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Europcar UK Survey Reveals Spike in Car Hire

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Car hire is on the rise as the economic downturn bears down on family budgets and more people choose to holiday at home rather than overseas, according to Europcar.

A Europcar UK survey has revealed that 2008 saw a resurgence of UK-based holidays which led to a visible spike in car hire. The car hire company believes this trend will continue during 2009 as households try to cut costs.

The recent survey indicated that 27% of Europcar’s UK based customers rented vehicles because they were worried about the reliability of their car, 21%because their own car had broken down and 24% needed a vehicle bigger than their usual car. Around 23% of customers opted for car hire because they did not own a car.

Group Marketing Manager Europcar Australia Ashley Jurberg said the survey results were not surprising as an increasing number of people opted for domestic holidays that were close to home.

Mr Jurberg said car hire was also on the increase in the UK and in Australia as a result of people, particularly those who lived in the city and close to public transport, selling their vehicles to save money.

“For families surviving on one income because of job cuts or those who have been made redundant because of the downturn, often car ownership is one of the first expenses to be shed,” Mr Jurberg said.

“Rentals for Europcar Australia stores around the country have been strong and I believe that it is a result of people taking ‘stay-cations’ close to home at destinations they can drive to,” he said. “Many people will hire a vehicle as it often is cheaper and safer.

“With a rented vehicle you know you’re getting a car that undergoes regular and rigorous maintenance checks.”

A recent YouGov survey conducted by Europcar UK revealed that over one in five people (23%) have either used or are considering using car hire or car clubs as an alternative to car ownership. One in three drivers (34%) now think that people are trapped into car ownership by their location, work and family commitments. And around one in four thinks that the cost of ownership outweighs the benefits.

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