Saturday 27 September 2014

Renting diesel in North America

By Todd Romaine
A cheaper alternative when renting cars in North America is….DIESEL!

The Diesel engine and fuel were invented by the
German mechanical engineer Rudolf Diesel (1858–1913).
Read about his mysterious disappearance and death.
When most of us think of diesel vehicles, we think of large pick-up trucks with Albertan or Texan license plates rolling down the highway making a lot of noise. The driver possibly wearing a white tank top, goatee and those cheap white framed sunglasses with a Calvin & Hobbs sticker on the back window.

Let’s be honest here, most of us only have limited experiences with diesel. Admittedly, my only experience was when I accidentally filled up my car with diesel at a local gas station. A hundred dollars later at the service station and the issue was embarrassingly rectified.

My short lived conviction at the time that combining gas with diesel resulted in a ‘super fuel’ was short-lived. Not many people in North America drive diesel vehicles, though they are on the increase. Many of us have been deterred by getting such a vehicle because naturally we are worried about the lack of readily available businesses offering diesel fuel. That being aside, people are becoming increasingly cost conscious when it comes to vehicles and especially car rental agencies.

Hertz Car Rental in the United States has been testing out the consumer market to see if people would consider renting a diesel car that has better fuel mileage than a traditional gasoline one. The other selling feature, arguably, is that using a diesel vehicle is better for the environment (using less fuel to get from A to B than a gas guzzler).

If you can't see the Hertz Green Traveler Collection video above, click here to view it on YouTube.

So far, so good, with Hertz locations offering diesel expanding in the USA, and into Canada as well. Hertz markets these cars as part of its Green Traveler Collection.

If you decide to rent from Hertz, and are interested in their diesel fleet, make sure you inquire about their Volkswagen Jetta TDI. Anticipate other rental car agencies to follow suit if there is sustained interest from the cost conscious public.

If you go down this path, make sure you avoid my mistake of turning your brain off at a gas station and assuming gas and diesel are interchangeable!

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