BVRLA sets out pressing fleet issues in six-point manifesto
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has launched its six-point Fleet and Mobility Services Manifesto, calling the new government to address issues covering emissions, air quality, road safety, Brexit, red tape and connected cars.
Highlighting the importance of the vehicle rental and lease sector to the UK economy, the BVRLA calls for widespread reforms of vehicle and fleet taxation to ensure that uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles isn’t impacted by recent or planned tax changes. This includes:
· 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.
· Reforming the Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) ratings, with greater granularity on lower CO2 thresholds to provide sufficient incentive for the take-up of ULEVs.
· Revising the regulations on refunds of Vehicle Excise Duty payable to allow rental companies to reclaim the full amount outstanding when a vehicle is resold within the first year.
· Introducing a new tax category for EVs based on their range.
· Removing the tax rule that prohibits leased ULEVs vehicles from qualifying for First Year Capital Allowances.
· Setting targets for cutting public sector grey fleet usage.Addressing air quality
The organisation urges the incoming government to take action to encourage more sustainable travel behaviour without punishing motorists for decisions already made based on previous Government policy. This includes:
· Building on the recently published Clean Air Zone Framework for England by providing additional guidance.
· Making a clear guarantee that no business making purchasing decisions on the basis of the current emissions standards will be penalised retrospectively if they are amended.
· Introducing a flexible and targeted diesel scrappage scheme.
· Continuing to fund and support the Plug-in-Car and Plug-in-Van Grants while ensuring the incentive keeps pace with advances in technology.Safer roads
According to the BVRLA, advances in vehicle technology have created a “fantastic opportunity” for the Government to work with the fleet sector in drastically reducing the occurrence of accidents, including:
· Encouraging and incentivising the fitment of Autonomous Emergency Braking and other technology proven to reduce road accidents.
· Building on the Government’s policy of a minimum 5-Star NCAP rating for all fleet vehicle purchases by ensuring that AEB is mandatory requirement for all vehicles in the Government fleet.Making a success of Brexit
The BVRLA has consulted with its members and has a series of resultant recommendations for leaving the EU.
This includes calling for the UK to remain a member of the European Economic Area, or otherwise secure tariff-free access to the Single Market.
In the event of the Government deciding not to remain a part of the EEA, a trade preference scheme must be established with the remaining EU Member States.Red tape and regulation
According to the BVRLA, UK fleet and logistics sectors are still constrained by red tape and regulations that are either unfit for purpose or are no longer relevant.
Proposed measures include removing the need for commercial vehicle examiners to be directly employed by the DVSA, as well as raising the driver CPC exemption criteria and abandoning any proposed extension of the O-licence from 3.5 to 2.8 tonnes.Connected vehicles and data
The BVRLA urges the implementation of common technology standards and a regulatory framework to ensure the fleet industry can fully maximise the benefits of connected vehicles.
Targeted measures cover:
· Establishing a Mobility Data Hub to ensure fleet operators, OEMs and third-party suppliers can share data in an open, secure and fair way.
· Collaboration with the Government’s counterparts in Europe to ensure that Type Approval and Block Exemption legislation is revised and updated to reflect the emergence of a new market for connected vehicle data.
· Supporting the development of an ‘NCAP-style’ rating for the cyber security of connected vehicles.
· Giving the Government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles the resources to develop a central repository of the latest regulations, standards, research, and other information surrounding this area.
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.”