Rental car shortages in Europe may spoil your summer plans

How typical – the poor economy has forced rental car firms in Europe to scale back their operations, and to delay purchasing new vehicles. This was all fine and dandy during the low season, when their business was hurting, but now summer is on the way, they are in trouble.

European car rental firms are warning summer tourists that they need to reserve their desired vehicle as soon as possible, as they anticipate many large location running out of rentals.

The situation is apparently so messed up, that some European roadside assistance firms have started to transport second hand vehicles to countries where they expect their customers to break down. Normally, those customers would be told to rent a vehicle, but the expected shortage is going to ruin that plan.

So, if you are heading to Europe this summer, reserve as soon as possible, and if you can, call the rental location the day before you arrive to double check they will be able to honor your reservation. The last thing you want is to show up at the airport with all your bags, and not have any way to get to your hotel.

Enterprise adds 5000 hybrid cars to their rental fleet

People are apparently not renting cars as often as they used to. But while some car rental firms are closing up shop, others are taking those lemons and making “green lemonade”.

Enterprise rent-a-car just announced a massive expansion to their hybrid rental fleet.

The chain is adding 5000 new hybrid vehicles, and expanding their “hybrid branch” lineup. Already, 27 Enterprise locations offer online and phone reservations of a hybrid vehicle, and that number is set to rise to 80 within a couple of months.

The Enterprise hybrid lineup offers the Ford Escape, Toyota Prius and the Toyota Camry.

Sadly, being green comes at a price. A regular airport rental with Enterprise (for a standard car) is about $30/day, but to protect the environment in a hybrid, you’ll pay about $70/day. Ouch.

Still, it’s nice to see a major rental company making a difference, and it is always great when customers at least have the option to rent green.