VW TouranI was reading David James’s column in The Observer at the weekend. It’s mainly about issues in football (as you’d expect, with him being Portsmouth’s goalkeeper) but at the bottom he talked about how he’s getting his car converted to run on rapeseed oil, which is a carbon-neutral fuel.

It goes to show that all kinds of people are becoming interested in reducing their vehicle’s ‘carbon footprint’ (or ‘carbon tyreprint’?!) and making their driving greener. Our offices in Germany, Sweden and Portugal are really leading the way here – take a look at these articles on AutoblogGreen and Easier.com.

In Germany, they’ve just added VW Tourans powered by natural gas to the fleet (see picture above) and Portugal has Honda Civic petrol-electric hybrids. At Avis Sweden they now run nearly 500 eco vehicles – mainly ethanol-fueled Saab 9-5 BioPower models, but also some Ford Focus Flexi-Fuel Vehicles and the Toyota Prius. There are reviews of most of these in the Green Car Guide Top 10.

You can opt to make your Avis car rental CarbonNeutral® through our partnership with The CarbonNeutral Company. When you book online, simply click on the link at the end of your booking to add £1 (€1.50) towards the cost of planting enough trees to offset the CO2 from your rental.

We’re interested to know how many of you out there would like more environmentally friendly cars available for hire – so do post your comments.

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5 Responses to “Greener cars across Europe”

  1. Adam Coulter Says:

    That’s great news about Germany, Sweden and Portugal – but what’s happening in the UK please?
    I was surprised not to see any green cars listed in your fleet description – do you have any in the UK?

  2. Adam Coulter Says:

    whoops sorry – see you’ve just added the Prius
    Still, it would be good to have it a bit more prominent

  3. Andy Says:

    Why don’t Avis UK offer diesels specifically like [one of your competitors do]?

    Even ignoring environmental concerns, many drivers would significantly prefer one or the other.

  4. robert Says:

    While not guaranteed, I find that 90% of my rentals with Avis UK are diesels, and I as well prefer hiring a diesel for the simple fact that they use so much less fuel.
    Some cars are better in their diesel format rather then petrol, like the BMW 320.
    The 320d is a better more powerfully car then the 320i.

    As to environmental issues, the subject of which is better Petrol or Diesel is still debatable and a tricky one.
    Let’s just say there are various factors to consider, and not every diesel engine car will be better to the environment then its petrol brother.

  5. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Great question Andy. This is something I have looked into quite extensively myself.

    One of the biggest operational challenges we face is to make sure we get our customers into the right cars. Splitting out our cars into petrol and diesel makes this challenge even more difficult to achieve as our cars will be spread out more thinly across a greater number of car categories. If we were to split our cars in this way we would need to be able to make sure it is something we can deliver (as well as we being confident we could source the cars). It is far more difficult change than people would imagine!

    For this reason, it is something we are not currently pursuing but it is still on the radar. Any further feedback from our customers would be appreciated on this as it helps us to gauge demand.

    However, as Robert suggests, there is a greater proportion of diesels in our large car category. Also, all of the Audis in the Select Series are diesels.

    I hope this helps.

    Rob

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