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Make Sure Your Next Rental Car is Green

Posted Sep 24 2008 11:45am
(Editor's note: This is the fifth in a series of posts to commemorate our new partnership with Avis by discussing driving-related topics.)’s new partners, Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car, want to make sure the next time you need a rental car, you can ensure that it is "green." Avis and Budget have multiple options for minimizing your environmental impact when renting, including gas/electric hybrids, SmartWay Certified vehicles and carbon offsets.

Many customers are automatically drawn to renting a hybrid when wanting to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. For the 2008 model year, Avis and Budget has been offering 2,500 hybrid cars for rent in compact (Toyota Prius), full-size (Nissan Altima) and small SUV (Ford Escape) car classes. The very limited quantities reflect the fact that manufacturers will only make these vehicles available to rental car companies in very small numbers – and they also limit the locations where the hybrids can be offered for rent. Negotiations for 2009 model year vehicles are currently underway with the goal set for an increase in hybrid vehicles throughout the Avis and Budget fleet. However, even if hybrids are unavailable, you can still "go green" with your next rental.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a certification program for consumers to help them determine what is and is not a green vehicle, called SmartWay. The EPA certifies a vehicle based on an Air Pollution Score and a Greenhouse Gas Score, each ranked on a scale of 1-10. To receive SmartWay Certification, a vehicle must receive a six or better on both scores, and have a total score of at least 13. Avis and Budget have a wide variety of SmartWay Certified vehicles for rent, including virtually 100 percent of all vehicles in Avis and Budget car classes A (subcompact), B (compact), C (intermediate), D (standard) and E (full-size). Half of all car class F (small SUV) are also SmartWay Certified. By offering SmartWay Certified vehicles, Avis and Budget are able to ensure each customer has the opportunity to rent a vehicle that is better for the environment.

As many people know, regardless of whether you rent a hybrid or a SmartWay Certified vehicle, you are still emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Avis and Budget wanted to take green rental one step further by offering customers the opportunity for their rental to be carbon neutral through a partnership with Avis and Budget now offer customers the opportunity to purchase carbon offsets through, for $1.25 per day, $5.00 per week and $20.00 per month resulting in a 100 percent carbon neutral rental, through the Avis and Budget Web sites at and

Together with, Avis and Budget customers are renting green. So the next time you rent a vehicle, make it a hybrid or SmartWay Certified vehicle – and don’t forget your offsets. makes it easy and affordable for any individual or business to reduce their carbon footprint to zero.
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