Friday, August 22, 2008

Saving gas in Beverly Hills is more expensive than saving gas anywhere else

I received my last "Beverly Hills In Focus" magazine today as I am soon moving to New York. In the magazine there was a page about Beverly Hills being Green, and it featured a number of gas saving tips. The tips are different than the ones you'd expect in other areas, however. The first tip reads:

"Use the most energy-conserving vehicle you own as much as possible. You may even want to rent a fuel-efficient car for long trips and vacations."

It's nice to live in a city where people have enough cars they can choose which one to drive based on many different factors, including the relative efficiency. I don't see any fewer Mercedes and BMWs, though. Anyhoo, that tip sounds like a great idea, so I looked at a local car rental service to see what their rates were (I was actually wondering how much a Ferrari was for a day.). The Prius, which you would probably think was a great option if you were renting a car to save gas, was almost $300 a day! There is no way to drive a Prius enough miles in a day to make that up. Say you get a 20 mpg premium in a Prius, and you drive an average of 20 miles per hour (all city driving), your maximum potential driving distance is 480 miles, or 24 gallons of fuel saved with the Prius. That's still only $100 for gas, far short of the additional cost of the rental (a standard car costs about $60).

There must be a premium placedby visitors (maybe residents?) on looking the part in this city. While this may be obvious for boob jobs and Aston Martins, it does seem strange to include the standard rental car market. So if you want to save gas, rent a Prius. If you want to save money, rent a less efficient car.
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