Younger Kiwis favour hybrid hire cars due to environmental concerns - survey

An electric car being charged
It backs up other research which says New Zealanders want access to EVs. Photo credit: Getty Images

A new survey has shown that young people want more environmentally friendly options when it comes to hiring cars.

Canstar's latest research showed 42 percent of Kiwis under 30 said they wanted to hire a hybrid car instead of a petrol car, compared to 38 percent of those aged between 30 and 60.

It backs up similar research from EY which found nearly half of Kiwi car buyers (49 percent) want to buy electric or hybrid cars, with cost being a major factor.

That was a massive 19 percentage point increase over the previous year.

Perhaps surprisingly, other insights include the broad rejection of public transport over hiring a car, with less than a quarter overall saying they would use public transport if it was available.

Under 30s were more likely to reject this option than older Kiwis, the research found.

Canstar's survey into attitudes around car hire was done as part of the organisation's research to find New Zealand's favourite car provider.

GO Rentals won the crown this time around, the third time it's claimed the honour.

Jose George, Canstar NZ general manager, said GO Rentals' high rating showed how much this was valued by its users.

"In this industry, the real difference in experience can often come down to customer service -  how a customer is treated from the time they pick up the phone, to when they drop off the car," he said.

James Dalglish, COO of GO Rentals, said the company was "exceptionally proud" to be accepting another award.

"This award demonstrates the commitment we have made to delivering a world-class customer experience in the rental vehicle industry, and recognises all of the hard work and dedication from our amazing team."

Dalglish also noted that GO Rentals had committed to the Tiaki Promise, which prioritises caring for Aotearoa now and for future generations, while supporting sustainable tourism.

GO Rentals was also the first rental car business in New Zealand to partner with CarbonClick, which offers customers the opportunity to offset their vehicle emissions.

High-quality carbon offsets like those provided by CarbonClick, help mitigate climate change and lower the environmental impact of fossil-fuel emissions.

GO Rentals also owns a fleet of Teslas, a fully-electric vehicle option. Choosing a Tesla means a customer's carbon emissions are 10 times lower than a standard petrol car.

Last month fellow hire car company Avis also embraced the electrification of its fleet, announcing it had added 100 electric vehicles with more to come in the next two years.

Avis said that would make it the country's largest electric car rental fleet, with the likes of Snap and Europcar competing with it and GO Rentals for the environmentally conscious.

Customers will be able to choose from the latest Tesla Model 3, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or the Hyundai Kona, the company said.

Lee Marshall, general manager of Avis New Zealand, says the integration of more EVs into its fleet is just the first step in the company playing its part in reducing climate pollution.

"We have been very conscious of New Zealand's goal to move to a more sustainable economy and its desire to lower carbon emissions," Marshall said.

"Our investment in e-mobility and new charging infrastructure at three airport locations ensures we're not only in the best position to capture growing interest in greener transport solutions, but also offers greater choice."