Fleet News

Europcar rental charges set to rise

DAILY rental charges at Europcar are set to rise by 5% - 8% across the board in the UK as the firm focuses on profitable business from fleets and private drivers alike. The announcement, which could add more than £3 a day to an average rental, comes as the firm is expected to reveal that losses in the UK were about £15 million last year, down from £54.6 million in 1999.

The increase will be part of a focus at the firm on getting 'paid for what we provide', according to general manager Paul Fleming. He said the rise would be part of a push by the firm to become a top three player in the UK rental market for everything the company does, ranging from receptionists to service levels. The firm is currently fifth in the market.

He said: 'We have had difficulties where we have sold too cheaply and not focused on what we want to be. We have to be a top three player in whatever we do and we are in a much more stable position to do that than we have been in the past.'

The firm will be pushing for growth, increasing its 100 UK locations to about 120, supported by an international business drive by Europcar throughout Europe, including a bid for the UK to become profitable by 2003. The Europcar Group, which announced its annual results in Paris on Monday, had a turnover of about £591 million and pre-tax profits of about £22 million. Rentals increased 8% to 5.5 million compared to 1999.

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