Home TIPS Make sure your rental car won't leave you stranded
Make sure your rental car won't leave you stranded PDF Print E-mail

We rented a great-looking car in San Diego recently. It was delivered to our hotel, and soon we were on the bridge over to Coronado Island. We were a bit concerned when the car sounded very loud, but believed it’s much bigger engine was just noisier than our little four-cylinder sub-compact at home. We never made it to Coronado that day, because the car pooped out halfway across the bridge.

After an angry call, and a two-hour wait on the bridge, a guy in greasy overalls arrived from the rental agency. He gave us a dirty look as he raised the hood and inspected the engine. He mumbled something about ain’t a damned thing wrong, and all them damned old people who didn’t know nothin’ about drivin’.

Horse-drawn car chassis


He made some pokes, pulls and clicks around the engine and slapped the hood closed. Then he got into the driver seat, and with another dirty look at us, he triumphantly turned the key. Nothing happened. He tried again and again. Still nothing, but some louder mumbling. But, at that point, we had hit the end of our patience.

With a few choice words, we told him we’d rented the car in good faith and it quit on us. We suggested strongly that he should stop fooling around, grab his cell phone, call the agency and get another car out to us pronto. So startled by our demand, he stopped mumbling and made the call.

We had another car within 15 minutes, and the rest of our visit went smoothly. Although we expected a well-prepared car when it was delivered to our hotel, we should’ve checked it out, demanding the agency guys stay while we drove the car around the hotel parking lot for a few minutes. Then, if we had heard the unusually loud engine, we would’ve (or should‘ve) demanded another car. We suggest you do the same next time you rent a car.

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