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The colourful life of a rental car

National Car Rental hears many valid reasons for cars being returned late or damaged. However, some of the reasons offered in the past year defy explanation and indeed with a birth of a baby girl in one of its cars, (the proud parents consequently called her Karan) it is clear that although the life of a rental car is short (typically 6 months from new) it often has some colourful experiences.

National surveyed its 145 branches over a year across the UK and had the following feedback:

Strangest Reasons for Damage

  • “I wasn’t used to wearing high heels” was the reason provided by a man dressed as a woman who returned a damaged 4x4 he had rented
  • “We were attacked by monkeys” claimed a customer who had driven through Longleat animal enclosure
  • “A stag jumped over the wall” was the reason given by a customer in Glasgow
  • “I hit a square roundabout” was the cause for damage to a vehicle in Edinburgh
  • “I thought I could damage the car as I had paid £500 deposit.” (The deposit is refunded if no damage has been caused at the end of the rental.) said one customer in London
  • “It’s the rock’s fault it got in the way” claimed a customer in Birmingham when she backed into a rock in a field
  • “The road was too narrow and we ran into a sheep” claimed a customer who had hired a car in Exeter

    Unusual Reasons for returning a car late

  • “I thought Scotland was on a different time zone.”
  • “I’ve lost the car” A customer had forgotten where he parked the car.
  • An Australian customer said “The heater wasn’t working properly it was stuck on full heat that made my shoes melt, I couldn’t drive properly after that” The driver claimed he had to make several stops as a result
  • “I forgot the clocks went forward I’m only an hour late rather than two”

    Surprising Items Left in the Car

  • A Ginger toupee
  • A package from Ann Summers
  • Underwear
  • False Leg
  • Tumble dryer
  • Rocking Horse
  • Transplant Organ Box
  • Wheelchair

    Kim Brown, marketing director for National says: “We are always sympathetic when cars are returned late and obviously if the car is damaged we have a clear process for the management of the claim. However, it is amazing some of the explanations we hear and the ‘secret life’ our rental cars have whilst out on a booking.”

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