Consumer Retorts: Hertz Car Rental

Why do I have to pay more to rent a Prius?

Illustration: Mark Matcho

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Consumer Retorts

Hertz car Rental

with their low upkeep cost and high resale value, hybrids should be some of the cheapest rides on the rental lot. Yet Hertz and its competitors charge as much as $190 more to rent a Prius for a week than for a standard-size car like a Pontiac G6. Why? Supply and demand, says Hertz spokeswoman Paula Rivera: Though the company has 4,000 hybrids, customer requests for them jumped 40 percent last year, and it can’t keep up. Plus, with hybrids flying out of showrooms, carmakers have little incentive to sell them to rental companies with the same discounts applied to conventional models. But before you balk at renting a Prius, consider that the fuel savings just might make it the less expensive choice.

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