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  1. #1

    Rental Agency Possibilities

    What sort of financial benefit adding HEVs would have to a car rental company? Since the cost of gas is paid by the consumer, is there any economic benefit?

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  3. #2

    Rental Agency Possibilities

    Theoretically, there should be a maintenance advantage since the hybrid shouldn't be as rough on brakes as a pure ICE.

    I don't know that the realities have shown this advantage particularly, however.

    I see your point about the gas mileage issue being moot economically if the customer pays for the gas.

  4. #3

    Rental Agency Possibilities

    There are a few companies in Canada that have hybrids for rent. Generally, they're classed as "Specialty", meaning that regardless of their size, the agency charges a premium fee for them.

    So comparatively speaking, charging $22/day for a Corolla versus $52/day for a Prius -- that company can pull in quite a few bucks.

    The Cdn government is starting to push its employees to ask for hybrids when they travel. The justification being (other than leadership and an attempt to stimulate the market) that although an employee may reserve a compact, most times they are automatically upgraded to a luxury or SUV class. They get the compact rate, but end up spending more on fuel. In the end, if they pay more upfront for the hybrid, less on gas it basically works out even in the end.

  5. #4

    Rental Agency Possibilities

    It's all about image, and hybrids have that good environmental image, so even if the customer pays for the gas, it makes the rental agency look better because they are being responsible to the environment.

    Further, as hybrids become more popular, more people will request hybrids, and if one comapny has hybrids, then that comapny will get the customer.

    That said, hybrids should NOT fall under "specialty" (like expensive BMW's). They should fall under the size class that they are, compact (except the Prius and Accord, which are midsize).

  6. #5

    Rental Agency Possibilities

    I remember seeing an article in the USA Today.

    It said, that at one point, SUV rentals were more than a standard car. But now, with gas prices through the roof, and more demand for smaller, more fuel efficient cars, the SUVs have literally been parked (nobody wants them), and the companies are charging more for a regular car than an SUV.

    So a rental car agency with a hybrid would certainly be a beautiful thing, but be prepared to pay for it.

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