Category Archives: Car Pooling

Europcar Lands Touch-Screen Technology At Heathrow

Europcar, the European leader in car hire, continues to show the way in customer experience by adding to its series of innovative products, such as weDeliver and its recently released iPhone App, with the introduction of state-of-the-art touch-screen technology at its Heathrow Terminal 5 station. The touch-screen, which allows customers to plan their trip, is the first of its kind for any car hire company in Europe or the world.

From August, travellers arriving at Heathrow T5 will hit the ground running thanks to the Microsoft Surface – a 30-inch touch-screen inbuilt to an interactive table and unique software designed especially by Europcar to give customers a virtual guide to their location, allowing users to draw routes – whether around a small town or across continents, using highly detailed maps provided by search engine, Bing.

Europcar customers will be able to zoom in on locations, flip between screens and mark out a variety of points of interest, including hotels and museums, festivals, music venues and theme parks, all of which can be added to their itinerary.

For customers looking for particular attractions, the touch-screen also enables users to map out themed routes, whether that be wine buffs planning a tour of vineyards, or history lovers developing a route through castles, museums and other historical places. They can then print their itinerary, or send it direct to their smart phones or PDA using Bluetooth or wireless.

Danny Higgins, Head of eCommerce at Europcar, commented: “We are constantly looking for ways of putting ourselves at the vanguard of the ultimate customer experience and this is just the start for Europcar embracing this exciting new technology. We pride ourselves on innovation and look forward to adding the Surface to our range of cutting edge products and services that all go toward helping make the customer’s journey as enjoyable as possible.”

Via EPR Network
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Europcar Reveal The Cost Of Dormant Urban Cars To Motorists

Europcar has revealed new research that shows the cost of dormant urban motors is £65bn.

Europcar Reveal The Cost Of Dormant Urban Cars To Motorists

Parked cars clogging up residential roads in the UK’s cities is a long-familiar sight, but the cost of dormant urban motors (DUMs) is today revealed to be £65bn a year*.

According to new research by Europcar, which has just launched its free WeDeliver service of vehicles to customers’ door, car ownership for the time-poor city dwellers costs them £3.50 for every mile they cover – excluding fuel.

On average a city car owner only spends 4 hours, 40 minutes at the wheel each week – meaning that their car remains parked for 97% of the time**.

With the depreciation of their car***, and the cumulative with costs for maintenance, insurance, fines and parking totalling £5,328.96 a year, it’s no wonder that nearly half (48%) would sell their car if there was a convenient alternative to ownership.

The nature of city life also means that two thirds (66.6%) of car owners still regularly opt to use public transport, cycle or walk to cover short distances and avoid congestion or parking stress.

Over half (51%) admit that expense is the most stressful part of owning a car, a quarter (24%) cite maintenance, while 44% say that their car has been damaged or vandalised due to being left parked outside for prolonged periods of time.

Catriona Lougher, Marketing Director at Europcar commented: “This research shows how busy lifestyles and the nature of urban living and travel has filled out cities with dormant urban motors.

“Europcar has developed a free weDeliver service as a solution to this trend, meaning would-be motorists can have a vehicle dropped off at their door at a time that suits them and picked up again when they’re finished with it – for free. That’s perfect for Brits in cities who feel they don’t use their car often enough, but want the freedom of a car when they want do to travel.”

WeDeliver can be the perfect stress busting solution for the city dweller. The new service includes free delivery within 15 miles of an address and offers a rather speedy one hour delivery window even in Britain’s busiest city, London. To make things even easier customers can now have their car delivered to a home, business or even hotel address**** making car rental queues a thing of the past.

Via EPR Network
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Paragon Car And Van Rental of Chicago , IL Announces The Retirement Of An Era

Joe Bellino respected Chicago businessperson started in the car rental business in 1961, working for Hertz Rent-a-car. This is where he fell in love with the auto rental business. He later became District Manager of the greater Chicago area and grew the business successfully. Being an entrepreneur, Bellino later seized an opportunity to come on board with Courtesy Lease, a privately owned company of Mr. Joe Lesniak and Mr. Lee Vince. Bellino and managed the company at Paragon’s current location 2550 N Cicero Avenue. Joe bought out both owners by 1972 and became the sole owner of Paragon Auto Rental.

From father to sons, Phil started the second generation of Paragon, joining his father in 1981 and shortly there after managing the business. Three years later, Brother Michael got his first part-time job at Paragon while still in High School. By the mid 80’s Michael has signed on full time with the family business as Paragon’s Office Manager. Both brothers are graduates of York High School, married and each have two kids, together they run the day-to-day operations as Joe Bellino announces his full retirement.

Even in today’s economy, Paragon Auto Rental business is booming. “People are still traveling, for work and vacation and Driving is more economical then flying”. Says Phil Bellino, “Paragon Auto Rental is the only company in the area that rents vans in-state and out-of-state including Canada and Mexico. Also, customers know they never need a coupon or senior discount because EVERYBODY GETS THE BEST PRICE.

Today, Paragon has added a new website at: http://ParagonAutoRental.com and Joe Bellino is fully retired and living in sunny Florida with his wife (Mom) Mary. Paragon Car & Van Rental caters to the multiple person trip, vacation, moving, music gigs and discount car and all size van rentals. Renting for the day, week or month in state and out of state including Mexico and Canada. You will speak directly with our owners, Phil and Mike Bellino, who will find you the perfect car and price for all of your car rental needs.

Via EPR Network
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Europcar Making Driving To The Continent Easier

Europcar, the UK’s leading car hire company is going the extra mile to take the hassle out of its customers’ travel plans as the travel industry recovers from the effects of the volcanic ash cloud.

Europcar Making Driving To The Continent Easier

To help with the situation Europcar has made a huge effort to re-distribute its fleet to where its services are needed most by focusing on ferry ports, specifically along the Southern coast of the UK, and into Central London where a surge in demand is expected.

Additionally, Europcar is reminding customers needing to travel to Mainland Europe from the UK that it provides a straightforward and safe option with its rentals. With its EuropDrive package, customers are fully covered against breakdown overseas, provided with RAC driving abroad advice and breakdown contact numbers as well as a VE103 form. EuropDrive be booked online or at the station when picking up the car, however all cars will need to be returned to the UK.

Additional flexibility is also being offered for travellers whose plans remain unsure. Customers who have chosen to pay on collection and whose travel plans change are able to cancel their booking free of charge up to two hours before the rental is due to start.

Via EPR Network
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Europcar Launch Sale To Beat The Winter Blues

Europcar has launched its New Year sale with up to 50% discount on UK car hire in January 2010. With free delivery on hires of 2 days or more, Europcar is making it easy for customers to enjoy a quick escape in a hire car for a New Year bargain break or a larger vehicle for a splurge at the sales, while ensuring it doesn’t have to break the bank.

The RAC Cost of Motoring Index 2009 revealed that many households have downsized the family car to save costs. Europcar’s winter offer means families can have swift and easy access to a larger vehicle or a prestige car hire just for the time they need it without the hassle and cost of ownership. And with the cold days and long dark nights of New Year, they can enjoy peace of mind that the vehicle has been fully maintained and is covered by 24 hour roadside assistance.

“At the start of the year, money’s often too tight to mention,” said Catrioner Lougher, Marketing Director for Europcar UK Group. “Our up to half price deal makes UK car hire more affordable than ever, enabling families to get out on the road for less and in comfort, while saving wear and tear on the family car.”

This offer is available across the Europcar fleet at a wide range of locations including major airports, ideal for families who need a large hire car to Heathrow Airport to fit everything in for winter ski or sun break.

This offer is available to those booking by the 31st of January and valid from the 4th of January to the 30th of June although some specific dates may be excluded. The offer is valid for participating branches only and standard terms and conditions apply. Further information on the half price car hire offer is available through the Europcar website.

Via EPR Network
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85% Of Brits Have Changed Car Use To Cut Costs

The recession has forced a change in driver behaviour according to a new survey from Europcar, the UK’s leading vehicle hire company. 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 money and 73% said they’d consider hiring a car to save wear and tear and maintenance costs on their own car.

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 do so in 2010. In addition, 42% currently leave their own car at home and use car hire for weekend breaks while 49% of respondents confirmed that they plan to use vehicle hire for weekend breaks in 2010. This also creates the possibility for prestige or luxury car hire to make longer journeys even more comfortable.

Catriona Lougher, Marketing Director for Europcar said: “What this survey has told us is that motorists are getting savvier about the ways in which they keep their own cars in good condition and keep 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.”

Via EPR Network
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EuropcarClub Launches in the UK

Europcar, the UK’s leading vehicle hire company, has launched EuropcarClub to offer the membership benefits of a car club with the flexibility of daily hire. The UK launch follows a successful roll out in France in 2008.

Bringing a fresh approach to car clubs, EuropcarClub is a subscription based service with two tiers – Easy and Premium. The new service is ideal for those who have decided to opt out of second car ownership but still want the flexibility of different cars to suit different demands or for those who just want to find ways to drive greener. EuropcarClub also offers a solution to businesses who don’t want the financial commitment of leasing or buying company cars.

The launch comes off the back of recent research conducted by Europcar* which found that across Europe, Britons are the most open to the idea of car sharing (34% vs. 28% for the rest of Europe), with the age group most open to giving up car ownership being 18 to 34 year olds.

The Europcar Club ‘Easy’ subscription promises members low rates on daily hire of any vehicle size or type – f r o m compacts to MPVs and vans – with no additional charges for excess cover, one way hires or additional drivers who are also members. Those who subscribe to EuropcarClub’s ‘Premium’ service will get discounted rates on all vehicles on Europcar’s fleet including Prestige f r o m Europcar which offers some of the most coveted vehicles on the road today.

All customers are guaranteed vehicles that are, on average, just 6 months old and can select a car group by its average CO2 emissions. In fact Europcar’s fuel-efficient and low emissions cars use 33% less petrol than the average car on the road.

Catriona Lougher, Marketing Director for Europcar said: “EuropcarClub is all about flexibility and cost-savings. Members can change cars on demand, leave a vehicle at any Europcar location and benefit f  r o m fantastic rates all year long. With no worries over depreciation, tax, maintenance and roadside assistance, they can enjoy access to vehicles suited for the job, the occasion or their mood. We believe EuropcarClub takes the car club concept to the next level and we are committed to be at the forefront of delivering transport solutions to meet the needs of today’s cost conscious and environmentally focused travellers.”

Via EPR Network
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Ride sharing & car pooling is a phenomenon similar to a second-hand product market

The Kirchweidach, Germany and Mountain View, Calif based start-up called DriJo seems to be on the right track to help people offset their dependence on the high fuel prices by offering an auction-based ride sharing and car pooling matching service, making partial use of Google Maps technology.

Ride sharing & car pooling is a phenomena similar to a second-hand product market. In both cases a great majority of people are not doing it principally for environmental reasons but to save cost, use High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, etc.

It is first and foremost a social stigma and practicality/matching issue to find the right person to share a ride.

Regarding that dilemma eBay overcame three issues in the product market. To have value attributed to seemingly worthless second-hand stuff (which would be the empty seats in ride sharing). To make it socially acceptable to buy second-hand in many industrialized countries. In all cases it is socially accepted to save costs with eBay.

In a visually very attractive way, DriJo offers a simple method to overlay and compare routes of drivers and potential passengers. “Using an auction-based method similar to other popular auction sites should,” according to the CEO Walter, “animate more drivers to offer rides, especially on highly demanded routes”.

DriJo with its auction-based ride-sharing model assures that:

  • supply and demand of routes based on the starting and arrival address are overlaid and compared automatically and shown on maps or satellite pictures, based on the Google Maps database, practically all addresses, even remote ones in the country-side, can be found – similarly to navigation devices,
  • the cost of ride sharing between driver and passenger is determined by supply and demand via an auction, a registration of all users gives additional security, feedback after traveling by both driver and passenger increases the trustworthiness of both of them.

“Our matching also allows comparing longer routes with shorter requests,” according to the CTO Peter, “and the driver can even define an optional pick-up and drop-off zone along the route to be more attractive to potential passengers.”

Paid ride-sharing is popular in both the US and Europe. In the primary countries in Europe and US/Canada it is estimated to be well over 50.000/day.

On a general basis the market of ride sharing agencies is presently badly distributed between many small ad-based institutions. As a consequence it is very difficult to find regional and long-distance trips in one agency. Additionally these companies generate their own databases which in practically all cases do not include addresses or smaller towns.

DriJo is presently owner-financed and focuses via its patented technology and the innovative business model on the redefinition of the ride-sharing market.

Via Web 2.0 Innovations
Via EPR Network
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