The number of vehicles operated by the BVRLA has brought membership levels to more than 4.7 million, a figure boosted by a 40 per cent rise in the leasing broker sector. The BVRLA this week hosted its annual industry conference in the West Midlands, and reported a 16 per cent overall rise in membership during 2016, with the total number of members reaching 908 _ 128 more than at the end of 2015. Chief executive Gerry Keaney said: 'The association has now welcomed its 900th member, and we are fast approaching a combined fleet size of five million vehicles, which has never happened before. "In the past three years, both membership and fleet size have grown by more than 30%, which corresponds with the growing strength of the industry which is now more influential than ever." The leasing broker sector was responsible for a great deal of the new memberships, with 308 of the members operating within the group. The number of vehicles that members are responsible for has also grown, reaching 4.7 million, with more than 3.8 million of those vehicles being cars. Cars and van use within the business leasing sector (contract hire and finance lease) also grew year-on-year, increasing by 5.2 per cent. The car fleet numbers grew by 2.2 per cent, and the corresponding van figure up by 13 per cent. There was a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in the overall size of the BVRLA car leasing fleet, with personal contract hire accounting for nearly 60 per cent of this: a key discussion topic during the BVRLA's conference. A number of other topics were also covered, including Brexit, business car taxation, the economy, emissions, future mobility models, the grey fleet and residual values. Over 150 executives attended the conference, which was sponsored by a number of companies including Jaguar Land over, Cap HPI and Black Horse. Delegates were presented with a copy of the BVRLA's Annual Review, which highlighted the performance of the association through the year as well as detailing plans for the year ahead, in which the association will celebrate its golden anniversary.