Gerry Keaney will step down as chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) at the end of 2024, concluding over 11 years of leadership.

Gerry Keaney

In a statement, the BVRLA said that during his tenure the association has seen substantial growth, with annual revenues increasing more than threefold and membership expanding by over 50% to more than 1,000 organisations. The leasing broker sector, in particular, has flourished under his guidance, boasting over 320 members and an industry-leading compliance programme.

BVRLA Chair Jon Lawes praised Keaney’s contributions, stating, “Under Gerry’s leadership, the BVRLA has been transformed. The association looks very different to a decade ago, its professionalism and value delivered to members have increased immeasurably.

“Coupled with exceptional growth, the BVRLA has continued to extend its influence in Westminster. Our voice is consistent and more credible than ever. Gerry will undoubtedly leave the association in a stronger position, and we must now identify a suitable successor to lead the organisation and support members with the challenges ahead.”

Keaney’s tenure has been marked by several significant milestones. He has guided the industry through pivotal moments such as Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, and terrorist attacks involving rental vehicles. Notable initiatives include the introduction of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service, enhancing customer protection and boosting the credibility of the BVRLA brand. The association’s learning and development programme has also seen substantial growth, helping members raise and demonstrate their standards.

In the realm of policy and public affairs, the BVRLA’s influence has grown significantly. Under Keaney’s leadership, the sector secured zero percent Benefit in Kind rates for electric vehicles in 2020, introduced additional credits for car clubs and vehicles for disability use with the ZEV mandate in 2024, extended the Plug-in Van Grant, and established the Rental Vehicle Security Scheme (RVSS) in collaboration with the Department for Transport (DfT).

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Reflecting on his tenure, Keaney commented, “I have been fortunate to work with some of the most passionate, knowledgeable and ambitious people our sector has to offer. The BVRLA’s performance over the last decade has been nothing short of exceptional. It has been a privilege to lead the team that makes it happen, backed by an army of supportive members, industry colleagues and a very engaged Board of Directors. Together, we have transformed what the BVRLA stands for and the role our industry has with government, regulators and consumers.”

Before joining the BVRLA, Keaney spent nine years on Volvo Car Corporation’s Management Board as Senior Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service.