Europcar, the leader in car rental services in Europe, has lodged an appeal against the March 11, 2011 judgment made by the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance. In this judgment, the Court rejected Europcar’s copyright infringement suit in connection with the “Autolib’” name and Europcar’s “AutoLiberté” trademark.
Created in 2000 and launched in France in 2001, the AutoLiberté service provides city residents with the opportunity to use a car on demand while saving money through a flexible subscription system.
Deployed throughout France, AutoLiberté has grown substantially since 2001, especially in big cities such as Paris, Marseille and Lyon. These cities represent one-third of the total number of subscriptions, or 3,000 in 2010. In the greater Paris area, AutoLiberté is available in 41 rental locations, including 14 within the city limits.
Thanks to its success, the AutoLiberté concept has been exported to the United Kingdom, where it is known as “Europcar Club.”
This innovative service makes it possible to meet the transportation needs of those who don’t use their own car anymore, thereby promoting sustainable mobility. The subscriber can choose a vehicle, time and length of rental according to his or her needs. It can be an economical, compact car for travel in and around the city center, or a family-sized vehicle for weekend trips and vacations.
With AutoLiberté, it is possible to change options whenever the subscriber wants, to drop off the vehicle anywhere in France, and—since 2009—to have a car delivered to the driver, thanks to Europcar’s “Mon Voiturier” (my valet) service. AutoLiberté subscribers are also free from burdens, such as maintenance charges, insurance fees and technical controls, while benefiting from special rates. A simulation of the potential savings by using AutoLiberté can be seen at http://www.europcar.fr/ or //europcarclub.europcar.co.uk.
In addition, in keeping with Europcar’s fleet management policy, the cars available through the AutoLiberté service are between 5 and 7 months old on average; all cars are replaced once they reach 8 months old. This policy, which is specific to Europcar, guarantees subscribers a nearly new car every time and limits carbon emissions. Environmental considerations are the second most prevalent reason subscribers point to for abandoning ownership of their own car, after the cost of ownership.
Combining flexibility and choice, AutoLiberté offers 3 different rates—easy, maxi and premium—depending on the frequency of rental and vehicle model. These packages represent a discount of up to 60% compared with the published rates.
AutoLiberté Easy - for those with a recurring need for additional means of transportation to complement their existing ones (50 days per year) – monthly subscription of €25 (small city car rental starting from €26/day in low season)
AutoLiberté Maxi - for those needing a replacement of their personal vehicle (more than 100 days a year) – monthly subscription of €50 (small city car rental starting from €22/day).
AutoLiberté Premium - the same as the AutoLiberté Maxi option but also including a line of prestige cars – Monthly subscription of €75 (small city car rental from €22/day and cars from the Fun & Prestige category starting from €132/day for a Mercedes SLK 280).