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BVRLA sets out leasing and rental challenges for 2019

2019 will bring some significant challenges for vehicle rental and leasing firms but the industry is taking action to seize the initiative.

The BVRLA’s Industry Outlook 2019 Report sets out how the industry is working to meet the challenges for 2019

That’s the finding of the BVRLA’s new Industry Outlook 2019 Report revealed at an event held last week.

The report provides a collective industry view on nine key subject areas:

The long road to zero – Fleet industry opinion is united on seeing a future dominated by electric powertrains. The big questions now are not ‘if’ we get there, but ‘how’ and ‘when’.

The last mile – The traditional ‘hub and spoke’ method of delivery is coming under pressure from cities looking to reduce the congestion, emissions and safety risks associated with large, diesel-powered vehicles. Can urban consolidation centres, inner-city micro distribution depots and e-cargo bikes and vans come to the rescue?

Used market urgency – Electric vehicles, Brexit, diesel demonization and WLTP are all contributing to an uncertain outlook for used vehicle prices through early 2019. Current market sentiment is that any price changes will be small rather than seismic.

Diving into data – Policymakers will come under increasing pressure to legislate for greater access to vehicle data. Meanwhile, prognostics is set to become the new must-have fleet management service.

Brexit – Rather than just speculate over the potential for one of many ‘Deal’ or ‘No Deal’ scenario, BVRLA members are focusing on what they can do to prepare themselves and their customers for the unexpected.

Car subscriptions – As the boundaries between rental and leasing continue to blur, car subscriptions are receiving a mixed response. Are they Car Rental 2.0 or just the emperor’s new clothes?

Up close and personal – BVRLA members are embracing digital technology and the chance to go one-on-one with a new breed of personal and SME clients. Some companies predict that up to 50% of new business could come from these channels in the next two years. 

Urban mobility – The scale of potential Clean Air Zone non-compliance will cause some local authorities to delay or adjust their plans in 2019. BVRLA members are expecting more competition from a range of urban mobility providers and a major improvement in public EV charging infrastructure.

Repairability – The number of accidents and repairs may be falling, but the costs associated with them are going in the other direction. New materials, sensors and electric powertrains are all having a massive impact on repairability.

BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney said: “The vehicle rental and leasing industry continues to see opportunities everywhere.

“Whether it is electric vehicles, prognostics data, last mile logistics or car subscriptions, members are increasingly willing to explore new business models, technology platforms and partnerships.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.