Rising Gas Prices Put Car Rental Companies in a Fix

Rising Gas Prices Put Car Rental

Here we go again… If you’ve been to the gas pump lately you no doubt have noticed that gas prices have risen sharply in the last couple weeks. I was with my wife and filled up with gas at $3.35/ gallon last Friday. After taking a drive Saturday morning, we decided to top off the car on the way home, only to be shocked that gas at the same station, gas went up to $3.53 overnight. Gas prices have become a concern for the car rental companies as consumers are requesting more and more fuel-efficient cars. Upgrades which have been commonplace during the car rental experience are being refuted by the customer. Bigger cars mean bigger gas bills. There are tricks to saving on gas which we will explore in a later blog and even some great Smartphone Apps that you can use to help locate that cheap gas, which we will also address in a future blog. We should, however, start at the beginning, and that’s when we are renting the car. I know a lot of you out there are obsessing over hybrids. That fact of the matter is, hybrids represent only a small percentage of the rental companies’ fleets. More often too, when gas prices spike, the demand for these cars do as well, and so, the results often mean higher rates (that sometimes outweigh the fuel savings of the hybrid). Another factor is that car rental companies will use this opportunity to sell off their hybrid fleet to make some quick profit.

So let’s take a look at some of the common car rental models out there that most companies carry and their fuel economy (we’ll be optimistic and give you the highway MPG):



  • Toyota Prius 4  – 55
  • Ford Fusion Hybrid  – 41
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid – 43
  • Honda Civic Hybrid – 50
  • Gasoline Powered (Small Car):
  • Volkswagen Passat – 51
  • Volkswagen Jetta – 45
  • Fiat 500 – 42
  • Mini Cooper – 41
  • Hyundai Elantra – 38
  • Ford Fiesta – 45
  • Nissan Versa – 40
  • Mazda 5 – 22
  • Gasoline Powered (Mid/Fullsize):
  • Hyundai Sonata – 24
  • Toyota Avalon – 31
  • Ford Taurus – 32
  • Chrysler 300- 31
  • Dodge Charger – 31
  • Toyota Camry – 39
  • Kia Optima – 35
  • Ford Fusion – 33
  • Chevy Impala – 29
  • Nissan Altima – 34
  • Chevy Malibu – 33
  • Ford Crown Victoria – 24
  • Gas Powered SUVs:
  • Ford Escape (FWD) – 33
  • Chevy Equinox (FWD) – 32
  • Toyota RAV4 (FWD)  – 31

This is only a partial list of what you can get at any Hertz, Avis, National, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, or Alamo. When renting your car, don’t be shy about asking what the MPG ratings are on the car(s) you are offered. It’s not difficult for the rental agent to look it up. If you are in doubt, you can look at fuel economy website for the rating.

Drive carefully, I’ll see you on the road.

4 Replies to “Rising Gas Prices Put Car Rental Companies in a Fix

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