Going Green: Choosing an Eco-friendly Rental

With gas prices continually increasing worldwide, it’s no wonder both drivers and manufacturers are looking towards greener car technologies. And, whilst many of us may drive a super-economical car at home, our ethics often go out the window when it comes to renting on vacation – but maintaining a green approach could save you serious cash and protect the environment in the process.

Eco-friendly rental cars: what do you need to know?

Today we’re taking you through the benefits of choosing a green car for your next vacation rental and the different options available.

Keep fuel bills down

While fuel bills may not be your ultimate concern when it comes to renting, it’s likely that you’ll cover a fair amount of ground – whether you’re on a business trip or a family vacation. In destinations such as Europe, fuel costs are much higher than the rest of the world and can quickly amount to huge expenses. A return trip from London to Edinburgh by car would set you back around £160, or $255 (based on a 30 MPG car and average UK petrol prices for 2014). It’s hard to ignore costs like that, especially when it will rarely cost you any extra to rent a more fuel efficient car. With some of the rental options available offering economy figures of 60-70 MPG, you could half your expenses!

Protect your vacation spot

While the green efforts of one person aren’t going to dramatically benefit the environment, it’s a step in the right direction. Vacation spots are often places of beauty and it’s vital to preserve these special environments for future generations to enjoy. If more people invest in fuel efficient and low emissions cars, the long term benefits could be enormous.

The green choices

With terms like hybrid, EV, plug-in, and Ecoboost being thrown around, it can be hard to know which option to go for. There’s plenty of choice when it comes to choosing an economical car, with each manufacturer achieving that all important MPG figure through different technologies. Each option has its own pros and cons to match your driving habits and planned road trip:

Toyota Camry Hybrid
The best-selling 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid, Photo: Toyota

Hybrid: These cars have a small (usually petrol) engine which works in harmony with a larger electric motor. At low speeds and when cruising, the electric motor will provide all the power, but put your foot down and the engine kicks in – providing a boost in acceleration. Hybrids are perhaps the most versatile eco-cars, offering great range and the reassurance of a backup engine.

Electric: Fully electric vehicles, or EVs, are the most efficient of all green vehicles – producing zero emissions. Their range limitations can put people off, but you need to assess your mileage requirements. If you’re only going to be driving short distances, an electric car could be the perfect solution. Charging costs are significantly lower than the cost of fuel – and going electric will keep your running costs to an absolute minimum.

Ultra efficient engines: Large manufacturing giants such as Ford have invested millions in developing new, more efficient engines. These typically small, three-cylinder engines use turbochargers to produce the power output typically seen in a much larger engine – without impacting on fuel economy. Other features like start/stop and low rolling resistance tyres can add up to make an extremely efficient package – often achieving fuel economy figures over 60 MPG! The only negative is that fuel economy is still dependent on driving style, and a heavy foot will result in poor performance.

Author: Adam Hope is a car blogger for the Car Loan Warehouse. Want to find out more about choosing a green car? Head over to the Car Loan Warehouse blog to read more about the green revolution.


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