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85% of Brits have changed car use to cut costs – Car hire helps motorists cut maintenance and keep mileage low

The recession has forced a change in driver behaviour according to a new survey from Europcar, the UK’s leading vehicle hire company. And with winter on the doorstep when reliability becomes even more important, drivers are turning to vehicle hire for long journeys and breaks away to bring peace of mind and reduce wear and tear on their own cars.

In the survey*, a staggering 85% of respondents in the UK said they have changed their driving habits to save costs and 73% said they’d consider hiring a car to save wear and tear and maintenance costs.

Of those that have used or considered using car hire, 68% have already hired for a holiday or long trip in the UK and 73% plan to in 2010. In addition, 42% currently leave their own car on the drive and use car hire for weekend breaks and 49% confirmed that they plan to use vehicle hire for weekend breaks in 2010.

Catriona Lougher, Marketing Director for Europcar says: “What this survey has told us is that motorists are getting more savvy about the ways in which they keep their own cars in good condition and the mileage down so that when it comes to its re-sale they can get as good a deal as they can. It’s also an indication of the fact that some families have downsized their cars for day to day use but find they need something bigger for trips away. Vehicle hire is playing an important part in this as it gives drivers access to vehicles suited to the job on average just 6 months from new so there’s no compromise on the quality of the drive.

“As winter approaches the peace of mind offered by car hire is also invaluable – all cars are covered by 24 hour roadside assistance and are fully maintained. While most Brits won’t be parted from their car, for longer journeys motorists are switching on to the benefits of vehicle hire.”

Europcar is making car hire even easier this winter with free delivery and collection from most locations. Those heading abroad for a winter break can also take advantage of Airport Connect. From £49 each way, Airport Connect customers simply hire a vehicle from their local Europcar location, leave it at the airport branch and then take the courtesy coach directly to the terminal. On the way home, the process simply works in reverse, so no more struggling with train connections and rushing from A to B. Furthermore, Airport Connect customers can also transfer between UK airports.

To book car hire from Europcar in the UK, customers can call 0871 384 1089 or log on at europcar.co.uk. Alternatively, customers can book via Europcar’s on the go mobile service – which allows customers to make reservations and find their nearest hire location, all from their mobile phone by simply logging on to http://mobile.europcar.co.uk

*The Europcar Observatory is an annual survey. The survey was conducted by Ipsos Marketing on behalf of Europcar from August to 14th September 2009. 5000 people who owned at least one car in the household or drivers were surveyed across 7 countries with a representative sample in terms of gender, age and region of each country.

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