Not pictured: a Chinese family on vacation. Image credit:
CountersteerYour true stories of good and bad things that happen in cars.

Unless you’re vacationing in a city with a stellar public transportation system or you’re part of a guided tour, most of us have to make do with hitting up the rental car desk for some wheels after we land.

For the most part, the cars are fine. They’re fine. Occasionally, though, you get one that is truly great. And by great I mean you question the car’s upbringing, did it have an abusive parent, what it went through before you got to it, etc.


Mine happened on a family trip to Hawaii in 2004. We landed in Honolulu and were given the keys to a gold Oldsmobile Alero. Curiously, somebody had stuck a bunch of Scotch tape to the clearcoat. The interior smelled like old cigarette smoke and there was a cigarette burn on one of the cloth seats. It was bleak.

But, if you’re going to have a filthy rental car anywhere, it might as well be in Hawaii, I suppose.

What was your sketchiest rental car? Or, what was your sketchiest rental car situation? Did you negotiate with someone on a darkened street corner? Did they express interest in your kidneys?

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.

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