Europcar, mannequins, false legs and the back end of a horse
Europcar hires out thousands of vehicles daily, so it is not surprising that a survey of its branches revealed some strange excuses for damage and late return as well as some rather unusual items of lost property.
While the Europcar survey revealed some surprising results, perhaps one of the most amusing was supplied by a car hire customer who got more than he bargained for while he waited for a horse to pass on a country lane, after the horse decided to take a rest on the bonnet. The driver watched in horror as a horse, complete with rider in tow, slowly backed onto the car as a vehicle on the opposite side passed in a narrow country lane.
Another unusual animal encounter was reported when Europcar staff at the Newport car hire branch noticed a large chunk was missing from the bumper of one of their cars. 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.
The survey also showed that while sunglasses, CDs, mobile phones and keys are among the most common items left in Europcar’s vehicles, sometimes stranger items can also turn up - ranging from items like a mannequin, to 50 fluorescent light bulbs, and a Scottish Piper’s black ostrich hat. As well as these strange items, Europcar’s customers have also been known to leave more valuable goods. One customer left £1000 worth of designer clothes in the boot of a car.
A Derby car hire customer nearly lost their cool when they were hit by a van driver from behind. When Europcar’s staff asked why he had driven into her, she explained that he’d been distracted by the ice cream he was eating flying onto his seat.
Catriona Lougher, Marketing Director for Europcar commented, “There’s never a dull day in the life of a hire car as some of these stories and items of lost property reveal. Our staff are always professional and understanding no matter what the reason for late return or damage and often go to great pains to reunite lost and forgotten property with their rightful owners.”
Notes to Editors
Europcar is the European leader in passenger car and van rentals . The company serves business and leisure customers throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. Since March 2007 with the acquisition of Vanguard EMEA, its network comprises over 5,300 rental outlets in 160 countries. The Europcar fleet has an average CO2 of 158g/km compared to the average UK car parc (based on 2007 figures from SMMT) which has 1649 g/km CO2. Europcar is the first company to win the World Travel Award for “the World’s Leading Green Transport Solution Company.” Today, over 99% of Europcar’s fleet is certified “Euro IV” or above - the most stringent applicable European Union standards today in terms of energy consumption and emissions.
Excluding franchise operations, in 2008 Europcar signed more than 10 million rental contracts, with 8,000 employees and a fleet exceeding 225,000 vehicles. In September 2008, Europcar and U.S. market leader Enterprise Rent a Car joined forces in a strategic alliance to form the world’s largest car rental network, with more than 1.2 million vehicles and 13,000 locations around the world.
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