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Old Jun 7, 11, 8:34 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 12,568
I was once travelling to Galway, Ireland for a week for work. Unknowingly, I have planned everything for race week (not a good idea!) My hotel was in the middle of nowhere, about an hour from Galway itself, not a big deal as the countryside is gorgeous. But it did mean I needed a rental car rather than using a cab from the airport to the city centre.

So I get in to Galway airport (teeny tiny place) and the Budget rental guy is standing waiting for me. I am clearly the only customer off this flight, and his last of the day. He completes paperwork at record speed, hands me the keys, and pulls the shutter on the counter. I head out to the lot as directed, and find, what can only be described as 'an old banger'. This was not a rental car. This was someone's granny's car that had been borrowed because they ahd rented out all their other cars. I forget the model, but I'd booked a midsized, and this was about the same size as an old Fiesta. Size alone, no big deal. But this car, complete with cushions on the back seat, as only someone over 70 appreciates the need for, is battered to within an inch of its life. I run back to the terminal, where I find my rental guy trying desperately to ignore my 'Cooey, OI YOU!' across the building. He reluctantly has to turn around and deal with me.

He tells me he is sorry, it isn't 'typical' of a Budget rental car, but it is in perfect order, just a little 'cosmetics'. I insist he comes with me to the car to complete a pre-rental damage diagram, as there is NO WAY they are going to land any of this on me. The finished diagram looks like a 3 year old took a crayon to it and went wild! It was missing a wing mirror, had scratches, dents and dings on every single panel, the seats were stained, the carpet was torn, the windows didn't work (or rather, they seemed not to, then as you coaxed it up to 50mph, the drivers window (manual) smacked down halfway into the door.

I was furious, but had no choice, there were no other cars in the lot, no other rental agencies open etc. He just shrugs and says 'race week'.

I would never rent with Budget again, sent them a letter telling them so, and they sent me a 30 euro coupon 'for your next rental'!
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