the industry, both on the domestic agenda and in European negotiations, to secure future growth and investment in our sector.

“Collaboration with our industry is the key to securing a globally competitive business environment, an ambitious industrial strategy and a strong relationship with Europe and our trading partners across the world.”