Car Rental Tips From a Traveling Journalist Part II

Category: News. Written by Cara Capuano 

We’ve read about upgrades and downgrades, but you yourself can avoid car rentals disasters by using some common sense.

The more you’ve rented a car, the more you can learn. Here are two memorable debacles.

CAN AIR BE TOO FRESH? UNFORTUNATELY, YES.

March, 2006. A trip I will never forget, because it featured one of the best basketball games I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness from press row (Brandon Roy and the Washington Huskies vs. Connecticut in the Sweet Sixteen in D.C.)… and one of my most egregious errors in my extensive rental history.

Imagine being trapped in an elevator with a man or woman who has, quite literally, bathed in cologne or perfume. Now imagine the heat being turned up in that tiny enclosed, nay, claustrophobic space.

Clearly, an entire bottle of air freshener had been accidentally spilled in the cabin of the compact car I rented – the faux-tropical scent was suffocating. The weather was particularly crisp that weekend, so I had to turn UP the heat but roll DOWN the windows in order to breathe. SHEER. TORTURE.

Solution: Be sure to give your vehicle a hearty sniff before leaving the lot!

IF YOU LEAVE THE TOP DOWN, YOU’RE INVITING TROUBLE

Everybody loves a convertible and Vitamin-D starved Northwesterners are particularly vulnerable to relishing the feeling of a few extra rays. But just as warmer destinations (Florida and Hawaii come to mind) are known for sunshine and blue skies, these climates can also be active breeding grounds for some of the largest, most prolific insects on Planet Earth.

People, we can’t disparage undiscerning critters craving comfort as much as we do. Which is why in Hawaii of 2003, I shouldn’t have been surprised when a courageous brown cockroach crawled across the top of my be-sandaled foot. One bug alone would be pretty gross… but this particular convertible was home to a HATCH of roaches. I’m not kidding. Enter the apocalypse! To keep “new” bugs out, we put the top up one night… and the dome light revealed a shocking scurrying of roaches across all four floors of the cabin.

We turned that convertible in, drove off in another, endured the SAME infestation in car #2, and I haven’t rented a convertible since. Eeeewww!

In the part 3, the final installment of Car Rental Tips From a Traveling Journalist, find out what the car renter is responsible for?

Cara Capuano has worked in television, mainly in sports, for over a decade, spending the last four years covering the Northwest Sports Scene for Fox Sports NW and before that on ESPN News. A dedicated storyteller, from time to time she’ll be lending some “female perspective” to SeattleAuto.net.

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Comments

One Response to “Car Rental Tips From a Traveling Journalist Part II”

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