Priceline.com, the website that helps their customers find cut-rate travel deals for air-fare, hotels, and rental cars recently surveyed their customers for Earth Day. Seventy-two percent of respondents indicated that they wanted to be able to rent hybrid vehicles when they travel, forty-eight percent said they would be willing to pay more to rent a hybrid. Thirty-nine percent said they would pay $1-3 a day more to get a hybrid if it was available.
Only eight percent said they would pay $4-6 a day more, while one percent said they would cough up an extra $7-10 a day and no one would pay more than $10 extra and fifty-three percent would be unwilling to pay a premium at all. Given that hybrids cost more than conventional vehicles, unless rental companies can get more for them they aren't likely to become widespread unless gas prices jump significantly. Even in that case it seems people are more likely to just opt for smaller cheaper, more efficient cars if that happens. Of course all of these results need to be taken in context. Priceline is more likely to be the destination of bargain hunters who would be looking for the best overall deal. The people responding to this survey are looking for cars that use less gas and they want to pay less rather than more.