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Priceline Survey Says Car Renters Want Hybrids

Based on the results of a priceline.com Internet survey, about 47% of people renting a car through priceline.com would consider renting a hybrid vehicle if it were offered by the rental agency. They would be willing to pay varying prices – from zero to $9 per day extra. Interestingly, 53% were not interested at all.
New Priceline.com Survey Finds Almost Three-Quarters Of Travelers Want To See Hybrid Vehicles Added To Rental Car Fleets
48% would be willing to pay more for a “green” rental car
In recognition of Earth Day (Sunday, April 22), priceline.comĀ® conducted a new survey of its rental car customers. The company found that an overwhelming majority (72%) of travelers want rental car companies to offer economical, environmentally friendly hybrid vehicles powered by both gasoline and electricity. A similar majority (71%) of the 764 priceline.com customers who answered the survey said they would rent a hybrid and almost half (48%) said they would be willing to pay a premium for their “green” rental.
While hybrid vehicles are generally not available through most rental car companies or through priceline.com, most of the priceline.com customers surveyed (39%) said they would be willing to pay up to $1 to $3 more a day to rent a hybrid. That would represent an increase of up to 11% over the average weekend published-price for a mid-size car on priceline.com ($26 a day) and up to 17% over the average successful offer price for a Name Your Own PriceĀ® mid-size car on priceline.com ($17 a day).*
Eight percent of the priceline.com customers said they would be willing to pay up to $4 to $6 more a day for a hybrid. That would represent an increase of up to 23% over the average weekend published-price for a mid-size car on priceline.com and up to 35% over the average successful offer price for a Name Your Own Price mid-size car on priceline.com.*
One percent of customers said they would be willing to pay up to $7 to $10 a day more. No one was willing to pay more than $10 a day extra, while 53% of customers said they were not willing to pay any premium to rent a hybrid.
The already high and rising price of gasoline was another theme that turned up frequently in the new priceline.com survey:
— If gasoline reaches $3 a gallon, almost half (47%) of the priceline.com customers said they would change their rental car preferences and opt for smaller, more fuel-efficient car types.
— 55% of customers prefer to rent more fuel-efficient cars such as mid-size (example: Pontiac Grand Am), compact (example: Ford Focus) or economy (example: Chevrolet Aveo).
— 96% of customers say they fill up their rental cars themselves before turning them in, rather than pay refill fees. 52% said they spend time looking for the cheapest gas in an area before filling up prior to return.

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