The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) celebrated its 50 year anniversary with its annual dinner in London last night.

The BVRLA was first established in 1967 and currently has over 900 members, operating a combined fleet of around 4.7m cars, vans and trucks. According to the BVRLA, buy nearly half of all new vehicles sold in the UK, supporting around 317,000 jobs and contributing nearly £25bn to the economy each year.

Speaking at the event, BVRLA chairman Simon Oliphant said: “It is people that make the real difference in business. I am the 26th Chairman of the BVRLA, and I have benefited from following in the footsteps of the many talented and dedicated officers who have served the association over the years and helped it to evolve.”

The evening including an awards ceremony, including the City & Guilds Achievement Award , which is award to the individual who attained the highest pass mark in the 2016 Certificate for Rental Operator Skills examinations. This year’s recipient was is Christopher Hume of Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental, who scored 98%.

Jonathan Ellis from Volkswagen Financial Services was also recognised on the evening for him performance in the BVRLA’s Fleet Consultant Development Programme, which was first set up eight years ago.