Currently general manger of Hertz UK, Cunningham has more than 25-years' experience of the rental industry in Europe and the UK, working with cars and commercial vehicles.

He has already identified some of the areas he wants the association to focus on: 'We must continue to lobby the government and its motoring agencies to reduce the amount of bureaucracy and paperwork associated with owning and operating fleets.

'I am also keen that we build on our relationships with manufacturers. There have been some tensions in recent times, but we can work through these and develop a longer-term, proactive relationship between our two industries.'

Cunningham also praised his predecessor for his work at the BVRLA: 'Kevin McNally has been an excellent chairman whose energy and positive attitude helped steer the association and the industry through some tough years following the Credit Crunch.'

Also taking the helm is Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solution's Simon Oliphant, who becomes the new chairman of the Leasing and Fleet Management Committee. David Brennan of LeasePlan becomes vice-chairman after completing his two-year term.

Oliphant believes that the biggest challenges facing the sector are; the cost and availability of funding; proposed lease accounting changes; and the fleet adoption of electric and alternatively-fuelled vehicles.

The BVRLA also has a new leasing broker chairman after Mike Lloyd of Central Contracts completed his two-year term. Martin Brown of Fleet Alliance takes over the role and said his committee's principal aims would be enhancing the visibility of the leasing broker sector and ensuring that it has a robust relationship with manufacturers and funders.