Green Car Rental Hacks – Regardless of what you drive at home, renting an eco-friendly car while traveling is a great way to travel green.
These days, many rental car companies are making significant efforts to add hybrids, electric cars, and other fuel-efficient vehicles to their fleets.
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you’ll appreciate these tips for a green car rental.
Look for SmartWay Certified Vehicles
The EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide scores vehicles on a scale of 1 to 10 based on air pollution and greenhouse gas emission.
The vehicles that receive a better than average score in both are designated as SmartWay certified.
So, in comparison to the other vehicles on the market, these are the most environmentally friendly vehicles.
SmartWay Elite status is given to the vehicles that get the highest scores in both categories.
All SmartWay certified vehicles are listed in the EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide.
Before you rent, you can check to see how your rental car ranks.
Many rental car companies will let you know which cars in their fleet have this EPA certification, making choosing a green rental car even easier!
Go Small Rental Car
Between the extra legroom and the added truck space, it can be tempting to go for that upgrade at the car rental counter.
But resist if you can.
Smaller cars are typically much more fuel-efficient, making them more environmentally friendly.
In fact, 100% of the cars in Budget’s economy, compact, and intermediate categories are SmartWay certified.
Plus, you’ll save money on the rental fee and at the pump!
Book Early for Hybrid Rental Cars
Most large car rental companies in the United States (like Avis) now offer hybrids.
But it’s best to book early since they’re considered specialty vehicles.
The downside is that the actual car rental is more expensive, but the gas savings can help make up for the difference in price.
A few years ago, it was difficult to find companies to that offered hybrids.
Thankfully, now you can search for “green cars” on sites like Travelocity, which makes it easier to find a hybrid rental — especially when you book early!
Find a Green Rental Car Company that Specializes in Eco-Friendly Cars
A few rental car companies that specialize in renting eco-friendly cars are starting to pop up around the country.
eQocar in Burbank, California rents only hybrid vehicles.
They have an impressive range of compact cars, luxury vehicles, and even SUVs.
Bio-Beetle in Maui, Hawaii offers cars that use bio-diesel. Their most popular car is a Volkswagen Beetle. Traveling to Key West?
Check out Conch Electric Cars for a selection of electric cars for sightseeing in the Florida Keys.
Green car rental is easy when you find a company that specializes in it.
Zipcar is a car-sharing program in bigger cities and on college campuses across the North America and the UK.
My husband and I joined in Boston and we’re able to rent cars by the hour when we need them.
If you live in a city that has Zipcar, it’s a great alternative to owning a vehicle.
While Zipcar is not necessarily an option while traveling since it only works in the city where you live, it can be a great option if you need to rent a car for a staycation or a day trip.
Zipcar offers a variety of hybrid vehicles to choose from.
Skip the Rental Car
If you were thinking about renting a car this summer, you might find that if you look over the itinerary you really don’t need to after all. Many cities offer effective public transportation and walking is a great way to explore a new area.
Have you rented an eco-friendly car on vacation? What are your tips for a green car rental?
Best Way Save Money Renting Car Traveling To Europe
There are many things to consider when renting a car in Europe.
You have to ensure that the car that you are renting is fuel-efficient. Hybrid Car Rental Low Emission Zones
This will save you a lot of money on gas.
Also, you have to make sure that you have the necessary insurance for the rental car.
Here are a few things that will help you rent the Best Way Save Money Renting Car within your budget:
Diesel Fuel Consumption
One of the best ways to save money is to get a small car that runs on diesel.
Firstly, a small car will have a smaller engine.
Small engines usually deliver great fuel mileage.
You will find it easier to get around if you have a smaller car.
One of the best things about getting a small car with a diesel engine is the fuel cost.
Small engines give a good mileage to begin with.
Also, a diesel engine will give you better mileage than a petrol engine.
Moreover, you are more likely to find a car with a diesel engine in Europe for a good price.
This will save you a hefty amount of money.
You will save fuel since the small car is more likely to travel in high gears.
If you want to rent a good car which will prove convenient, you should book the car in advance.
Renowned car rental companies allow you to make advance bookings online, even if you are coming in from a different continent.
Make the booking before you board the flight.
However, you should call and confirm your booking in addition to the online booking.
Insurance For Rental Car Europe
When you rent a car from any car rental service, you should make sure you carry a Green Card.
This is a document that is paired along with each and every rental car.
If your rental vehicle does not have this document, be sure to ask for it as it is extremely essential.
This document will need to be produced in the event you are stopped by the authorities.
You may even need to produce the document if you travel to a different European country.
In the event of an accident, the Green Card becomes an absolute necessity.
Only when you have all the necessary documentation should you drive away with the rented car.
Good Travel Insurance Should Cover Financial Loss or Medical Expenses. Travel Insurance How You Can Choose the Best Plan
Rental Car Safety Equipment
One important thing to consider before you leave with the car is the safety equipment.
There are quite a few essentials that you will need on the road.
The first and foremost is a spare wheel, lifting jack and a safety triangle.
Always check the car that you have rented for this equipment.
If the equipment is not there, you should ask the company to provide it.
In addition, you should verify the type of fuel the car runs on.
If you specified a diesel vehicle or a gas vehicle, make sure that service provides the same car to you.
You may end up stranded if you end up using the wrong fuel in the car.
Rental Car Controls
Another thing that you have to check before driving off is the car controls.
European cars often have different controls.
Make sure you understand where all the controls and knobs are before you drive off.
A great idea is to take a test drive to see if the car feels right.
Rental Car Pickup Locations
Another aspect that will greatly affect the rental price is the pickup location.
If possible, you should consider visiting the car rental service outlet to collect the car.
This proves to be the cheapest option as you will not be charged extra for a pickup.
You will be charged an extra amount if you have the car transported to the airport.
If you have to have the car transported to a particular location, you can always do so in a small town.
Any car you pick up in a big city will cost you a hefty amount.
There is convenience to consider.
If you drive off the airport to a location, you will not encounter much traffic.
However, if you pick up the car from within a town, you will have to account for traffic.
You may end up being stuck in traffic.
It may be a good idea to pay a little extra money and beat the traffic.
Price during Peak Season
If you want to rent a car, you should consider doing so during the off-season.
This is because the rates charged by car rental services are high during the peak seasons.
You can always book the car a couple of days in advance and make sure you can beat the holiday price.
In fact, if you want to rent a car at the last minute, you might not be able to find any.
During the seasons, rental car services are overbooked and they usually do not have cars available.
As soon as you have your air tickets confirmed, you should consider reserving a car for yourself to the European destination you are travelling it.
You should make online reservations and then confirm them over the phone to avoid any inconvenience.
Gas Prices and Gas Mileage
Gas prices in Europe are high.
This is one reason you should consider going for the most fuel-efficient car possible.
The tax rates in Europe are quite high.
This directly affects the gas prices there.
You will find a substantial difference between the gas and diesel prices in Europe as compared to other continents.
Renting a fuel-efficient car will ensure you don’t have to spend too much on fuel.
When you rent a car in Europe, you have to make sure that you do not rent a large car.
Part of the reason is the roads in Europe.
However, you also have to consider the gas mileage.
Larger cars consume more gas which will prove to be very expensive.
This is why you should make it a point to rent the most fuel-efficient car possible.
Use these tips when renting a car in Europe and you will be able to save a considerable sum of money.
Photo credit: Beige Alert