The Pros and Cons of a Rental Car

Temporary Rental Car

Due to the little driving hiccup our van endured a couple of weeks ago (it was my hiccup and the van could be driven away.  My pride was only partially recovered when the rental car was returned.  I should, barring any further issues, be recovered by the end of the year.), we had to get a rental car.  Due to confusion from Safeco (they assigned us 2 adjusters.  I contacted the “wrong” adjuster and delayed the acquiring of the rental by a day or two.  Service King would not allow me to come in and drop the car off until Wednesday [I was calling on Monday].  I knew my “rep” was waiting on his wife to have a child, so I pushed it a bit and was able to get the van dropped off.  The van was routed to another Service King where construction was keeping them from getting many cars.  Supposedly, our van was placed on a flatbed for the trip to and from.), the damaged car was almost in my possession longer than my inflated ego could handle.  (My youngest son is supposed to get his license in February, and son #1 had a little accident in the past couple years that caused a bit of damage.)  Once I had the rental car, these are the pros and cons I discovered:


  • XM Radio:  I enjoyed finding the classic rock station (or one of the them…I believe it was Classic Rewind).  I could identify about 4 out of 5 songs they played on the station–the station hit my rocking age pretty well.  A few stray bands I wasn’t very familiar with AND too much Foreigner.
  • Built-in Movie:  The controls were a little tricky for this.  The whole front navigation screen had to move down to allow the DVD to be put in.  We lucked into the DVD sound once, and then the day it was returned I figured out how it actually worked.  The girls have put this feature on our next vehicle purchase.
  • Heated seats:  Not sure if I fully figured these out.  The heating controls (yes, there was a manual, but it was a rental – why should I read it?) involved multiple buttons.  And, if the buttons were hit once it was front and twice for the rear (or something like that).  Fortunately, it was “warm” most of the days we had the rental.  I figured the windows out without a problem!


  • Every time I drive it I am reminding that kissing other cars in public with your car has a cost.
  • Getting request from the back to change the channel or provide volume to the CD player can put me in a situation where the rental is susceptible to its own accident.  It is not just the kids requests.  I was playing around with Satellite stations.  As I switched between categories and played with features, I saw more than one “future” where I was going to have to explain how the rental arrived on the wrong side of a dotted line or straddling some other driving obstacle.
  • Our “real” van was certainly lonely.  Before we dropped it off, I had to clean out all of the umbrellas and misc. other things that we had let accumulate w/i its various crannies.  I am sure he was very sad to be away.  I remember, vaguely, having a dream of looking out through my headlights and having rain come over them–even while in a garage.  I am sure this was not any type of “connection” between me and the car.
  • The biggest con…..forgetting to grab the garage door opener when turning the rental car back in.  Recapping this story might bring up bad memories in all who are reading (or possibly in the teller).  So, I will just say, one word–visors!!  Beware the comfortably tucked away visor.

It is good to get things mixed up a little bit.  And, this adventure into rental land allowed for an occasionally interesting trip.  Hopefully, we can rent again before we are forced to do so again by a driving disaster…

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