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SNOWBOUND Europcar Battles The Frrrrost

The New Year doesn’t necessarily guarantee happy times for motorists and commuters as they go back to work, warns Europcar, the UK’s leading vehicle rental company. Train fares have increased by an average of 6% with some services going up by as much as 11%* and 5th January has been declared ‘breakdown day’** as sub-zero temperatures. This coupled with the fact that cars have been left on driveways over Christmas, means many people will have trouble starting their engines this week.  With news of train delays, forecasts of snow, and cash-strapped consumers cutting back on maintaining their cars, Europcar is urging travelers to pay attention to its winter motoring advice and take advantage of car rental to get from A to B more safely. Catriona Lougher, Marketing Director of Europcar says “In a recent survey with YouGov we found that in a bid to cut motoring costs, 16% have cut costs in terms of servicing, maintenance (14%) and/or roadside assistance (11%).  

“At this time of year particularly, drivers need to take extra care on the roads. The risk of bad weather means motorists should take added precautions; looking after their car and ensuring they have everything they need in case of an emergency breakdown.  Renting can often be the safer option, particularly when the family car proves to be unreliable in cold snaps.  Europcar provides easy access to fully maintained cars covered by 24 hour roadside assistance, offering extra peace of mind when the weather takes a turn for the worst.” 
 

Europcar’s Winter Driving Advice

  • Allow plenty of time for journeys
  • If it’s before 8am or after 3.30pm before starting the engine and moving off, make sure your eyes have become accustomed to the dark
  • Make sure all the windows are properly de-iced and de-misted before you set out
  • Remember your sunglasses to avoid glare from the low winter sun
  • Twilight is a particularly hazardous time for driving, so take extra care
  • Watch out for fog and use fog lights, but remember to switch them off again when they are no longer needed
  • Rain and spray from other vehicles make it difficult to see and be seen so slow down in heavy downpours
  • Allow for a greater braking distance in wet conditions 
  • Watch your speed and remember that cyclists and pedestrians will be less visible
  • Be prepared to cancel a journey. Listen out for weather warnings and act appropriately
  • Don’t be afraid to turn back – if things start to look dicey, a trip can most likely be postponed
  • Be aware of the danger of getting stranded – especially if you are heading somewhere remote. Take warm clothing and consider stopping at a hotel for the night rather than pressing on
  • If your own vehicle is struggling with the weather, consider hiring a car instead. This will ensure the car is fully maintained, safe, reliable and covered by 24 hour roadside assistance
  • Ensure the windscreen washer is topped up
  • Always keep a bottle of water and food, such as chocolate just in case you breakdown
  • Think about your health when driving this winter – exposure to at least 20 minutes of natural light a day will help to boost energy levels
  • Increase serotonin rich foods including fish, turkey, eggs and cheese to replace serotonin usually produced by daylight

END

January 2009 

*Figures BBC News January 2009**Environmental Transport Association 

For further press information please contact Dominic Dennis, Maddy Roles, Elinor Puzey or Jenny Staniforth at HSL, Churcham House, 1 Bridgeman Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 9AJ.  Telephone: 020 8977 9132.  Fax: 020 8 977 5200.  leisureteam@harrisonsadler.com 

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