Have you heard of LEZs? It stands for Low Emission Zones. Travelers should also be aware that in Europe there are many countries that have instituted Low Emission Zones. Low emission vehicles are not always readily available for rental especially when traveling abroad.
What are Low Emission Zones?
Common in London and other congested areas abroad, Low Emission Zones are areas that the government tries to protect by regulating the types of vehicles that can access and use that area. If a vehicle has a higher emission output, it cannot enter the area.
In some LEZ areas, the offending vehicles have to pay to access it. The goal is to improve the air quality of the area.
The industry’s move toward greener alternatives has been stifled by the downturn in the economy, the concern being that travelers may not be willing to pay a premium for this service.
For many of us, the desire to have a less negative impact on the environment outweighs the additional cost when considering that it makes up a relatively small fraction of the amount that a family would normally spend on a vacation.
Although the travel industry has been slow to respond to the needs of its more forward thinking customers, advances are being made in the area of hybrid car rental.
Because hybrid car rental is being actively sought by consumers, car rental companies and travel brokers are working to make it more accessible.
Renting an electric or hybrid car can also be a good opportunity for a test drive before making a final purchase.
Toyota and Honda have worked diligently to market their hybrids as status symbols, and in most markets this means maintaining exclusivity to enforce that type of branding.
In some regions (surprisingly enough: Japan) there are waiting lists over six months to get your hands on a Prius.
So, while you wait, why not try one? Environmentalists and technology enthusiasts are not the only ones that may have an interest in these vehicles. www.BestPartStore.co.uk
Travelers renting for several weeks and driving for long distances may also benefit from the fuel economy of a hybrid fleet.
5 things about Low Emission Zones
Driving a hybrid rental car can be exceptionally helpful when driving in these zones. Here are the top five things you should know about these Low Emission Zones while traveling in Europe:
- Low Emission Zones are in effect in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Austria, with more being added all the time.
- Low Emission Zones are not country wide, they are centered around major metropolitan areas.
- Ignorance of the rules will not save you from being penalized. Make sure you do the research before you travel. The best resource for this is www.lowemissionzones.eu
- A low emission or electric vehicle could exempt you from any fees, which is another reason to rent a green car.
- The rules for Low Emission Zones are not standard throughout the EU. Different fees and standards apply to each.
It is important to learn what you can about Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in advance of your trip so you can plan accordingly, know what to expect, and avoid penalties.