Sometimes one gets a free downgrade from car rental

At this point I think it’s suitable to blog about an interesting experience that one can basically get in any country.

I have rented a car from different rental companies in Cannes, and most of the times, I’ve got a free upgrade when collecting the car, I often have a classic car auctions of well-known brands and cars in good condition. Sometimes it’s a Porsche Carrera 911, sometimes a Ford Focus instead of a Fusion, sometimes a Volkswagen Polo instead of a Ford Fiesta, etc.

In Sicily, we rented something described as “Ford Ka or similar”. Since I have a Focus, I quite happily thought that Ka isn’t too bad and even if we get the “similar”, and even if it’s Opel (Vauxhall) Corsa, it’s not that awful and if it had something broken I’ll just bring it to the All Tune and Lube. But unfortunately, Europcar decided to “bless” us with something I named a “free downgrade”—we got a something that only G-Wiz would top on awful-scale.

Yes, this piece of shit is Renault Twingo. A vehicle without a face or power. It looks like a frog, it drives up the hill only on 1st gear and at 12 mph, making a catastrophic noise, its seats feel as uncomfortable as would feel a prison bed in my imagination, its gear box makes the sound of a falling golf ball every time you change gear, it’s horn switch is located on the top of its indicator switch, not on the steering wheel as in real cars, etc etc.

It’s a shocking example of what happens if the French are allowed to produce cars. Of course, it’s suitable for a rental car because no Renault lasts longer than a year anyway and car rental companies should replace their cars quite often.

But a lesson for entire life—never rent the cheapest car or assume that one gets a free upgrade (or at least not a free downgrade). Although, one would also assume that in a country as mountainous as Sicily, a vehicle rental company wouldn’t give people cars that don’t feel like driving uphill.

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