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National Car Rental, the UK’s leading car rental company hears many valid reasons for cars being returned late or damaged. However, some of the reasons offered in the past year defy explanation – and indeed – with a birth of a baby girl in one of its cars, (the proud parents consequently called her Karan) – it is clear that although the life of a rental car is short (typically 6 months from new) it often has some colourful experiences.

National surveyed its 145 branches over a year across the UK and had the following feedback:

STRANGEST REASONS FOR DAMAGE

“I wasn’t used to wearing high heels” was the reason provided by a man dressed as a woman who returned a damaged 4x4 he had rented.

“We were attacked by monkeys” claimed a customer who had driven through Longleat animal enclosure.

“A stag jumped over the wall” was the reason given by a customer in Glasgow.

“I hit a square roundabout” was the cause for damage to a vehicle in Edinburgh.

“I thought I could damage the car as I had paid £500 deposit.” (The deposit is refunded if no damage has been caused at the end of the rental.) said one customer in London.

“It’s the rock’s fault – it got in the way” claimed a customer in Birmingham when she backed into a rock in a field.

“The road was too narrow and we ran into a sheep” claimed a customer who had hired a car in Exeter.

UNUSUAL REASONS FOR RETURNING A CAR LATE:

“I thought Scotland was on a different time zone.”

“I’ve lost the car” A customer had forgotten where he parked the car.

An Australian customer said “The heater wasn’t working properly it was stuck on full heat that made my shoes melt, I couldn’t drive properly after that” The driver claimed he had to make several stops as a result.

“I forgot the clocks went forward – I’m only an hour late rather than two”

SURPRISING ITEMS LEFT IN THE CAR

A Ginger toupee
Tumble dryer
A package from Ann Summers
Rocking Horse
Underwear
Transplant Organ Box
False Leg
Wheelchair

Kim Brown, Marketing Director for National said: “We are always sympathetic when cars are returned late and obviously if the car is damaged we have a clear process for the management of the claim. However, it is amazing some of the explanations we hear and the ‘secret life’ our rental cars have whilst out on a booking.

- ENDS –

Notes to editors:
In the UK, National Car Rental has 145 locations and a fleet of 40,000 vehicles.

National Car Rental is the winner of the Best Daily Rental Company Award in the Fleet News Awards 2004 – the tenth year that the company has won this prestigious award.

National is also winner of the Daily Rental Service Award in the Fleet Excellence Awards 2003 and 2004, the Innovation Award in the Fleet World Honours 2004, the Business Car Services Award in the Business Travel World Awards 2003 and European Car Rental Company 2003 judged by the Institute of Transport Management (EITM) Awards Committee. National was also voted one of the Best Workplaces in the UK, in the Financial Times 50 Best Workplaces in the UK survey for 2003.

Cars and vans in the UK can be booked online at www.nationalcar.co.uk

National Car Rental now operates in over 80 countries worldwide, with nearly 3,200 locations and a fleet in excess of 350,000.

For further press information please contact Alison Reeson, Marie Woods, Cecile Stearn, Sarah Thorne or Sarah Samee at HSL, Churcham House, 1 Bridgeman Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 9AJ. Telephone: 020 8977 9132. Fax: 020 8977 5200.






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