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Fewer accidents hit car rentals

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Fewer accidents as people cut back on their mileage in order to reduce travel costs and car insurance premiums have proved a black spot for replacement specialist Accident Exchange.

The company reports that staff pay, benefits, bonuses and pension contributions from board level down are being reduced as the recession takes its toll.

The moves will save the Birmingham-based group £3 million a year, and follows the axing of 56 jobs last year.

The company rents vehicles to motorists after a crash, and has seen rental levels fall by 3% for the four months to February 28 compared with last year.

The number of days that vehicles are rented out is down by 7%, because repairs are taking less time thanks to more spare capacity in garages amid the depressed market.

The company reports underlying profits are down by more than half to £3.4 million from £8.6 million in the six months to October 31.

The credit crunch and fuel-price bubble last year saw cash-strapped Britons increasingly turn to public transport in an effort to save money.

© Press Association 2009