Hybrid cars aren’t as hard to rent as you may think. Enterprise, the largest rental car agency in the United States, has 7,000 in its fleet. Sure, it’s only 1 percent of all the wheels they make available, but it’s a hell of a start. If you want to put yourself in the driver’s seat on your next trip, plan ahead.
First, you have to do some hunting. Cruise the rental car agency websites for green listings. Or, you can head over to Kayak, which has the largest listing of hybrid cars on the web. Don’t give up. Remember, you’re looking for 1 percent of the rental cars out there (maybe less).
Next, be ready to get tough. If you get to the counter and are told that there aren’t any more in stock, you have options. Ask for another vehicle – temporarily – until the next hybrid comes in. Get specific: demand a date. Make it clear that you won’t back down. If the desk agent won’t be able to deliver the hybrid you reserved, make sure you’re given a coupon for a future rental or some other form of compensation. Most of the rental car agencies make promises. It’s your job, unfortunately, to hold them accountable.
Finally, screw the rental car agencies. You have options! Head over to the local Toyota dealership. You can rent a hybrid starting at $50 a day, and you may actually get better service (such as free shuttle service from the airport).