Everyday, thousands of people rent vehicles all across the US. At least 99% of the time, everything either goes as planned or if there is an incident, it is usually a minor one. However, there are a few times in which something really weird or unusual happens that damages the rental car.
A young man on his way to his grandmother’s funeral rented a 2010 Mazda 3 to make the trip. Unfortunately, it was February and the slushy roads quickly turned to ice. As he made his way along the road, he was caught in an ice rut that directed his car straight into a snow bank. Although that was bad enough, his vehicle was caught on top of the bank with the wheels spinning. After calling a tow truck, the car was pulled off the embankment and the majority of the damage turned out to be underneath the vehicle, specifically to the windshield wiper fluid and the undercarriage.
8. Don’t Let Friends Drive Your Rental
This is a lesson for anyone renting a vehicle, if you are going to put the car in your name, then only you should drive it. During the 2010 Spring Break season, a group of people drove down to Miami. Before they got to Miami, one of the passengers insisted that it was his turn to drive. No sooner did he get behind the wheel when he rear-ended in a Subaru. As things turned out, the Subaru didn’t suffer a scratch while the grill of the rental car was smashed in. Unfortunately, the renter of the vehicle received a lifetime ban from the rental company.
7. Going Airborne
Another interesting story, also from 2010 involved a man who had rented a vehicle for the weekend and was returning it to the rental agency when he lost control of the vehicle. Not only did it go off the road, it went airborne because of the speed. As the car sailed through the air, the driver wondered if anything else could go wrong. Fortunately for him, no one was hurt. However, the story did make the rounds at the rental agency and the man did have to pay for the damage.
6. The Hit & Run Note
A couple returning to their vehicle saw some damage on the side of the door and this note which was written down on Budget Rent-A-Car stationary.
“Hi, my name is Jack. I accidentally hit your car & someone saw me so I’m pretending to right down my details. Sorry, Jack”
At the very least, Jack was honest about trying to get away with a hit and run attempt. However, there is little doubt that the rental agency was not too pleased about the damage done to their car as well.
5. It Seems Understanding the GPS is Another Matter
In March of 2012, a group of Japanese students visiting Australia had some difficulty understanding the GPS system. In fact, they read it the exact opposite way that the GPS maps had displayed. While no one, not even the Japanese students could explain how they could make such a mistake, the result was that they drove their rental car straight into Moreton Bay.
4. I’m Sure the Swamp is Lovely This Time of the Year
In June, 2011, three women who had rented a Mercedes SUV near Seattle apparently trusted their GPS system a little too much as it directed them to a large boat launch. Apparently content to drive through the “puddle” that was in front of them, they instead plowed their vehicle straight into Mercer Slough. All three got out unharmed, but the car was a total loss.
3. Keeping more than Two Eyes on the Road
The insurance form of many rental agencies have spaces on them for driver comments for the accidents that occur. There are certainly many interesting comments, but one that involved a minor fender-bender apparently revealed an unusual physical capacity.
“The accident happened because I had one eye on the lorry in front, one eye on the pedestrian and the other on the car behind.”
2. The Winchester, UK Phenomenon
This has happened to more than one rental vehicle. The town of Winchester, UK is a rather tiny village without old, narrow roads that simply do not accommodate wider vehicles such as large vans or trucks. For those who rented these types of vehicles, it may be understandable that they would not know about the narrow roads, save for the fact that Exton, a small nearby village, is dotted with large yellow signs warning drivers about the narrow roads which they apparently never see.
1. A World Where Speed Limits are Conditional
While this may not be the best rental car accident story, it certainly involved reasoning by the driver that is not common in this day and age. The accident occurred late at night when the driver was speeding through the countryside and lost control of the vehicle, crashing it into an embankment. While no one was hurt, the driver left this as his explanation for the speed he was travelling on his insurance form – “I didn’t think the speed limit applied after midnight.”
These are the top 10 weirdest ways people have damaged their rental car. If anything is certain, some of the entries on this list probably have already been topped by other accidents involving rental cars.