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SUMMER HEATWAVE – Europcar offers tips on keeping cool in your vehicle

Summer 2009 has already seen temperatures soar and this week the Met Office has issued a ‘heat health’ warning, with a prediction that temperatures could hit 32˚C (89.6F) – which is great news for staycationers, but could mean uncomfortable driving for some. That’s why Europcar, the UK’s leading car hire company is offering its tips to help motorists keep themselves and their cars cool.

Plan Your Journey
As with walking around, try to plan your journey to avoid travelling when it is particularly hot, between 11am and 3pm. Try to keep longer trips to the early mornings or late evenings – this will help avoid congestion too. Europcar also offers Sat Nav from all of its locations to help customers reach their destination.

Stay Hydrated
Always keep several bottles of water in your car to ensure you remain adequately hydrated throughout your journey.

Towel Down
Leave a white towel on as many of seats as possible when you leave a car, this can avoid hot seats when you return to a vehicle left in direct sunshine. It’s also a good idea to keep several wet hand towels that can be applied to wrists, back of neck and feet to stay cool.

Stay in the Shade
It’s not just a good idea for you to stay in the shade, it’s better for your vehicle. Try to park somewhere with plenty of cover to avoid overheating. If you cannot do so, use as many window shields as possible to reduce the heat within the vehicle.

Aim the Air-con
Point your air conditioning vent towards the roof of the car – it will bounce down and circulate air around the vehicle. Also try to keep windows closed if possible to allow the air-con to work to maximum effect. Europcar customers can stay cool this summer by booking a hire vehicle equipped with air conditioning.

Tyre Troubles
Heat warms up rubber incredibly quickly and is the number one cause of tyre failure. Tyres that have not been properly inflated can blow out when on the road in extreme temperatures, so make sure you keep them inflated. This will also help increase your MPG. All Europcar vehicles are checked regularly to ensure tyre pressure is correct.

Check the fluids
As well as making sure you are hydrated, it’s just as important to ensure your vehicle has enough fluids. Check all the fluids before you set off and make sure your temperature gauge is in the middle. Failure to do this in the best case can cause overheating. Europcar’s customers do not have to worry about this as all vehicles are fully maintained and fluid levels checked regularly.

Consider Car Hire
If you have doubts about your vehicle making the journey consider hiring one. Use a company that will deliver for free such as Europcar* so that you don’t need to organise collecting or delivering the car back at the end of the journey. Europcar’s fleet is on average six months old, which provides customers with peace of mind that their vehicle will be safe and comfortable for their journey this summer.

Catriona Lougher, Marketing Director for Europcar said: “There can be nothing worse than getting stuck at the side of the road when the sun is scorching down, with no water and anxious children, waiting for assistance. With temperatures we are seeing this summer, motorists need to take some simple precautions to help reduce the risk of a road-side emergency. Certainly if there is any nervousness about their vehicle making a longer journey, hiring a car is a practical and safer solution allowing families to arrive at their destination cool, calm and collected.”

* Through Europcar’s weDeliver™ service, delivery and collection is free for the first 10 miles and after that a per-mile charge of just £1.50 will be applied. The service is available from 152 of Europcar’s 197 locations (excludes
London and airports where good transport links make collecting a vehicle easier for consumers). Once booked by phone on 0871 384 1087, the car or van will be delivered to the customer’s home within the 2 hour time slots from Monday to Friday and Saturday morning.

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