Green With Your Car Rental
Hybrid car rentals provide motorists the same opportunity to reduce emissions and abide by a green lifestyle as alternative fuel vehicle owners. Whether traveling for business or for pleasure, hybrid car rentals can help you lower your travel costs and protect the environment from unnecessary emissions.
Just as automotive buying trends have shifted towards smaller, more fuel-efficient models, so too has the major domestic rental market. From fuel-efficient vehicles to hybrid and flex-fuel models, the rental industry has turned green with environmentally-friendly driving options.
Before You Book
If you're hoping to book a hybrid for your next vacation, remember to check availability well in advance. While green car rentals are becoming more prevalent, not every independent car rental agency, or major chain for that matter, features flex-fuel vehicles in their fleet. A quick search using the Car Rental Express comparison tool will help you target agencies that currently feature hybrid models.
Additionally, traveler should anticipate paying more for a hybrid rental than a regular economy car. Luckily, the money you'll save in gasoline normally offsets this increased base rate.
Why Driving Green Makes Sense
Environmentally-friend car rentals are becoming increasingly popular all across the country and around the world. These alternative rental vehicles offer significant environmental benefits including:
• Reduced greenhouse gases
Hybrid car rentals use less fuel, which results in less emissions. When accelerating, hybrid car rental models run off of an electric motor, rather than a gasoline-powered one. This curtails the production of global-warming causing tailpipe emissions. According to Care2.com, hybrid cars can reduce air pollution by as much as 90% over a standard petrol-powered vehicle.
• Lower fuel consumption
Green car rentals have excellent fuel economy, thanks to ingenious electric engines and aerodynamic designs. These savings can really add up, especially If you're planning on driving a long distance during your vacation.
• Sophisticated design
Did you know that a standard car rental consumes the same amount of gas required to drive approximately one mile while idling for just two minutes? Hybrid car rentals, on the other hand, shift to electric power when idling, saving you money and reducing tailpipe emissions.
While the number of hybrid rentals in a car rental company's fleet may give some indication of the organization's commitment to fuel efficiency, it's not the only statistic worth considering. If possible, contact your potential rental company and ask them about the average fuel efficiency of their entire fleet.
Choose Green Rentals in the City
It's important to note that most hybrid vehicles has a somewhat backwards fuel efficiency rating. While standard vehicles typically get better mileage on the highway, hybrid car rentals are known for posting big numbers in the city. This happens because the gas engines in hybrid car rentals turn off when idling. Hybrids also run almost entirely on their electric motor when traveling at low speeds. The gas engine only kicks in when the vehicle is required to accelerate and/or maintain a faster speed. As such, hybrid car rentals, like the Toyota Prius, average 48 miles per gallon in the city, versus 45 mpg on the highway.
A few years ago, it was virtually impossible to find a rental fleet that featured hybrid vehicles. Now, with a little foresight, you can enjoy your vacation from behind the wheel of an environmentally-friendly vehicle. Travelers who are interested in fuel economy, but who are unable to reserve a green car rental due to limited availability, are encouraged to do the next best thing and book the most efficient rental "class" that meets their needs. Opting for a compact car rather than a full-sized sedan will help you save fuel and reduce emissions.