Enterprise Goes Green with Rentals

April 9, 2008

All you eco-friendly car renters out there, this one’s for you. Enterprise Rent-A-Car opened four new “green branches” today in Atlanta, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.

About 60 percent of the vehicles at the chain’s "green" stores will be hybrids and other fuel-efficient vehicles. Apparently, the eco-friendly cars are a response to Atlanta’s local demand -- and with gas prices possibly reaching $4 this summer, the paper adds, some vacationers may just consider the environmentally friendly car route.

While rival renters say they plan to keep up the pace with the hybrids as well, analysts still say it remains unclear how fast the trend will grow and if it will continue. Many of the hybrid renters are either those on a quick vacation, or those wanting to test-drive them before committing and buying one themselves.

Neil Abrams, the president of Abrams Consulting Group Inc., told the Detroit Free Press that “At the end of the day, it’s the consumer that drives rental fleeting...Rental car companies can buy a lot of cars their customers don’t want to drive, and they’ll be sitting in a lot and gathering dust.”

Enterprise currently has 4,000 hybrid vehicles in a total of 1.1 million. Rivals Hertz and Avis offer 3,500 and 2,500 hybrids, respectively.

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