The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association is to meet with Government policymakers to discuss how its members can contribute to safer, greener and more cost-effective motoring.
The meetings come following the publication of the association’s four policy papers – on Vehicle Safety, Air Quality, Business Car Taxation and Intelligent Mobility. In addition to detailing the current legislative and policy landscape, the four papers also include a series of policy recommendations. All four papers were drafted following a series of policy roundtables which the BVRLA hosted throughout 2015.
The Vehicle Safety paper calls on the Government to further encourage the take-up of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). The BVRLA believes that AEB should be made mandatory for all new registered cars and vans, as it now is for HGVs. Toward this objective, the Government should demonstrate leadership in vehicle safety by making AEB a mandatory requirement for all new vehicles procured by the Government fleet.
In the Air Quality paper, the association is lobbying for the implementation of a national framework for Low Emission Zones. These would provide consistency, certainty and, with sufficient notice ahead of their introduction, allow fleet operators to make purchasing decisions without unnecessary financial penalties. The paper also calls on the Government to further encourage car clubs across all major cities and publish guidance on how businesses and consumers can join a club.
The tax regime plays a vital role in determining fleet purchasing strategy. The BVRLA’s Business Car Taxation policy paper suggests that the Government reforms benefit-in-kind (BIK) ratings, with greater granularity on incentives for the take-up of lower emission vehicles. In particular, the association believes a wider differential at the lower category end would provide a larger incentive for take up of lower (if not ultra-low) emission vehicles over higher emission ones. It also highlights the contribution of company car drivers toward better safety and emissions standards in the national fleet, and warns against increasing the cumulative tax burden on such drivers to nsustainable levels. This is a particular concern given the Chancellor’s raising of Company Car Tax bandings by two percentage points, and the deferral of the planned removal of the 3% diesel supplement to 2021.
The final paper – on Intelligent Mobility – calls on the Government to support the introduction of a new ratings system for the cyber security of modern connected vehicles. It also calls for the Information Commissioner’s Office to be given more resources so that it can provide guidance and enforcement in areas of connected vehicle and driver data.
BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said: “We have consulted with a wide range of fleet operator organisations and believe that the policy measures outlined in these reports could make a major contribution in improving the safety, sustainability and efficiency of road transport in the UK.”