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‘Breaking down’ is the biggest worry on long trips say 44% of motorists driving cars older than 6 years

By Kyle Linsay
Monday, July 27, 2015 - 12:00

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The latest research* from Europcar, the leader in car hire services in Europe, reveals that 56% of motorists driving cars aged six years or older pack a picnic before taking a long journey. But only 12% get their car serviced ahead of a big trip.  And, with only one in five drivers of cars aged 6 years or older saying they are covered by roadside assistance, breaking down is the second biggest worry (44%) on long car journeys, after traffic congestion at 59%.

With the average age of cars on Britain’s roads now over seven years**, Europcar is highlighting the advantages of car hire as a safe, reliable and flexible alternative for UK families ahead of the big Summer get-away.

“It’s clear from our research that breaking down is a major concern for drivers, but it seems that many take long trips in older vehicles without doing some of the basic car maintenance checks”, said Ken McCall, Managing Director, Europcar UK Group.

“Our research revealed that the top three car checks before a long journey are fuel (82%), tyres (65%) and windscreen wash (64%).  Interestingly checking the engine oil is topped up (63%) came lower than checking the windscreen wash – and checking the water coolant came even further down the list with only just over half (56%) of respondents saying they do this before embarking on a long journey.  We were also interested to find that only just over a third (37%) said they check all the light bulbs are working, despite this being a legal requirement on UK roads.”

The other challenge when planning to use the family car for long Summer trips is finding room for all the baggage and passengers.  The Europcar research revealed that only 30% of motorists check the car has been safely loaded before heading off.

“Our goal is to take the stress out of the long Summer holiday journeys by providing motorists with access to a wide range of vehicles, to suit every type of need, from the compact car for city breaks to people carriers and estates for when the whole family are going away”, continued Ken McCall.

“We also focus on providing peace of mind by operating a fleet of vehicles generally less than 8 months old.  All vehicles on the Europcar fleet come with roadside assistance, at no extra cost, plus there are distinct fuel efficiency benefits of driving a younger car.”

Key Survey Findings

Top 10 Car Checks

  1. Top up the Fuel
  2. Check Tyre Pressure
  3. Check windscreen wash
  4. Check oil
  5. Top up water coolant
  6. Check light bulbs
  7. Check the car is safely loaded
  8. Set Sat Nav for all the key locations
  9. Make sure the car has been recently serviced
  10. Check the air con and heating

Top 10 Travel worries

  1. Traffic and congestion
  2. Breaking down
  3. Having an accident
  4. Getting lost
  5. Driving in bad weather
  6. Driving when tired
  7. Arriving on time
  8. Keeping the kids occupied
  9. Running out of fuel
  10. Getting back pain

Hiring a car for holidays offers travellers the freedom they need to explore and the convenience of a well-maintained vehicle that’s fit for the trip. Europcar has over 250 locations across the UK and the widest choice of vehicles. Customers can benefit from Europcar’s free delivery and collection service***, making it the ideal choice for busy families at any time of year. Plus, Europcar vehicles are fully covered by 24 hour roadside assistance at no extra cost, as well as a damage liability and theft waiver, for added peace of mind on long journeys.

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