Friday, 1 August 2008

How to Rent a Car on Holiday


A piece of news I read yesterday inspired me to talk about cars, particularly cars you hire on holiday. I know that for some people a long break involves hiring a car and I realize that the official green line is “don’t do it!” However, I am the first to realize that some times there are no alternatives. When you travel to remote destinations or when you need the flexibility of your own transport it really can be the only option open to you. Try not to despair though as there are ways to feel less guilty about hiring a car whilst keeping an eye on the environment, here is how:

Firsly, it seems that every major car rental company is working hard to greenify their operations. Avis for instance has formed a collaboration with CarbonFund.org to minimize their carbon footprint and along with Hertz they have made a big effort to boost their hybrid fleets.

There are of course things you can do as a consumer too. First of all try and rent from a company that has a responsibility statement. Do your research and read their “green” statements, if necessary ask them what they are doing for the environment, nothing like consumer pressure to get things started.

Choose the smallest and newest car possible. Smaller cars with smaller, modern engines produce fewer emissions and ultimately consume less fuel (Bonus!). Of course if you have the option, then why not try a hybrid?

If you find that you are just renting for the sake of it and you know your destination has a great bus system or that once at your destination you can hire a bike then really “don’t do it”. You will actually have a better holiday not having to worry about where to park or where to fill up or if someone damages it and the insurance won’t cover it… think of the stress! On site you might find that a bicycle is the way to go after all, on some of my travels I have found it a great way to get out there and enjoy the scenery, the people and the sights at a leisurely and very civilized pace which is what holidays are all about.

Stupid comment of the week

David Price, of Lamborghini Club UK, when being asked his opinion on the recent story about a car being flown from Qatar to London just for a service he said: "If someone owns something and wants to do something with it, what does it matter?"
What a completely cretinous and blinkered philosophy, should we all do whatever we want with everything? Should people drive their car into people just because they own one and they want to? In the same spirit I suppose Mr Price agrees with terrorism and London stabbings and whale hunting? Grow up!

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