A Growing Demand for Hybrid Rental Cars

By dancurranjr On February 19th, 2009

save-moneyFuel-efficient hybrid cars are becoming the vehicle of choice for many consumers who need to rent a car for a business trip or a vacation.

In fact, companies are expanding their fleets to meet demand.

Thad Cox said he’s always driven energy-efficient vehicles. So when he needed to rent a vehicle recently, he knew what to choose.

“My car, I got in a wreck. It had great gas mileage. I loved my car, except I’ll need to be getting a new one so I was thinking it made sense to get a hybrid vehicle just because of the gas mileage,” Cox said.

Rental car customers have plenty of hybrid options these days.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is opening multiple locations across the country that feature hybrids. 150 new hybrids are being sent to the company’s locations at Austin Bergstrom International Airport and on Fifth Street.

Enterprise said customers are asking for the hybrids and more are being ordered.

“This is something that our customers are requesting, so it’s great that we’re working with a company that’s actually fulfilling that demand from the customers,” John Hampton of Enterprise said.

Hybrid rental fleets are growing across the board.

Enterprise, along with its companies National and Alamo, will have the largest fuel-efficient fleet in the industry. Budget and Avis, which are owned by the same company, have more than two thousand gas/electric hybrids. A spokesperson for Hertz said demand is so big, they now have three thousand hybrids, up from one thousand a year ago.

There could be even more hybrid rentals across the industry, but supplies are limited.

“We’ll continue to work with the manufacturers to gain more in our fleet, but I think we’ve started in the right direction by more than doubling our fleet here,” Hampton said.

Expect to pay more for a hybrid rental car, though. Enterprise said the average cost of a rental Prius in Austin is forty-nine dollars per day. Budget and Avis said their hybrids cost about ten to twenty dollars more than a comparable standard model.

Source: Fox News Austin

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