How Enterprise goes green – in a big way

Green is finally “in” – you no longer have to grow a beard and wear socks made from recycled cardboard boxes and corn husks to do your part in helping the environment.

Even when you are on the road, it is quite easy to help out. Some car rental companies jumped on board the green train ages ago by offering renters the option of a hybrid vehicle.

Enterprise, (the parent company of Alamo, Enterprise and National rent-a-car) took being green one step further, and introduced the largest fleet of hybrid vehicles in the country.

In total, 5000 gas/electric hybrids are available from Enterprise branches, and 80 locations were designated “hybrid branches” where a high concentration of hybrid vehicles are available.

In addition to this, the company also offers a whopping 73,000 vehicles that are capable of running on the E85 ethanol blend.

Green renters can take things one step further by adding a $1.25 carbon offset option to rental agreements. This has been so successful that it was recently named the most popular consumer opt-in offset program in the industry.

Instead of relying on others to develop new technologies, Enterprise is also investing $25 Million in renewable fuels research and helping educate drivers on some basic tips on how to drive “green”.

Mint offers New Yorkers cheap hourly car rentals

I really don’t encourage anyone to try driving in New York. Aggressive cabbies, near-constant traffic jams and a variety of video game-worthy obstacles conspire to keep drivers in a near-constant state of anger and anxiety.

But for locals and visitors alike, there are times when nothing but a car will suffice. Conveniently enough, this week marked the launch of a new pay-as-you-go rental car service in New York called Mint. Like competitor Zipcar, the upstart company provides members with on-demand vehicles they can rent for periods as short as one hour up to several days. Mint has also upped the ante by offering to waive their $25 application fee for members of other car-sharing clubs and starting hourly rates as low as $2/hour from now through June 2009. Pretty sweet.

So what’s the real difference between Mint and Zipcar? Not all that much as it turns out. As a rule of thumb, Mint plans are generally cheaper than Zipcar plans in terms of hourly/daily rates, though it ultimately depends on which plan you have and the time of day you’ll be driving. It’s best to take a look at the options and see what works best for your particular needs. In any case, the extra car-sharing competition is sure to be welcomed by price conscious rental car drivers everywhere. Check out Mint the next time you’re in NYC and need some temporary wheels.