Vehicle supply, mainly due to an ongoing global shortage of semiconductor chips, has become the biggest concern of the organization’s 1,000-plus members, who collectively operate four million vehicles in the UK.
Despite this outage, their rental vehicle fleet and fleet reached 1,876,426 at the end of 2021, returning to pre-pandemic volumes after a 5.1% year-over-year increase.
The recovery was slower for cars leased by the company. BCH’s combined member fleet of cars contracted an additional 2% through 2021 to 759,527, which is 100,000 less than the end of 2019 and 180,000 less than the first quarter of 2017.
Average contract mileage also increased 12% to 55,075, as BVRLA noted that operators are extending vehicle lifecycles to meet longer delivery times.
Renewed incentives for the company’s ultra-low-emission vehicles (50g/km CO2 or less) during 2020 are also having an impact.
During the fourth quarter of 2021, 78% of salary sacrifice orders and 42% of new BCH orders were electric, while diesel was the least popular choice for company car drivers with an 8% share.
In contrast, average CO2 emissions for the entire BCH fleet of BVRLA vehicles decreased to 92.9 g/km, compared to 123.8 g/km for the Personal Contract Rental (PCH) fleet.
In comparison, the personal leasehold (PCH) fleet increased by nearly 50,000 during 2021 (an increase of 17.3%) to 326,041.
Demand for pickups was even stronger, with the rental fleet growing by 80,000 (up 18.8%) to a record 498,280 – something BVRLA is fueling economic recovery and expanding home delivery fleets.
BVRLA data is replicated by the 2021 SMMT registration numbers, which show a 4.4% decrease in fleet and business vehicle registrations (to 844,677), while private registrations increased 7.4% (to 802,504).
Although the BVRLA is optimistic about a recovery in the BCH auto market in 2022, it warns that it could take several years to return to pre-pandemic levels.
BVRLA CEO Jerry Kenny said: “The fleet leasing segment is driving demand for zero-emission vehicles, but is experiencing short supply as manufacturers shift the product to more profitable sales channels.