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Alamo’s Branch Survey Reveals All

Alamo Rent A Car likes to think it has a car for every occasion and every walk of life, but the stories its staff has to tell have to be heard to be believed. A survey of its 170 branches in the UK has found that customers can be very creative when it comes to reasons for returning late or damaged cars. Although sometimes the events are so far fetched they must be true – as in the case of a lady phoning in Birmingham for replacement keys after a magpie swooped down and stole them off the car roof. Luckily Alamo staff go the extra mile and delivered the lady some new keys.

Strangest Reasons for Damage

• A customer in Bristol said, “I hit a cow crossing the road”
• “I didn’t see the wall until I’d reversed into it,” offered a customer in Oxford
• “A pheasant came out of nowhere and got stuck in the grill” was the reason given by another customer in Edinburgh
• “I just woke up one morning and it was there” was the explanation given by a man in Newcastle who returned a car with caved in wings, doors and wheel arch

Unusual Reasons for returning a car late

• “I was running late for the plane”
• One customer got lost for 6 hours driving around Leeds, she called the branch in tears several times, and eventually a member of staff went out to collect her.
• “I didn’t realise it had to be back”

Surprising Items Left in the Car

• False teeth • Black leather whip
• A false leg • A cat in the engine
• G-string in the sun visor • Wedding dress

Kim Brown UK Marketing Director for Alamo Rent A Car comments, “We always try to be understanding when cars are returned late and if the car is damaged we have a clear process to manage the claim. But some of the stories we hear make the mind boggle and we have to bear in mind that truth is often stranger than fiction – if our rental cars could talk, I’m sure they’d agree.”

September 2005
Notes to editors:

In the UK, Alamo Rent A Car has over 170 locations and a fleet of 40,000 cars.

Alamo was the winner of the Best Daily Rental Company in the prestigious Daily Telegraph Travel Awards 2004.

Alamo also won the Best Call Centre Training Award in the prestigious European Call Centre Awards for 2004.

Alamo now operates in 83 countries worldwide, with nearly 3,200 locations and a fleet in excess of 350,000.

Cars in the UK can be booked online at

Together, the Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental brands make up one of the world's largest car rental companies, with annual revenue of $2.4 billion in 2002. With headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the worldwide organisation employs more than 14,000 associates.
For further press information please contact Alison Reeson, Marie Woods or Hazel Gidley at HSL, Churcham House, 1 Bridgeman Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 9AJ. Telephone: 020 8977 9132. Fax: 020 8 977 5200.

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