The British Vehicle Rental
and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has launched a steering group aimed
at developing the availability of competitively-priced funding for
the vehicle rental and leasing industry.

The Funding Steering Group
will work to help existing and potential funders to understand the
industry better, including its risks and rewards.

It is already working with
six new funders to assess the industry’s opportunities and product
requirements, and to spot any obstacles.

BVRLA chief executive John
Lewis said: “This group has been created to help replace some of
the liquidity lost since the credit crunch, as banks have struggled
to build up their balance sheets and improve their flow of lending.
From the conversations we have had with potential lenders already,
I am confident that there is new finance available for leasing and
rental companies.”

The steering group is chaired
by BVRLA honorary treasurer and board member Brian Back. It
includes Graham Hale, managing director of Fleet Hire, Andrew Cope,
executive chairman of Zenith Provecta, Roger Hancock, managing
director of Thrifty Car Rental, and David Barlow, chairman of

After the group’s first
meeting late in April, the BVRLA has begun work on producing an
‘industry profile’ document for potential funders, and aims to
conduct a funding survey of members by the end of May.

“We want to get a clear
understanding of which sort of finance they want to provide and
what sort of companies they want to deal with. The information we
get from the survey of members will help us point them in the right
direction,” said Lewis.

In the longer term, the BVRLA is also working with the
Finance & Leasing Association and exploring alternatives to
bank funding.