Policymakers are being urged to work with the vehicle rental sector in maintaining the essential movement of people, goods and services during the ongoing coronavirus global pandemic.

This is according to UK vehicle rental and leasing association BVRLA. It’s pointed to transport and business restrictions introduced in a number of EU states, where vehicle rental branches have been excluded due to their “key role in delivering essential mobility services”, says the association.

Gerry Keaney, BVRLA chief executive, said: “As the government considers the measures it might take to limit the impact of COVID-19, it is vital that it appreciates the role that will be played by rental vehicles in maintaining the essential movement of people, goods and services.”

BVRLA claims its rental members operate 1,800 outlets across Britain. This includes 647 airport and train station branches operating a combined fleet of 371,000 cars, vans and trucks.

The association also says there are an estimated 17 million car and van rental transactions each year, involving more than 10 million customers.

Keaney added: “Any plans to restrict business or transport must exclude vehicle rental. We have already seen the sector exempted from such closures in France, Austria and Spain, due to its essential role in providing mobility.”