Starting soon, I will be a featured blogger for National Car Rental’s new Facebook program, Go Like a Pro. National is one of the top rental car companies in the world, with locations just about everywhere. I’m pretty excited about the exposure I’ll be getting on their page, plus they are sending me a pretty sweet suitcase as well as a few treats to pass along to my readers. If you get a second, check out their new page which is full of tips from frequent renters. And look for my car-rental-centric posts throughout the next few weeks, starting with this one…..
The first time I rented a car was on my first business trip, which was my first day at work. To say I was nervous and stressed is kind of an understatement. After an early morning flight, I arrived in San Jose and got on the bus that took you on the long trip to the old car rental lots. At this point I was sure that everyone at my new company was going to think I was a slow, idiot slacker, since it was taking me so long to do everything. And it only got worse. I waited in line at the counter for a long time, tapping my foot and looking at my watch. Once I finally had my rental agreement in hand, I went outside and found my car. I put my suitcase in the back, my purse in the front seat, got out a bottle of water, and directions to the office. Feeling much more comfortable, I drove the car to the little check out booth. Where the security person promptly told me that I had taken the wrong car. With my face turning red, I did an awkward back-up-and-turn-around, took the car back to its slot, and found the correct car the next space over. This time I wanted to be positively, absolutely sure that I had the right car. So I looked carefully at my rental agreement and checked the make, model, and license plate. All matched up. Then I looked at the color, which on the agreement was listed as brown. This car was white. I went around to the little numbers on the window and checked those too, and sure enough it was the correct car, with the wrong color listed on the agreement. This time when I drove to the security booth, when the check-out guy looked at me, I said, “I know, I know! But the license plate number checked out!” He got out and checked it all himself, and then let me leave with the car. Oy. So in this case, I was not exactly “going like a pro.” But that came soon, I promise.
The moral of this story? Make sure you are taking the right car out of the lot!! Save yourself some embarrassment, and check the license plate number before you drive away.