How Avis and the University of California are Destroying the Environment

The corporate customer agreement between Avis and the UC system doesn’t include the “intermediate SUV” class. So the only way to get a vehicle with four-wheel drive and decent clearance, and be covered under UC’s insurance policy, is to rent in the “nonsensical gas-guzzler” class. (Note: there is a further class of SUV, the “giant honking monster powered by baby seal blood”, which is also not covered.)

Much as I mock SUVs, there are times when you need to drive on shitty-ass dirt roads, and it’s nice to have a vehicle that doesn’t scrape bottom on every washboard. But I don’t have that much equipment; I need a CR-V (22 mpg), not a Trailblazer (14 mpg). Will any of the major car rental companies lend me a CR-V? Noooo.

Gallons of gas wasted for this field trip: 16-20 ($50-$70)
Capitalism: sucks
Capitalism as modified by my dictatorial whims: would be much awesomer

Trackbacks & Pings

  1. Field Vehicle Amenities on 26 Apr 2011 at 3:03 pm

    […] Although I’m sure the folks at Enterprise would be horrified if they saw some of the roads I covered with their precious little econoblob, four-wheel drive is still worth thinking about for, say, back-country logging roads. It’s unfortunate that the “wee little Jeep” class isn’t more well-represented on the rental market, because for any job I’ve been on short of a multimodal geophysical survey or 30-person field trip, a “standard” 4WD pickup or SUV is total gas-guzzling overkill (I’ve complained about this before). […]


  1. Lab Lemming wrote:

    You should just do your fieldwork off the back of a trail bike. I’m sure your insurance dude and your departmental safety officer would just LOVE that.

    Or just hitchhike. Thinking back on my student days, the look on our administrator’s face when I explained that I couldn’t get a receipt for hitchhiking in South America was priceless. It was even more rewarding than getting out of the paperwork.

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