Hertz is the latest travel provider to set out its green credentials. The mammoth car hire firm is building up a fleet of environmentally-friendly vehicles in Europe which can be booked alongside its conventional offerings.
Hertz's Green Collection comprises thousands of mainly fuel-efficient diesel cars in the UK, Belgium, Italy and Holland. Rental outlets in France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland will be getting the green cars by the end of the year.
In mainland Europe you can expect to hire diesel versions of popular sellers like the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Renault Megane and Skoda Octavia.
Here in the UK, customers are being offered a choice of the diesel Ford Focus, diesel VW Jetta, Mercedes 170 and, from November 1, the Toyota Prius (petrol/electric) hybrid. All offer air-conditioned comfort with the added advantage that the Prius is exempt from London's £8 congestion charge.
Hertz's criteria for what constitutes a green vehicle is one which has a C02 output of under 140 g/km and which offers good fuel economy. It is not based on the vehicle's whole life cycle where the hybrids don't score highly (according to a report in this month's What Car?) Hertz says all vehicles in the green fleet achieve 41.5 to 65.7 mpg.
UK rates are similar to a conventional Group C vehicle like a Ford Focus 1.6LX. Says a Hertz spokesperson, "We are committed to offering customers as much choice as possible, because each customer's requirement are different. The Green Collection has been introduced so that those customers that wish to select the greenest vehicles within the Hertz range are able to do so quickly and easily."
Launch locations for the Green Collection in the UK are at major airports plus Central London. Airport locations consist of five London area airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, City) plus Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Glasgow Prestwick and Edinburgh.
For more information go to hertz.co.uk.
Report by Alex McWhirter