You know, when I go to [car rental place] in Melbourne, I don’t have high expectations. I’m usually hiring a vehicle to move something from point A to point B, and I’m not after luxury. So when I hired a van to move a mattress from Thornbury down to Dingley today, I initially didn’t mind the condition of the van I eventually hired.
To be honest, it wasn’t going to win any awards for Best of Show.
The huge dents would act as a reminder to other drivers to keep their distance. The smashed-in vents and the dodgy paintwork served to show the age of the vehicle.
This was effectively a tin-can on wheels, and was at times as deafening as a tractor to drive.
The worn seatbelt did give me pause to consider. But, I thought to myself, if it’s this well used, then it must be good quality workmanship. They really don’t know how to make things last these days.
While driving, moving the steering wheel left to right and back again to find that sweet spot where the wheels stayed straight was actually quite invigorating, and made me pay a lot more attention to the road. The gearstick too was an adventure; finding the gears was initially difficult, the same as hacking ones way through the wilderness with nothing but a Swiss Army Knife, but as time passed, I got the hang of it.
Among these great examples of the wares of the [car rental place] franchise, there was one thing which did give me pause for thought, though I hardly like to mention it.
The pro-tip that I can give is that to ensure repeat custom, you shouldn’t rent vehicles that leak carbon monoxide into the cab while the engine is on.
This challenging design issue became evident within about five minutes of driving. I thought it was just a little exhaust from surrounding vehicles. After all, the windows were open. But no, there was a constant stream of CO into the vehicle from either the engine itself, upon which I was sitting (it was the design of the vehicle, rather than a suicidal ideation in my good self), or from a leaky exhaust, coming in from the holes in the back of the van (or the back door itself, to which someone had kindly installed a bolt to hold it shut).
It became immediately clear that leaving the windows open would probably result in my continued survival, and that of my fellow drivers. Indeed, it was only when I approached Dingley that the pervasive smell of the vehicle’s exhaust was, albeit briefly, displaced in favour of the pungent aromas from the local tip. The smell of rotting organic matter (amongst other things) was a reminder that my olfactory senses did indeed work and that I wasn’t going to be smelling exhaust fumes for the rest of my existence.
Perhaps when I return the vehicle tomorrow I’ll get some kind of recompense. In the meantime, rating the vehicle is somewhat difficult. The problem I have is that hiring from this organisation, you are forewarned by their name. In that case, this is a 9/10 for effort. As far as repeat custom is concerned, however, it’ll be a 3/10.