It is unfortunately part of a car rental company's job to inspect a car once it has been brought back so that they may keep their vehicles running smoothly.
And unfortunately, some people are just...gross. Or worse.
Rental cars get turned in in such bad shape that people are speechless. But now they are coming forward to share their horror stories.
Here were some of those stories.
But Why The Seafood ThoughGiphy
I worked at a car dealer that uses the same guidelines as a dealers like CarMax. 1 owner low mileage cars from rental companies and off lease cars. When cars used to come in for service, we would loan them a similar car to theirs off the lot and let them take it with a dealer tag until their vehicle was finished.
We gave one lady a Jeep Grand Cherokee while her non grand Jeep Cherokee was in for service. This is a slightly bigger vehicle than she was used to driving. Now remember, these cars have to go back onto the lot once they're done being driven, so every customer was warned that every vehicle should be treated with care, this lady didn't get that memo.
After a week of driving a free loaner she returned the Jeep complaining of the gas mileage and that she had the hardest time parking it. We just took it as she really didn't like driving it. Boy were we wrong. The whole passenger side had giant scratches going down the side, it looked like she had gone through the woods. Some of it was yellow so it looked like she clipped one of those yellow pillars in parking lots.
The interior was another horror story. The entire trunk area looked like a bed of a landscaper's truck. Dirt and mud everywhere. Detailing took days to clean it out. Best part? The left over seafood containers left under the front seats. The car sat for a week after being returned bc of the exterior damage, giving time for the seafood to stew in the heat. If anyone doesn't know what cooked seafood starts to smell like un-refrigerated environments for long period of time, it smells exactly what it is; a rotting carcass. The detailers weren't really able to get that smell out of it after the various amount of harsh chemicals. That Jeep ended up going to auction rather than back on the lot rather than trying to fix and sell it for a profit.
They stopped loaning out lot vehicles after that one. They "flagged" her for future service and with the rental company we then outsourced our loaner cars to.
Not Clear If I'm Gonna Die Today
I worked at a rental agency shortly after college, and while this isn't gross, this particular story stuck to me. So, very occasionally people will rent cars and then just like...not give them back. You can call them over and over and leave messages, and you can try to hit their card on file as the costs mount but as you can imagine, this type of person ends up having their card decline fairly quickly. Rental charges are mounting and the person is MIA, so the main concern of the branch becomes getting the car back.
So here's one of the more adventurous parts of the job: eventually, you have to "repo" the car. One such time, we basically staked out this guy's house until he left (with someone else), leaving the rental car in the driveway. The branch manager quickly jumped in the car and we drove back to the branch.
Inside the car were dozens of boxes of designer sneakers, hundreds of bootleg DVDs, and dozens of (fake) designer purses. There were also drugs in the car. We had to call the police to report all of the items in the car (really, we called about the drugs, but when the officer came the manager showed them everything)
Around a month later...the renter came to the branch to ask if we'd taken the car and if his personal items could be returned. The manager took him into the office and nothing ended up happening (he just informed him they turned the items in to the police because it was policy, not mentioning the drugs or obviously-stolen and counterfeited items). While it all turned out ok, the rest of us in the branch were sh*tting bricks when the manager took him in the office. The dude who had driven him to the branch was sitting in there with us and we were all convinced we were about to get murdered.
Sometimes People Just Lose It
Not a car rental staff but hanging out with a friend who's about to leave on a long as road trip. We hear some racket outside and there's some random chick going all /r/publicfreakout on some dude car with a baseball bat. Busted off the mirrors, broke out all the windows, taillights and headlights, dents, the works.
Fast forward about three hours and I'm driving my friend to the rental place so she can pick up a rental for her road trip and guess which car is also in the lot?
Turns out, the guy who's car got all f*cked up had just rented it to break up with his girl because he knew it wasn't going to go well and didn't want her to f*ck up his car. He got all the insurance and she got a felony vandalism charge.
Casual Ant Colony
Oh man.. not a staff member, but this just happened to my wife and I.
So we went to Hawaii for our fifth anniversary. Never got to take a honeymoon, so this was kind of a bit of both.. We reserved a standard economy car from Fox and they said.. we upgraded you to this convertible.. I asked them for the type of car I reserved, as the convertible had minimal luggage space.. they kind of shrugged and went "But it's an upgrade" my wife was giving me the "Just f*cking get the keys" look, so I said great and signed for it.
We drive around for a little bit and hit the beach and see some ants in the car.. figured maybe we picked up or parked on some ants.. it's late so we head back to the room and sleep off the 8 hours of travel and layover.
The next morning, I see more ants.. then I turn on the air...
LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF ANTS come flooding out of the vents.. there was a nest in the car.. they lived there. I dropped my wife off at a coffee shop and returned the car immediately..
They ended up giving me another convertible, which I didn't want, but when I told them about the colony.. they said "I mean.. yeah.. that happens sometimes."
He Drove It Through An Action Movie
The strangest incident was a gray SUV that was returned with several bullet holes on the driver's side fender and door. The vehicle was driven in a slightly bad part of New York City when the incident occurred. I don't know what happened to the driver, but we totaled the rental.
I also came across a lot of weed, phones sunglasses and in one case, a Glock pistol.
It Gets Ricey In There
Old roommate worked for Uhaul in the late 90's. He had a few stories but my favorite. Guy rented a 16' truck and went to business Costco. Apparently guy owned a restaurant or two and loaded up on 5 gallon buckets of soy sauce and 50 pound bags of rice. Well he made it through the parking lot but when he turned onto the street his rear wheel went up on the sidewalk and when it came down the rear axle broke. He must have been going reasonably fast and forgot to secure any of his load. A lot of the buckets of soy sauce which were stacked four tall tipped over and flooded the back of the truck and street. The rice slowly expanded due to being covered in soy sauce and the fire department had to cut the back door open as it was wedged shut.
I worked for Enterprise back in 08-09 in Madison, WI. Constantly had people wanting to rent "maf*ckin Chargers," which we referred to as MFC's, to take down to Chicago for the weekend. They would come back smoked out with ash all over everything, and McDonald's bags everywhere. Just a complete mess.
We would rent cars with cash if we could get a $500 deposit on the vehicle, plus other documents showing they paid their bills and proof of residence. When people would return their car, we would give them a check for their deposit back because we didn't keep the cash in the office. One guy freaked out so hard because he wanted the cash right then and there. He was getting very aggressive and said he was going to go get his gun and shoot us all. We called the cops and the guy never returned.
Worked the airport location for a few months, and I had an absolute bitch of a branch manager. I would always have to work the night shift by myself, and we had to stay until the last flight came in, no matter when that was, so if it was delayed, we had to stick around. My manager would leave early all the time, and never make sure I was set with cars for the night. Just hoped that other cars would return and I'd be good. Constantly didn't have enough cars for people, and would have to walk them over to Avis and hope they could rent them a car. Nightmare.
This one isn't a horror story, but I use to rent cars to Craig Culver, The owner of Culver's, frequently when his car was being serviced. He always took the additional insurance which was great for me. He got in an accident in one of our cars one time by backing into one of those yellow cement posts in a parking lot. He felt so terrible about it, but he was covered since had the extra insurance. Really nice guy.
Also, just watch this video. It is a very realistic portrayal of daily conversations with customers.
Loved my coworkers, hated the job. I have plenty of other sh*tty stories about that place.
People Hide Their Vomit So Creatively
On a 2 week work trip some years ago my buddy and I are driving around southern California on the weekend. As the sun starts to really bake into the car we get this weird smell. At first we each though the other had bad BO but pretty soon we've got the windows down even though its 100F outside. I pull over and we search around. The car has rear seats that flip forward, under one of them is this pile of vomit. Its not huge so I think they had a kid in the car with one seat flipped forward and the kid barfed to the side...
We headed STRAIGHT back to the airport with the windows wide open. The checkin area was deserted with only one guy working, we jump out (the smell!) "You gotta give me a different car!" Guy leans in and sniffs "Yessir! Lets get you an upgrade!"
Left in a brand new (like 3 miles on it) Mustang Convertible...
Cars Are Places For Wild Things To Happen
I worked for a rental agency between 2010 and 2014.
One time I had a tweaked out customer back his rental into the river. We had it towed out and when it was being detailed they found so much trash including piles of empty bath salts packaging.
Another customer had Parkinson's and probably shouldn't have been driving to begin with. Within 10 seconds of pulling out of our lot he caused a three car accident. Yes he had the damage waiver, but he declined additional liability. Everyone was okay, but you could say they were shaken up.
Last story for now. I had a guy return a car laughing because he hit a raccoon in his Yaris. He declined the damage waiver and had a $1000 deductible. He proceeded to r/publicfreakout when I insisted I collect his deductible right then, which he did pay. The car ended up being totaled.
I have a lot more stories about rental cars involving drive bys, drugs, bank robberies, and even repossessing a rental car during a cook house bust.
Remember The Alamo
Customer renting from Alamo in Vegas. Kia Optimas were the hot new car of the day. I remember almost taking the only one in the mid-size category. Got in the car to drive away, and noticed the entire car smelled strongly of feet, like haven't-changed-your-socks-in-two-weeks feet. I really don't know how a car ends up smelling like that, but when we returned our Camry a week later, the fresh new dirty shoe Optima was still on the lot.
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Oh, the beginning of the interwebs.
Those were the days.
We definitely did not see what was to come.
Maybe it should've stayed simple.
We'll never know.
Computers rule the world now.
Let's see where we are in another twenty years.
RedditorEzucraAaAa wanted to wax nostalgic about the good old days of technology and its humble beginnings.
"Redditors, what's something the internet was crazy about but is now forgotten?"
I miss the simplicity of not having a thousand apps. I'm simple.
Ah Memories...the messengers aol GIFGiphy
"Search engines before Google existed. Alta Vista, Lycos, Web Crawler..."
"Downloading custom cursors for your computer. I gave my family computer so many viruses back in the '00s trying to click things with a lightsaber."
"Amazing. I had totally forgotten about all the virusy stuff I downloaded to my home computer, purely so the cursor would disappear and reappear. My parents had zero knowhow with computers either, so likely had no idea wtf I was downloading. Cursors were cool though, despite all the malware."
"During the early days of the web, when most websites weren't plastered with advertising... Website view counters."
"Back in the day of counters, one day I went to my website and the counter was in the thousands. I just thought it malfunctioned and ignored it. Years later I learned that my website, which had a MIDI collection, was published in a newspaper in another country. I couldn't say for sure if that was true and whether it aligned with the counter change."
"Yea the internet was simpler too, layout style I mean. I like old style HTML webpage layouts. I personally don’t like hyper modern logos and designs on interfaces. Something about old slightly pixelated designs about them home screens and app logos really made them satisfying. I’ve even went as far as seeing if I could install some extensions that could change the layout of sites, make them feel older, give them that 2000’s html look."
Found ItLooking The Loud House GIF by NickelodeonGiphy
"I used to waste so much time with stumble upon."
What a strange and crazy place the internet was.
notificationBaby Love GIF by LINE FRIENDSGiphy
"Poking on Facebook."
"I had a friend that poked me and I never noticed the notification. He died. I now have this unreturned poke as a reminder that I’ll never be able to poke them back."
"Many flash games are not dead. BEHOLD! The flashpoint project. They have saved thousands of the old flash games in a playable format. Go forth and relive your childhood Also paging u/The_Middler_is_Here"
I will find you...
"There was a rhythm game that I don't remember the name of that me and some friends would challenge each other in, and it had the song Guitar vs Piano 2 which introduced me to Envy, who was a pretty big newgrounds artist at the time. I wanna go check out their stuff again now, I'd completely forgot about them till now."
"Forums. There used to be so many, incredibly active and dedicated forums."
"A lot of the forums I visited were ruined by photobucket when they decided they wanted paid a lot of money from their users. So many build threads and tutorials ruined."
"IMDb had the best message boards back in the day. Chatting with your internet friends around the globe about every nuance in your fave movie. Man I miss that. Reddit is close, but nothing beats the olden days."
FunEgg Hatch GIF by The Roku ChannelGiphy
"Do you guys remember those egg things that hatched little creatures after a while? You'd put one on your website and then the artist would update the source url with images of it hatching? There were all kinds of little fun things like that."
Those were the days!
Do you have something you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Not all television and movies are loved by all.
A story and its characters have to appeal to you in order for you to be engaged.
It can take next to nothing for us to lose interest and let the screen go black.
Redditor BarooTangClan wanted to compare notes on all the entertainment we've said "that's enough" to.
"What will make you instantly stop watching a movie or show and why?"
I hate bad acting, writing, storytelling... I hate bad anything.
Stop JumpingFight Scene GIF by Operation FortuneGiphy
"Fight scenes with a million visual cuts. Gives me motion sickness. Contrast the absolutely masterful work in John Wick. long cuts, realistic use of weapons (mostly), 100% skill."
"When the actors whisper the whole movie and you have to crank the volume to hear what's being said - but the soundtrack or some other misc noise starts blaring at a higher volume directly after."
"I basically had to watch Stranger Things up in my attic with the windows and doors closed. I was worried the neighbors would think something was wrong or be annoyed if I watched it downstairs in my single family home. It was ridiculous."
"spice things up"
"Love triangles out of no where in a second or third season to 'spice things up' because studio writers are hacks and their idea of relationship drama is 'potential infidelity' at all times. It's the most tired trope on the go**amn planet and the second I see it rear its head I dip right the hell out."
"The whole concept of a love triangle to begin with an incredibly juvenile. Any healthy functioning adult who found themselves in a love triangle would soon choose to find themselves single."
Save your lips...
"When couples in a movie/show have a fight and one of them instantly goes to a friend and end up kissing her/him after talking for 5 minutes. I cringe so hard i turn it off and never watch it again."
"This pissed me off so much in Manifest. Girl is desperate to get back her ex-fiancé, he finally breaks up with his wife to get back with her and she's like 'nah, it's not fair to your wife, let me do this other dude I just met through a calling and be pissed at you for being jealous.' Michaela was the worst and everyone acted as if she were a saint the entire time."
Talk to MeIn Love Flirt GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"Shows where a single polite conversation could fix everything."
We are going overboard with the witty repartee. Talk normal...
Shut UpScared Home Alone GIF by FreeformGiphy
"Annoying main character, especially if it's a kid."
"Kids who have a quippy, sassy retort to everything, and everyone just kind of crumbles before their wit."
"Shows where kids in high school talk like they are 30 years olds who have done everything, been everywhere, know it all and use a ridiculously flowery and extensive vocabulary in every conversation. Like, have any of these writers ever been to high school? Literally no one talks like that. Even worse is when, in addition to this, all the adults talk normal or are just plain stupid, like so weird parallel universe."
"If the movie is too dark. Not graphic, just literally dark. I lose all sense of intensity in dark scenes and I'm not straining my damn eyes trying to figure out what the hell is going on."
"I've seen about 10 percent of all DC movies recently. I've seen all of the individual films in full, just actually saw 10% of each of them."
"Movies in the late 80s had a lot of dark but you could see the depth because of different shooting techniques. Now you cant see crap because its a CGI fest drowned in black color so you can't see crap because you have no depth in a scene. Compare night scenes in dark alleys in 80's movies and movies now. Utter crap show in the new ones."
Pay Attention Storytellers
"Bad editing would be a big one. A lot of modern horror movies can't help but edit the movies like they're trailers, with added noises to scare the audience because they are afraid the script alone isn't enough to keep people watching."
"I remember this is where the first transformers movie lost me. When the transformers are fighting at the end, it's all a big, jumbled mess of metal and I can barely tell what's going on or who is who."
Dramawill devry soap opera GIF by General HospitalGiphy
"When they go straight to relationship drama right away when it wasn't the selling point of the show."
Do better, Hollywood. It's not that hard.
I fear death.
I wake up in cold sweats dreaming about it.
I think about it in my waking hours.
It's an obsession and clearly, I'm not alone.
But there are more preferred ways to exit.
All we can do is hope to be lucky enough to skip the mercilessly awful.
Please just let me go quick and in my sleep.
RedditorCallMehRiverwanted to hear about all the ways none of us what to leave this life.
"What Do You Think Would Be The Worst Death Imaginable?"
My list of the worst deaths is long. My imagination runs amok.
Trappedseason 6 friends GIFGiphy
"For me? Being trapped in a small tube or cave (like the ones you have to wiggle through) and getting stuck to where you can’t move your arms. And all you can do is wait to die. I’m getting chills just thinking about it."
"The more I hear about cavers that get stuck, the more I think that's a crap way to go."
"There’s a great YouTube channel called Ask a Mortician and this was her #1 worse way to die. I can’t remember the exact details or their names, but two well-known divers went into an underwater cave."
"One of them became entangled and died. Years later, his friend dives back down there to try and retrieve his body, the body itself is rotten and his head comes off and the other guy also becomes tangled and dies. Really sad."
A Long Process
"Believed to be in a coma but coherent through the whole 20 year process until they pull the plug."
"Oh man this just reminded me of a story I read on here about a guy who lost the ability to move and speak but was completely conscious. Had to just lay there and be awake but trapped in a useless body. His family thought he was brain dead or something and he couldn’t communicate to them that he was 'all there.' Crazy"
Slow & Steady
"Being slowly impaled by a growing bamboo. It was a form of torture probably used by the japanese during WW2 against Allied prisoners."
"The scariest part is that once you have symptoms, you 100% will die. A 100% mortality rate has to be a psychological torture in itself."
"Not only that, you feel irrational fear. Your brain is literally being eaten apart by the virus and it fu*ks up everything on it. You can't drink water because it hurts you. You feel dizzy, present a fever, excessively salivate, everything hurts and it only gets worse. I'd rather take a bullet and die when the symptoms are still tolerable."
Why can't we all just go engulfed in calm and quiet?
"Some pulpy sci-fi book I read a while back had one of the best deaths of this real piece of crap bad guy. Left to die in a drowning sea lab under the Antarctic ice, he freezes himself in a state of the art suspended animation pod with some kind cold fusion power source that would keep it running for millions of years."
"But he forgot to inject himself with the drug that would put him to sleep. So basically he is in suspended animation at the bottom of the Antarctic ocean while his mind is perfectly awake and conscious in a near unbreakable machine that won't run out of power for millions of years and nobody knows about it."
"As an RN I have always thought that the worst way to die (natural process) is ALS. Lou Gehrig's Disease."
"My mom and grandmother have Huntington's disease, which is essentially ALS, Alzheimer's, and Dementia combined into one really messed up genetic disease. I have a 50% chance of inheriting it and if I hit 40 and there's still no cure I can't promise I'll feel like continuing on with my life because that disease is absolutely freaking miserable."
"The fact your chromosomes can be so destroyed your body basically lost it's genetic code and with it the ability to make any new cells. It's literally a 'dead man walking' and you slowly rot away in agony. Stuff is so unimaginably f**ked up."
"What's also bad about radiation is that it affects your nerves and brain cells last, so you have everything in place to feel all the pain of the rest of your cells being destroyed."
GooNot Listening Season 2 GIF by The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirGiphy
"I want to believe anything that slowly kills you painfully to be the worst. Such as slowly being crushed or something where the pain is beyond compare and yet not enough to throw you into shock or unconsciousness."
"Alternatively, being rapidly crushed into goo would probably be the least painful. I'm talking one of those massive industrial hammers they use for large steel work. Basically smooshed before the nerve signals make it to the brain."
Now I'll never sleep again without nightmares of death.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Most Americans think nothing of their humdrum daily activities or amenities available to them.
However, others with a different perspective might romanticize the things that are otherwise commonplace ideas and concepts for US citizens, like going to a diner or riding the school bus.
One Redditor looked to foreigners to hear of their American desires to respond to the following:
"Non-Americans of Reddit: what is an American thing you have always wanted to try?"
The things depicted in film really captivated foreign audiences.
"To visit a diner like in the movies. In the middle of the night, it’s raining and just a few people there with great music from a jukebox."
Iconic Student Transport
"Ride a yellow school bus even if I'm too old. Growing up I always loved seeing them on TV."
Just Like The Ones We Used To Know
"A white Christmas."
"Living in an Australian state where I've never even seen snow in our winter, let alone experiencing that classic Hallmark movie moment of waking up to a street full of it and sitting around a fireplace while opening gifts/preparing a feast."
"Guess it's not strictly American, but the imagery and trope is something I've only really seen from American Films."
They may be ubiquitous for us, but they sure seem to be novel ideas to foreigners.
Let's Be Frank
"One of the hotdogs from those little street cart things."
"A friend of mine from Indonesia said, 'the food chewer in the sink.'"
"Apple Pie made by white-haired grandma, placed near window, who says 'oh dear...' as I levitate towards it."
"Proper tailgating before a ball game, the kind where there's ribs and stuff."
"Deep fried foods at a state fair. I'm from Scotland and we love to deep fry everything and I wanna know if it's just as good or better."
There are places to see!
Places To See
"America’s greatest invention!"
Backpacking In Nature
"I always wanted to hike The Appalachian Trail if that counts. Or see Yellowstone."
"Being able to start a whole new life 'elsewhere' without having to leave my country and going through an arduous immigration process."
My cousin told me she looks forward to visiting a Trader Joe's someday when she visits America for the first time.
Her bucket list option was hardly surprising. My parents used to bring treats from TJs as a novelty souvenir gift item, and my relatives ate it up. Literally.
Let's face it. The snacks at TJs rocks.
Even store locations in New York City would have ridiculously long lines during busy hours because the West-coast-based grocer was a novelty on the East Coast.