Avis has introduced the hybrid Toyota Prius to its UK fleet in another move towards offering environmentally friendly rental cars.
Twenty hybrid (petrol/electric) Toyota Prius models will be available from Avis rental offices in London, as the company trials the car in the UK.
A spokesperson for Avis said: "London is the first port of call for the trial [in the UK] because the car will be exempt from the congestion charge, but we may well extend to other large cities, such as Manchester later in the year."
Hertz introduced the Prius in the Hertz Green Collection last October (see online news). But Avis's "green" move to the UK comes after the success of Avis Portugal, which introduced hybrid cars to its fleet in 2005 and currently has 50 hybrids across the country. Avis Scandinavia also offers over 400 ethanol-powered Saabs, 75 Ford Flexi-fuel cars and 20 Toyota Prius' across its fleet.
In February, Avis Germany introduced natural gas VW Tourans to its fleet in 15 cities across the country.
Daniel McCarthy, commercial director, Avis UK said: "Our environmental commitment has been palpable since we launched our relationship with The Carbon Neutral Company in 1998 and within the past five years Avis Europe has offset 76,500 tonnes of CO2 through a combination of forestry and climate friendly projects."
Avis customers in the UK can book the Toyota Prius online at the Avis Prestige website (avisprestige.com).
Other green cars coming...
Budget Rent-a-Car: Andy Lewis, head of marketing & e-commerce at Budget Rent-a-Car has hinted that Budget has similar plans: "Budget clearly has a responsibility to consider the environmental impact of its operations worldwide and is keen to introduce the new 'hybrid' petrol-electric powered vehicles across the fleet. Budget is trialling a limited number of petrol/electric hybrid type vehicles at selected locations during 2007."
Report by Felicity Cousins