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Avis reveals surge in posh motor hires as Brits vie to 'Keep up with the Joneses'


The trend doesn’t stop at cars – we’re keeping up appearances with handbags, designer clothes and even speed boats...

New research from Avis highlights that, in the wake of the recession, we are increasingly becoming a nation of fakers to ‘Keep up with the Joneses’ and make a winning first impression.

Latest sales data for Avis highlights a four-fold increase year-on-year of posh motor hires from its luxury Select Series range, as Brits clamber to bag a flash set of wheels.

Occasions for which Brits look to upgrade to a drive beyond their pay packet include: 

  • Attending a friend’s wedding (37%) 
  • Going on a date (29%) 
  • Attending a school reunion (28%) 
  • Going for a job interview (26%) 
  • Attending a party with an ‘ex’ on the guest list (19%) 
  • Meeting the in-laws (14%)

Over a third (35%) admit the reason for hiring a luxurious car would be to give the impression they are doing well for themselves, to stand out from the crowd (18%) and to be taken more seriously (14%). Brits also agree that appearing to lead a lavish lifestyle gives a better first impression (29%), means people are nicer to you (27%) and assume you earn more money (27%).

Hiring on the cheap:

Brits wanting to ‘keep up appearances’ can borrow head-turning cars for a fraction of the price with a week’s hire from Avis’ Select Series costing as little as £18 per day: 

  • BMW 5 Series Cost from: £30,000 Hire from: £113 per day 
  • Audi A4 Cost from £23,000 Hire from: £63 per day 
  • Volvo XC90 Cost from: £32,000 Hire from: £81 per day 
  • VW Golf Cabriolet Cost from: £29,000 Hire from: £33 per day

For those looking for an even more luxurious motor, high end cars can be hired from Avis’ Prestige range from: 

  • Mercedes E Class Cabriolet Cost from: £38,000 Hire from: £124 per day** 
  • Range Rover Sport Cost from: £67,000 Hire from: £188 per day** 
  • Porsche Cayenne Cost from: £88,000 Hire from: £188 per day** 
  • Ferrari 458 Italia Cost from: £178,000 Hire from: £841 per day**

Dr. Peter Collett, psychologist and author of Driving Passion: The Psychology of the Car comments: "When people hire a car, one of their concerns is what impact the car they’ve selected is likely to have on people they encounter. For example driving a BMW 5 Series gives others the impression you’re totally in control, so it’s the surest way to turbo-charge your image and polish up your reputation! While racy movies have lent enormous cachet to the Audi brand by depicting futuristic models performing super-automotive feats. Drivers of this car can expect to give the impression they are daring and more willing to take risks."

The trend for hiring luxury items doesn’t stop at cars either with the following items topping Brits wish list of head turning hires: 

  • Clothes and shoes (48%) 
  • Plush holiday homes (36%) 
  • Flash furniture and electronics (35%) 
  • Expensive jewellery (27%) 
  • Handbags (24%) 
  • Speed boats (23%) 
  • Designer sunglasses (13%)

In fact, over a third (35%) of us are hiring more posh goods than we did a few years ago citing the importance of ‘keeping up appearances’ in the current economic climate (18%) as a key driver. A quarter (25%) admit wanting the best that money can buy even when the price tag is too high, while some simply feel more pressure to be seen to have the best of everything (15%).

The shallower amongst us agree that hiring is the ultimate way to show-off to friends and family (6%) and means living the life of a celebrity is within grasp (8%). It’s not surprising then that for those hiring to make a good impression, almost two-thirds (61%) would keep it a secret.

Kaye Ceille, Managing Director, Avis Budget UK comments: "Our research clearly shows that for Brits, first impressions really do count and when it comes to standing out from the crowd, having a flash set of wheels is the ultimate way to grab attention and get people talking.

"With this in mind, we’ve created profiles of our Select Series cars, whereby customers can understand what their choice of vehicle really says about them as a person and what reaction they can expect to receive from onlookers. We hope our customers will really reap the benefits from this additional insight and ensure they are picking the right motor for them."

The Avis Select Series offers customers a guaranteed make and model of car, and vehicle profiles can be viewed online prior to booking at avis.co.uk/select-series or by calling 0844 581 8181. Avis has recently introduced a new fleet of cars to the series, including: Fiat 500, Audi A1, Citroen DS3, BMW 1 Series, Audi A4, VW Scirocco, VW Golf Cabriolet, VW Sharan, Volvo XC90, BMW 5 Series and VW Golf Bluemotion. To view the profiles we’ve created visit http://www.avis.co.uk/cars.

The Avis Prestige range includes a variety of luxury vehicles, including: Audi A8, Audi A5 Sportback, Ferrari 458 italia, Jaguar XF, Jaguar XJ Premium, Mercedes E Class Carbiolet, Porsche 911 Carrera S, Porsche Cayenne 4 x 4, Range Rover Sport Autobiography 4 x 4. To book, visit http://www.avis.co.uk/UKfleet/4-Prestige or call +44 (0) 20 7591 0444.


Notes to editors
Research was undertaken by OnePoll with 2,000 British adults in April 2012.
* Increase is based on an average taken from January 2011 – December 2011.
** Prices based on one week’s rental from central London for 25th June – 2nd July 2012 and were correct as of 22nd May 2012 .