shame on the car rental companies

Upon my return to Portland, I checked in at the Hertz car counter.  The clerk noted that I had reserved an economy car and he began processing my order.  I inquired if I would be able to rent a hybrid vehicle (as I usually did).  Heck, its not only green, it keeps $ here at home instead of sending it to the Middle East.  Not that I don’t like folks from the Middle East, but trust me, they have enough of our money already.

The clerk then told me that it will be an ADDITIONAL $35 per day to rent a Prius.  Apparently, its in its own “class” of vehicles, just one below “luxury” but a step above “mid-sized.”

Oh, I get it.  We’re going to charge you $35 a day so that you can save two bucks in gas.  Wait.  How does that work?  It seems to me that the car rental companies are just plain profiting from the popularity of hybrid vehicles.  I just couldn’t believe it.  Here we are trying to go green and these jokers are trying to profit from it.  That’s just plain sad.

So, I did what a good consumer should do.  I walked away.  I went down the row at the airport checking the prices from each of the major companies, Avis, Hertz, Budget, Enterprise…  it was the same everywhere; huge markups for the hybrids.  Hmm… what happened to a free market?  Sounds like collusion to me.  Either way, shame on these guys.  They should price the car rental by the cost of the car, not by how much they can screw over the public…


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