UK rental cars emit less CO2 and local air pollutants, are safer and are used more efficiently than the average privately-owned car.

    New research published today helps establish some of the sustainability credentials of car rental and supports the industry’s call for it to be given greater consideration in transport policymaking.

    Conducted by transport research body TRL on behalf of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, the study found that:

    • Average CO2 emissions from UK rental cars were 12% lower than the average for the UK car fleet
    • Rental vehicles are newer and better maintained than the average privately owned car and more likely to be fitted with recent safety technology
    • Because they are used more often than the average privately-owned car, rental vehicles are more cost efficient and can help reduce the parking congestion seen in urban areas
    • Rental provides a relatively cheap way of accessing cars compared with personal ownership
    • Rental provides a key link to other forms of transport

    “Coming just a week after the RAC told us that the annual cost of motoring had risen by 14% to over £6,600 a year, this research is perfectly timed,” said BVRLA chief executive, John Lewis.

    “It is now clearer than ever that car rental presents a cheaper, safer and more sustainable alternative to car ownership for millions of business and leisure motorists.

    “We hope that this research will help convince policymakers to give car rental more consideration within the general transport mix.”

    A full version of the research project: Vehicle rental: environmental and sustainability implications can be accessed via the TRL website at:

    A BVRLA summary of the research: Car rental – the pay-as-you-go route to responsible motoring can be accessed at to download at