UXBRIDGE, England, October 14, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Connect by Hertz, The Hertz Corporation's global car sharing club, has announced its second contract with a university in the United Kingdom. University of Reading, one of the UK's top research-intensive universities, now offers its students and staff the opportunity to reserve and collect fuel-efficient and eco-friendly Fiat 500 Connect cars from campus.

The cars are available to hire from GBP3.95 per hour, at any time of day or night, and can be booked over the phone, using an I-phone, or by visiting the http://www.connectbyhertz.com website. The rate includes insurance, fuel, maintenance, cleaning, roadside assistance and London's congestion charge. As part of this exclusive partnership, the first annual membership fee of GBP50 has also been waived for all University of Reading students and staff.

The compact Fiat 500 offers best-in-class safety features, an anti-pollution system featuring Start Stop technology, and a very low CO2 output of less than 120g/km. The cars are equipped with Fiat's 'BlueMe' system, a hands-free voice-activated entertainment and communication system with iPod/MP3 player connectivity. The club car also incorporates keyless entry via a smart chip-enabled Connect Card.

Connect by Hertz formally launched this initiative during the University's Fresher's Fair on 6th and 7th October, 2010. The car club will be promoted further on campus during the university's Green Week in November with a special exhibition on 9th November, 2010.

Michel Taride, President of Hertz International, said: It is a pleasure to work with University of Reading in offering these great benefits to their students and staff. This partnership highlights the growing popularity of car-sharing amongst universities seeking green solutions which are both convenient and cost-effective. The other attraction of this scheme lies in its simplicity- members can just click, book and drive away.

Denise Shearman, Head of Campus Services at the University of Reading, commented: We are delighted to be able to offer the Connect by Hertz car sharing scheme to our staff and students. The University of Reading is committed to reducing the impact on our natural environment and we always welcome ideas which will assist us in achieving this goal. The Connect by Hertz car share initiative is an excellent addition to our existing environmental policies. The car club will not only help us in cutting down on our carbon emissions but will also contribute to our local community by reducing traffic congestion and the pressure for residents' parking spaces.

Connect by Hertz background information

The fleet of Connect by Hertz is carefully chosen based on a set of aggressive standards established in the categories of manufacturing/maintenance quality, environmental sustainability, safety, and a blend of fun and functionality. The fleet includes: Alfa Romeo Mito, MINI Cooper D, Fiat 500, Ford Focus and Ford Transit LWB Vans (London), MINI Cooper D, Opel Meriva and Opel Corsa (Paris), MINI Cooper D, Ford Focus and Nissan Pixo (Berlin), MINI Cooper D, Toyota Yaris and Toyota Verso (Madrid) and Toyota Prius (New York City).

Connect by Hertz adapts the latest in end-to-end telematics to further provide superior customer service. Upon making a reservation, each member receives an email confirmation on bookings as well as a SMS alert indicating the reserved car's license plate and location. To unlock and engage the vehicle, members simply need to swipe their card over the car's radio-frequency identification (RFID) reader.

About the University of Reading

The University of Reading is a renowned research-intensive university, ranked in the World Top 200. The University is making huge strides towards creating a green university, as evidenced by a leap of 43 places in the People Planet's Green League 2010. More information about the University's work in this area at http://www.reading.ac.uk/cleanandgreen

About Hertz

Hertz is the world's largest general use car rental company, operating from over 8,200 corporate locations in 146 countries. Hertz is now in its 91st year of delivering quality car rental solutions to leisure and corporate customers. Product and service innovations such as Hertz #1 Club Gold, specially designed NeverLost satellite navigation systems, Hertz in-car DVD Entertainment and unique cars offered through the company's Prestige, Fun and Green Collections, set Hertz apart from the competition.

Website: http://www.connectbyhertz.com

For Connect by Hertz news and promotions follow us on Twitter: @ConnectByHertz

Caroline Trotman-Dickenson caroline.trotman-dickenson@ketchumpleon.com / +44(0)20-7611-3686 Alicia Mistry alicia.mistry@ketchumpleon.com / +44(0)20-7611-3574

SOURCE: Hertz

CONTACT: Caroline Trotman-Dickenson,caroline.trotman-dickenson@ketchumpleon.com / +44(0)20-7611-3686, AliciaMistry, alicia.mistry@ketchumpleon.com / +44(0)20-7611-3574