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BUDGET RENT A CAR LEADER IN EFFORTS FOR FLORIDA STATE TO CHANGE DISTRIBUTION METHOD OF NEW LICENSE PLATES

 LISLE, Ill., April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Recognizing early on the possible dangers created for tourists driving in Florida with car rental company signage on the vehicle, Budget Rent a Car implemented a policy more than a year ago that the front license plate and bumper stickers with the company logo be removed from all its Florida vehicles.
 While applauding Florida Governor Lawton Chile's recent executive order for rental car companies to abandon the special license plates beginning with the letter Y or Z, Budget Rent a Car approached the state nearly one month ago to request the state make new, generic license plates available to car rental companies on a bulk basis to help expedite the replacement process.
 "We are pleased that the Florida State Department of Highway and Safety yesterday gave car rental companies the green light on this new process, as we had suggested some time ago, to help us more quickly be able to replace the former license plates which were easily identifiable as a rental vehicle," said William N. Plamondon, president and chief executive officer of Budget Rent a Car. "We have already carried out that process on more than 1,000 of our cars, mostly those in south Florida because of recent problems in that area."
 As a result of this new bulk distribution process, Budget announced today its plan to convert all license plates on its 20,000+ fleet within 30 days. "South Florida will be the primary focus and we will get to the rest of Florida as soon as possible," said Plamondon.
 In light of the recent escalation of crimes against tourists in the Miami area, Budget created and distributed a safety tip sheet at its Miami location for the last month. It will be distributed in Spanish and German at the beginning of next week.
 "Our goal in creating this special safety tip list was to help Miami visitors avoid trouble from the moment they step off the plane," said Plamondon. "Tourists can encounter trouble at anytime, anywhere so they need to be reminded of safety tips, and we think this list helps."
 At the same time, Budget's rental counter agents have been reminded in recent months about the importance of providing verbal warnings to tourists to use caution when traveling anywhere in the state. In addition, they also inform travelers about a number of safety services and equipment that they might like to take advantage of, including: cellular phones in case they get lost or if they have car troubles like a flat tire; Point-to-Point computerized directions system (which comes in several different languages) offers customized step-by-step directions to get customers to virtually any metropolitan area address as well as frequently requested hotels, restaurants and tourist sites; and local maps for additional reference.
 "We hope our customers take advantage of our safety equipment and services and would like to think our efforts to make our vehicles safer for tourists by removing our corporate signage has helped keep our customers out of harm's way," said Plamondon. "We commend the state for their efforts to do everything they can to make tourists can feel confident when they visit the great state of Florida."
 Budget Rent a Car is the world's third largest car and truck rental system of nearly 3,200 corporate- and franchise-owned locations including more than 790 airport locations in over 110 countries and territories. Budget has more than 1,200 locations in the United States, including more than 300 airport locations.
 -0- 4/8/93
 /CONTACT: Janice Cain of Budget Rent a Car, 708-955-7059, or at home, 312-883-4997/


CO: Budget Rent a Car ST: Illinois IN: LEI SU:

TS -- NY027 -- 4160 04/08/93 10:50 EDT
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Date:Apr 8, 1993
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