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What are Some of the Best and Worst Rental Cars You’ve Ended Up With?

International Drivers Permit

This question comes from a curious forum poster asking:
Just curious what some of the best and worst cars you’ve ended up with?
I’ll start:
Best- 2019 BMW 530i xdrive (in early 2020) with 5k miles on it. Had a smooth ride, nice handling, and had tons of cool little quirks. Definitely a fun car for the weekend I had it.
Worst- a filthy 2016 Nissan Versa (in 2019) with 55k miles on it (was the only car left in the location late one night). The entire car shook if you got over 60mph. Thankfully that one was just a one day rental.
What are your best and worse? Share them in this forum thread.
kkua April 27, 2020

The AVIS counter in ATL is the worst in my experience. Their staff are very unprofessional, racist, homophobic, incompetant and downright nasty. Most of the AVIS locations have nice staff. Must be the spirit of aloha and the novelty of opening up a new office that made Firefly in HNL my most easy experience renting a car. The next closest was Alamo in ROC and HNL. They gave me a Mustang convertible without asking for upgrades because it was the last available car.

jsb15 April 24, 2020

Best: Was in college in 1984 and rented a $17/day subcompact Ford Escort from Hertz. At the counter they told me they had no Escorts available and wondered if I would take a Mark VII. I asked "a Lincoln Mark VII - hell yeah!" I drove from CT to the Bronx in style!

blue2002 April 24, 2020

Most ridiculous: Decades ago (1991? 1992?) during university, me and three of my buddies decided to go to Algonquin Park (http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/) for a weekend of backcountry canoeing. There was only one agency in town willing to rent to us kids... Thrifty, I think. We booked either economy or compact, whatever was the cheapest. When we showed up to pick up the car, all they had was a fully loaded sky-blue with gold trim Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue... The darn thing was such a land yacht, we almost got seasick on the smaller highways. On the backcountry road to the outfitters it would barely fit between the trees, and once we got to our destination the car was so covered in mud, there was no body paint visible below the windows. Folks from the outfitters came out to take pictures, claiming they had never before seen anybody brave their road in a car like this. A rental is the only true off-road vehicle...

spartacus April 24, 2020

I really liked the Skoda from Hertz in Brussels November of 2018. I was the first person to drive the car and it was a nice ride. The only problem I encountered was the GPS. It had difficulty, especially in those roundabouts with more than a couple of exits. It was slow to respond and reroute if you took a wrong turn. It also was no help at all finding my B&B one night. Other than that, I loved it. Worst had to be an Avis rental in TPA many years ago. I had my kids and the agent tried to do me a solid, giving me a Mustang convertible. However, the roof had issues. It opened but then we couldn't get it closed. Instead of taking it back I put a groundcloth over it that I picked up at Lowe's. My boys were young and it actually made the trip more adventurous, but it reminded me why I'm not a Ford fan.

MitchR April 24, 2020

Rented a BMW in Barcelona. After a few days I needed to fill it with gas. Couldn't find the gas door release so I pulled out the owners manual. It was in French and German. No pictures or diagrams. Sat in the car reading through the manual until the attendant came out and showed me that if I pushed on the gas door it would pop open.