A few weeks ago, Tarikh Campbell traveled to New Jersey to visit his family and rented a 2020 Toyota Camry from Avis. That evening, he was mysteriously towed away and brought back to the airport; Campbell was baffled to find him missing. A nightmare of phone calls and inquiries followed, and Avis finally released Campbell of blame and apologized earlier this week.
This story made me wonder: what has been your most, shall we say, interesting experience with rental cars and car rental companies?
When I was young, there were only a few options for travelers: you rent a car, jump on public transport, or take a taxi. There are now personal cars for rent like an AirB2B for vehicles, large low cost car rental companies, last minute booking warehouse sites, ridesharing (Lyft, Uber, etc.) and even cars. scooters if you are traveling light. This does not mean that car rental companies are disappearing; they are still in high demand, especially as travel resumes. You can rent one if you find one and you don’t mind paying higher prices right now.
I remember one time my sister and I flew to Florida with my mom and a family friend with her daughter for spring break. Back then, mom favored Lincoln Town Cars when renting a vehicle, and when we pulled into the parking lot, a giant purple monstrosity was there to greet us. My teenage self was mortified. Every time mom dropped us off at the beach to stroll the stores and walk on the sand, we would ask to come out two blocks away so no one would see us in the Great Purple Beast. On the other side of the spectrum, Avis once upgraded me to a convertible Mustang for a business trip to California, and it was glorious. Sometimes there is a balance in the universe.
What types of rental car stories do you have? I’m sure there are some good ones out there, so join us in the comments to share your best (and worst) memories.
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