Travel

Strategies for renting hybrid cars

With gas prices going ever higher, travelers are nabbing what few hybrid rental cars are available. Still, the number of SUV and van rental reservations for this summer hasn't dropped.

“We were kind of surprised by that,” says Lisa Martini, a spokeswoman for Enterprise, which, with partner companies Alamo and National, has about 5,000 hybrids in its fleet of 1.1 million cars.

A roomier SUV still makes sense for families on road trips and for businesspeople traveling together.

But if you want to rent a hybrid while traveling:

Book as far in advance as possible and choose a non-weekend day for your pickup.

Out West, reserve from a lesser-name agency, such as Fox Rent a Car (www.foxrentacar.com), which serves nine airports, or its partner EV Rental Cars (www.evrental.com), which serves six California airports and the one in Phoenix.

Reserve a hybrid at a neighborhood rental car office instead of the airport. There might be better availability. Hop in a cab or take public transport to pick it up.

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