Rented Demented

by Crom

I travel extensively, to a lot of places. All over the US, within Canada, and now I’m probably going to be sent to Chile. Everyone says that the worst part about traveling abroad is flying, but really, flying isn’t all that bad. It’s annoying yes, because invariably you have some joker and his kids sitting behind you, and they want to play the “clap along with nothing” game for 3 or 4 hours of the flight. Or the oldster’s who feel compelled to describe where they’re going, what they’re doing, eating, seeing, and the reasons for each. Flying has its moments, where all you want to do is smash in the face of the oaf sitting next to you, jabbing his elbow into your stomach. But there’s a process that infuriates me far more then flying, that makes me want to take hostages, and negotiate with no one.

Renting a Car.

Renting a car is possibly the most aggravating and painful process in the known universe for the following reasons:

  1. They never believe that you have your own insurance, and if they do, they want every single pertinent piece of data regarding that insurance.
  2. If you happen to be like me, under 25, then 90% of the rental companies won’t rent to you. There are a few that will, and they will gladly gouge the fuck out of you for the privilege of renting.
  3. If at any time you forget to follow any of the procedures they require (ie. Returning the car full of gas) they will rape and pillage your wallet.

In California, they’ve passed legislation that should you injure someone, and they cannot return to work, you have to pay their salary. Now this happens a lot, but mostly through the process of suing someone for loss of revenue… well now it’s AUTOMATIC, determined via the insurance company, and the hilarity, is that most of the traveling abroad policies of insurance companies in Canada, since they don’t have to worry about this legislation, don’t have any coverage for loss of revenue. Ergo: you HAVE to buy the rental companies insurance. A lovely 23 dollars a day you rent, and in my case an extra $322 (on top of the $350 I was paying on top of everything, because I’m not 25). When I submitted the bill back to my company for reimbursement, they were mystified, how it cost $1345.00 USD to rent a car for 14 days. I too was confused, I could have bought one for that much.

In Maryland, I forgot to fill the gas tank before returning the car to the rental agency; they were kind enough to fill it for me… at 5.21 a gallon. Almost 4 dollars more then a gas station, I was charged 95 dollars to fill the tank on a Honda accord. I don’t know what universe they came from, but the idea that someone should pay 95 bucks to fill any Honda vehicle is total madness. So my advice to you is, if you’re traveling abroad, and decide you need a car…

Steal one.

  • Rented Demented
  • by Crom
  • Published on September 1st, 2003

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