According to BVRLA data, three-quarters (75%) of leased cars and 94% of the car rental fleet are already compliant with clean air zone (CAZ) requirements, 15 months in advance of the first zone beginning its operation.

This is well ahead of the UK-wide average of 57%, demonstrated in the BVRLA's Fleet Sustainability Credentials report.

The leasing and rental sectors are also more compliant with their vans, with 37% and 56% CAZ-compliant in leased and rental segments compared to 13% UK-wide.

The BVRLA has stated that the majority of its car and van fleet will be CAZ-compliant by 2020, due in part to the frequent, cyclical renewal of rental and leased vehicles.

Chief executive of the BVRLA, Gerry Keaney, said: “These figures show in no uncertain terms that our sector offers the fastest route to clean air in our urban areas.

“Our members offer a range of flexible and affordable solutions for every application and stand ready to assist individuals and businesses that are looking to replace older, more polluting vehicles with cleaner and greener options.”

With rental and leased HGVs operating on a much longer lifecycle, however, the report highlights challenges facing the commercial vehicle sector.

Only 36% of the entire UK HGV fleet currently meets the Euro VI emissions standards which will be stipulated by upcoming CAZs. Once introduced, some CAZs will enforce a £100 entry fee for any non-compliant HGV.

The Government has requested 23 local authorities to submit air pollution plans for a December 2018 deadline, some of which may entail the creation of several new CAZs.

The BVRLA states it will continue to collaborate with its members, transport bodies and local policymakers to ensure any air quality plans are "proportionate and effective".