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ICE CREAMS AND THIEVING POT BELLIED PIGS Europcar reveals some of the strangest excuses

Europcar rents thousands of vehicles out a day so expects the occasional late return or damaged vehicle. But a recent survey of its branches revealed some of the strangest reasons for damage to cars or late returns. Ranging from an afternoon snooze to a runaway cow! 

Europcar’s Funniest Reasons for Damage and Late Returns

1.      A collision with a cow (Liverpool Branch)

2.      A horse sat on the bonnet (Newcastle Branch)

3.      A nasty accident with an ice cream (Derby Branch)

4.      Pot bellied pig aids car thief (York Branch)

5.      Keys go missing while driver has a snooze (Derby Branch)

6.      Car is lost in multi-storey (Birmingham South Branch)

7.      Helpful neighbour gives keys to dustman (Leicester Branch)

8.      A lion took a dislike to the car (Newport Branch) 

Close Encounters of the animal kind

The Liverpool branch had a shock recently when a customer returned a vehicle with damage to one of the wheel arches. On questioning it turned out a cow had escaped from a nearby field, with the farmer in hot pursuit!  

It seems damage caused by animals is not a one off occurrence for Europcar. A car with a large dent across the bonnet was returned to the Newcastle branch recently with a horse as the culprit. The driver watched in horror as a horse, with rider in tow, slowly backed onto the car, until it was sitting on the bonnet as a car on the opposite side passed on a narrow country lane! 

On a wilder note, the Newport branch spotted a large chunk missing from the back bumper of a Ford Focus, the customer explained they had visited Longleat Safari Park and driven through the lion’s enclosure where a lion had taken off a part of the bumper with his claws. 

If that wasn’t a bizarre enough explanation, Europcar’s staff were even more astounded to hear that a family’s pot-bellied pig had taken a shining to the rental car keys and had taken them outside to her water bowl.  When the customer went to retrieve them the keys and the car had disappeared. The car was later recovered and a youth was arrested!  

Ice cream

Who would have thought something as innocent as an ice cream could be the cause of an accident but that was exactly the case when a customer returned a damaged car to the Derby branch. She explained that she was hit from behind by a van.  When she asked the van driver what had caused the collision he said his ice cream had fallen off his seat and distracted him! 

Nap turns to panic as prank causes late return

An afternoon nap is a luxury in the modern world, but for one Europcar customer it turned into a panic. The customer decided to take a snooze in his rental car before returning to the Derby branch but during his time in the land of nod his friend took the keys out of the ignition as a joke.    

Bin and Gone

Then there was the customer who rang to say that they had left the car keys for their rental vehicle for collection in their recycling bin as they were going out. However it later became apparent that a friendly neighbour thought they had forgotten to put the bin out and kindly positioned it for collection by the bin men – and the keys were duly dumped!

Lost and Found

From missing keys to missing cars, a worried customer called the Birmingham South branch recently after her rental car went missing in a multi-storey, after a lot of searching the customer remembered she had changed the vehicle over the day before and was looking for the old one! Catriona Lougher of Europcar comments; “Europcar staff are certainly kept on their toes by customers and there is never a dull day in the office with some of these stories. But staff are always professional and understanding no matter how bizarre the reason for damage or late return.”

September 2008 

Notes to Editors

Owned by the French private equity firm Eurazeo, Europcar is the European leader in passenger car and light utility vehicle rentals. Since March 2007 with the acquisition of Vanguard EMEA (National & Alamo brands), its network comprises over 5,300 rental outlets in 160 countries. Europcar serves business and leisure customers throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. Excluding franchise operations, in 2007 Europcar signed more than 10 million rental contracts, with 7,700 employees and a fleet exceeding 215,000 vehicles.

For more information: www.europcar.com.

For further press information please contact: Dominic Dennis, Madeleine Roles, Elinor Puzey, Jen Staniforth or Alison Reeson at HSL, Churcham House, 1 Bridgeman Road, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 9AJ. Telephone: 020 8977 9132. Fax: 020 8977 5200 or email: leisureteam@harrisonsadler.com



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