Saturday, 14 April 2012

Day 145 - Car Hire Anxiety!

I definitely suffer from this - things have a nasty habit of going wrong when we rent a car. We just don't seem to have much luck; and a string of bad experiences makes it hard not to think the worst. 
You see it's on my mind at the moment because we're on a family holiday in France and there's a shiny, silver hire car outside. It got me thinking about some of the nightmares we've had - so I thought I'd share my top three.....

There's the time in Scotland when we were going to a friend's wedding and my husband reversed the hire car into a pump in a deserted Petrol Station. Not a good moment; followed by a long, frosty journey back to Glasgow airport.

Two months after my last trip to France, I got a massive bill from one Car Rental company. It took me two days and many phonecalls to find out why. Apparently I'd unwittingly signed for something called a serenity package, which sounds like a spa treatment, but was in fact the 'Rolls Royce' of insurance policies. I pointed out that I'd been travelling on my own with the kids; it was late, I was tired and distracted; so when I was asked to initial by the X's I did.  They don't make it easy to complain, but I badgered them until they were sick of me calling and dropped the extra charge.

On a family holiday in Morocco a few years ago, my father insisted we hired a car to do a bit of exploring. We parked in a quiet street in a small seaside town and went for a wander. When we got back there was a HUGE dent in the back - it looked like someone had tried to shunt our car out of the way.  I worried about it for the next few days until we took it back, but the man didn't seem too bothered. Parking dodgems is not that uncommon in Morocco apparently.

Of course they are not so lenient here. Once you've been charged for damage/cleaning/insurance (whether you knew about them or not) - it tends to make you anxious. I drive my husband mad by always insisting we park miles away from other cars, in the furthest corner of any car park.  Since the scottish saga we do get extra insurance, usually through a different company: this brings some peace of mind, but you often have to jump through hoops to get your money back. 

Anyway all is good with the shiny, silver peugeot, and we've had some great days out - but there are still three days to go....


  1. Have a lovely time in France - are you going to eat frogs? And snails?
    Admire your bravery at driving in Morocco.Nerves of steel.

    1. Thanks Charlie - lots of wine and cheese but no frogs legs. Can just about manage snails if they are covered in garlic butter.

      No plans to drive in Morocco again!

  2. Very jealous, hope you're all having a fab time xxx

  3. Lovely here, but very cold. Quite look forward to getting in the car because it's warm! xxx

  4. We've had our share of car hire disasters too. There was the time our car was 'stolen' in NZ, but it just turned out we were looking on the wrong street.
    Then we got rear ended in Melbourne at some traffic lights after a long journey along the coast from Sydney. Apparently an orange light means 'keep moving' in Australis, not 'prepare to stop'.
    And in Spain, they gave us a 5 seater for 7 people and suggested we 'squeeze in'.
    We take our own car whenever possible these days!