Key 2020 priorities from BVRLA members revealed
To see if the BVRLA are doing right by its members, they have an annual survey which is extremely influential in terms of driving their programme of work. Not only for next year, but for the development of their three-year plan.
As revealed by BVRLA’s Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney, at the 2019 Industry Outlook Conference, this year’s survey has been no less informative, canvassing the views of over 5,000 individuals. According to Keaney, there was a lot of consistency in terms of feedback from members on a number of different aspects, but members were particularly consistent with three key areas fed back to the BVRLA that they regarded as priorities for 2020.
The number one priority was of course around Brexit and more importantly, the economic and political uncertainty that surrounds the entire process. The result of this, Mr Keaney said, is there’s been no parliamentary time to get any bill of any significance through government. However, the BVRLA is pleased with the progress they’ve made in terms of Clean Air Zones and in company car taxation. “We are pleased the Treasury finally realised that, the whole ultra-low emission vehicle needed some incremental support and they were delighted to see them freeze company car tax and introduce a 0% rate for zero-emission vehicles. “We were the only trade association, the only body of any source that was canvassing to get benefits for ultra-low emission vehicles.”
Members are keen that regulation is supportive and positive with its businesses and is not a hindrance or a burden or an obstacle to doing this in a professional, compliant way. The BVRLA regards regulation as an opportunity. It is an opportunity for them to engage with regulators, with governments, and to demonstrate the credentials of the BVRLA and its members. What does that mean? It means demonstrating their reputation, integrity, and reinforcing the reputation of members to government. Mr Keaney said: “I mean, that could be on one hand our codes of conduct. Our inspection processes. It’s about learning, and development offers, it’s about our dispute resolution services. It’s about our fair wear and tear guides – all of those things.” This will be in evidence again in 2020, as the BVRLA is working with the Department of as their approved partner to monitor and assess compliance of its Rental Vehicle Security Scheme, or RVSS as it is widely known. This is the government’s response to help mitigate rental vehicles being used as weapons in terrorist attacks.
BVRLA members are keen to export their understanding and knowledge around Clean Air Zones (CAZ), and according to Mr Keaney, in 2020 the BVRLA will continue their strategy of working with major UK cities. How a clean air zone can work, what a clean air zone can be. “We were very clear we absolutely support government policy to improve air quality, but they want to see measures introduced that do not adversely impact upon communities and businesses, who rely on commercial vehicles to deliver goods into their towns and cities.” Instead the BVRLA want to be part of the solution and they want to bring a degree of pragmatism to the discussion that’s expected by members.
The BVRLA is also supporting the drive to electric grid, but admit they still need the appropriate infrastructure. “We need solutions to manage charging over the cost of installing substations to support an electric charging environment. We need the right charging regime in terms of charges and flexibility and what cars can be charged on.” What is agreed, is that the BVRLA thinks joined up thinking is needed for some of the EV fundamentals around motivating and enabling customers to move from an internal combustion engine to an electric vehicle.