"Former Hertz agent. One of my best customers was an 'illegal substance salesmen' and would return her luxury car every week to swap out to a new one with a $50 bill inside the contract for me; it was great until it wasn't. The last rental she got was a luxury SUV that was returned to our possession from police impound with 12 bullet holes and $6,700 worth of damage. I hated having to put her on the 'do not rent' list."
"I worked as a management trainee for Enterprise about a year ago, and I rented a van to a lady and her husband so they could move their son into college in Colorado. They seemed normal and down to earth.
Upon return, they didn't mention any problems they had or anything that rubbed them the wrong way. AND the van was in pristine condition (newer van when we rented it to them, only about 1,000 miles on it)
A week later, the wife calls back claiming she and her family had gotten lice from our van, and the lice infected their home causing huge losses of clothing and furniture and the house needed to be fumigated. Apparently, the sand on the floor of the van had contained the lice which then hopped onto their heads. It HAD to have been our van that was the source of the lice. It couldn't have been any of the hotel/motels they stayed at the week they were traveling to and around Colorado.
The wife threatened legal action and a bunch of other stuff. She gave us repeated calls with tears and everything. When nothing came of it, we all forgot about it.
A while later, the husband came to us with his tail between his legs apologizing, saying his wife lost it when their son moved out and had since been prescribed medication.
It was bizarre."
"I am a college student who worked for a franchised rental car company.
Let me start off by saying this car didn't 'come back' per se, more like dragged back and left on our lot at night. We still have no idea who because their towing car drove outside of the camera angle.
Walking up to the car I could see there were multiple holes in the roof with redness splatter. You guessed it! Brains and blood all over the back seat. Apparently, as the story goes, a 'lady of the night' was in the back and was shot in the head from under the chin a couple of times.
The car was reported stolen by the true renters, and there's almost no evidence in the car besides the dead body. No fingerprints, or DNA, or anything.
Yes, they bought the full coverage insurance."
"I rented high-end cars for travelers in Europe. My favorite stories aren't quite returned, but here they are:
A client is outside his hotel with his Ferrari waiting for our rep to come pick up the car. Random guy walks past and says 'Nice car.' Our client says 'Are you here to pick up the car?' Random guy says 'Why, yes. Yes, I am.' and drives off with our Ferrari.
Another time, I had a guy go a high-speed chase. We require special insurance and paperwork before we let you take our expensive cars into Eastern Europe (because they tend to vanish over there). Guy renting an S-class Benz never tells anybody he is going to Eastern Europe and at the border gets turned around because the paperwork he has doesn't allow the car in there. He loses his mind and proceeds to ram through the border crossing and lead the cops on a car chase until he gets arrested. Then he called our 1-800 number to blame us for his incarceration.
Then, of course, is the common stupidity of people that happened so often it lost it's 'what the heck' factor.
'What do you mean I have to pay the speeding tickets I got in Europe?'
'I didn't know the huge sticker on the keys, gas cap, gas cap cover saying 'DIESEL ONLY' meant I couldn't fill it up with gasoline.'
Used rubbers and random underwear were frequent finds as well."
"I was a detailer for Budget and Avis while in college. I had a 4-Runner come back with banana peels everywhere. Not just a few; I'm talking dozens. On the floorboards, hanging over the back seat headrests, stuffed in the door pockets. Like Donkey Kong himself had been driving it for a week.
I once found a used glass pipe under the back seat of a Silverado.
Another time, I got a one-way rental from another location dropped off with us late one night. The rental agent told me that when she checked it in, it reeked of poop. Upon my inspection the next day, I found that someone had some kind of 'accident' on the driver's seat, and had left smears of human poop all over it. To make it worse, we had a customer who wanted a one-way rental back toward the car's original location immediately. So I had about 15 minutes to clean it up. 'Just do the best you can,' is what I was told.
The worst by far was the road construction company that rented a Corolla for a month. That was the only car that I wasn't able to save with a little work and time and had to be taken to a professional detailer. There was tar and asphalt stuck to the floors, so thick that you couldn't even tell that there was carpet underneath. Tar smears all over the steering wheel, shifter, dash, door panels, seats, headliner, and all over the outside, too. On top of that, there was a bad vibration while driving, like the wheels needed to be balanced or the car needed an alignment. We took it to Midas, and they ended up digging several pounds of asphalt out of the backside of the front right wheel."
"I used to work at a car rental place at the local airport cleaning cars and prepping them for the next renter. A guy came back and came up to the counter, didn't say anything, put the keys in the after-hours drop box, and hurried to catch his flight. I knew it was going to be bad because people who do that are embarrassed about the car and don't want to talk to anyone.
Anyway, I get the keys out of the box and head to the parking garage and notice that all the windows were down... in the middle of winter. It was a PT Cruiser and apparently the customer partied a bit too hard the night before. He managed to throw up all over the driver seat, the dashboard, it was in the air vents and he even filled the little pocket in door handle with vomit. The stench smelled like Kentucky sweetness and disappointment. I walked back to our desk and refused to clean the car. My manager tried to talk me into bringing it down to be cleaned and I said it was a bio-hazard and was not going to do any such thing."
"As a renter, my favorite was when we were renting cars to drive to a test range where we were testing TOW missiles in the desert. And on the way there, we came across a dry lakebed. So of course we raced those suckers.
One day a storm had blown some rocks off the hill. And my buddy drove right over one while going at least 90 mph. Ripped out the bottom of everything under the hood: Radiator, engine, transmission, differential, gas tank, etc. The car went about 100 feet and died.
Oh no! No off-road coverage!
We towed it out to the highway, with the rock. Left skid marks with another car. Dropped the rock, poured out appropriate fluids. Dropped the car. And called the rental agency.
They gave us a new car, but kept their eyes on us for the rest of the contract."
"Former Enterprise car prep guy here. Had a regular customer/frequent renter return his car saying he ran out of wiper fluid while driving on the highway. He goes on to tell us the story of how he pulled over to the side of the road, urinated into his own personal Nalgene bottle, and then proceeded to pour said urine into the wiper fluid reservoir, so he could 'clean' the windshield. My boss replied with 'Wait, what?' and he goes 'Don't worry, I ran my Nalgene bottle through the dishwasher, so it's no big deal.'"
"I work for Enterprise currently and just two days ago someone returned a car with bite marks on the side - naturally we all were thinking 'what the heck?' It turned out that a horse had attacked it and taken chunks out of the metal.
Safe to say we are charging the horse owner for the repair costs."
"I worked as a service agent for Enterprise for about a year and a half in Austin, Texas. The worst was this van that a guy brought back after having it for three weeks and It seriously smelled as if something had died in there and then he drove it out to a river and left the rotting corpse in van, half-submerged. We opened up the van for half a day and you could still smell it from 30 feet away, anything closer than five feet would have you gagging. There was half eaten food in it that probably baked in the Texan sun and the guy left it there to fester as if the van was a large petri dish for him to grow his moldy fungi demon creatures. Some unknown substance that looked half solid-half goo had packed itself in underneath the passenger seat and we could not figure out what it was for the life of us. There seemed to be dog poop smeared on the dashboard and all over the panel and some red stuff all over the wheel.
The car had to be doubly cleaned by a third party detail service we hired and they spent about six hours cleaning that van out, using surgical masks and rubber gloves. The engine itself was screwed up so we had to take it to the dealership where they worked on it for about two weeks when we usually got them back in like two or three days. We let it air out for three weeks after that before renting it out, but you could still smell that lingering scent of all things unholy."
"We had a lady return a car that she had for a weekend that was littered with pistachio shells, sunflower seeds, and smokes. I'm talking POUNDS of sunflower seeds and shells, dozens of smokes, and a cupholder full of ashes. She only had it for a weekend but it was disgusting. We ended up charging her a cleaning fee of $250 after her return, but my boss made me clean it before we took it to the detailers.
We also had a couple shady guys rent from us every week or so, and they only wanted a Nissan Altima. Every time, only an Altima. Three-day rentals and they always came back smelling a bit like substances (which was semi-normal). A couple times through, the back seat was loose. As if they had pulled the seat off and put it back on to hide something under it. After my boss transferred stores, I refused to rent to them because I was sure they were trafficking substances with our cars."
"Former Enterprise employee. We had a regular 'MILF' who would come and rent every couple of weeks for 'Business.' She was a nice lady, and normally everything went smoothly. Well, one day she returns the car, and I have the pleasure to take her home. After returning from the drop-off, I come to find a huge box on my desk, and all the other employees are staring at me as well. My manager tells me to open it but not to let out a big reaction. At this point, I am trying to figure out if someone is playing a joke on me. I opened the box and my eyes opened as big as they could. What I saw was the biggest and most unique collection of adult toys I have ever seen. The 'MILF' forgot her box of 'goodies' in her car. Well, someone had to return the box, So I 'volunteered' and headed back to her place. Unfortunately, she wasn't home at the time, so I left the box hidden behind a bush. We were sure she got the box, as she never returned to rent a vehicle again. That was an interesting day, to say the least"
"Former Alamo agent here, I had an 18-year-old try to rent a car from my store, but he was denied because he had no credit card and was too young. His father came in and rented a car. He was told his son could not drive. The car was not returned and we found it on the kid's college campus, outside a dorm dining hall, with a sign in the window that said 'Put All Garbage Here' with the windows rolled down. It was there for a week and it was FULL of half eaten food, rotting milk containers, and just the foulest smelling crap imaginable. The first tow truck company refused to tow it away because of the stench. They refused to get near it. The entire interior was replaced and still didn't cure the smell. Area manager claimed it was damaged in a flood and we junked it. I still can smell that car 15 years later"
"I worked for Enterprise when I was fresh out of college and I never experienced anything mindblowing, but the worst was someone who lived out of the rental car for four months. We had to go repossess the car because she didn't pay for a month - luckily she wasn't in it when we took it. COVERED in dog/cat/rat/whatever hair, about a million smokes, melted lipstick in the cup holder, dirt, mud, feces, etc. It smelled like a homeless shelter. We had our car washer wash it out for about 20 minutes and turned around and rented it an hour later. The poor person who had it afterward. Did I mention this was a Chevy Metro?"
"I worked at Enterprise a couple years ago as a management trainee. I'd go back and help the service agents clean cars on slow days. The worst thing we've ever found was poop smeared in the backseat. About a dozen empty cans of Monster on the floorboards, one of the seats was torn (not bad, just a small cut like pocket knife sized), trash filing every orifice the car had, and ash and smokes in the cup holders. The whole car smelled awful. We have a no smoking rule on all our cars and these jerks just said 'screw it' on that one. The car was a white Dodge Avenger, four-door.
It was horrid. My manager and the service agents just stood in the wash bay and stared at it for 30 minutes after the customers left. Then I watched their faces go white with fear as my manager told them, 'Clean it as best you can.' Straight up ridiculous.
We had the car sent up to an Indianapolis collision center because that thing was wrecked. This singular event was so bad our area manager got involved. We filed a claim against the customer, had the car cleaned and detailed, and transferred it to be used at another branch a couple counties away.
Another story from the rent-a-car days. Had a Ford F-150 stolen. It was found a week later covered in monster energy decals and filled with stolen purses. We never caught the customers who stole it. Another time some dingus took a log and smashed in the front window of a Genesis. Nothing was stolen, they just wanted to do damage. Again no one was caught. A fun bit that came out of that was that I got to drive the car to a repair shop with a gaping hole in the window.
"I work for a small rental agency inside a dealership, so our client base is mostly people getting service done on their car. We had a rude gentleman stop in to pick up a rental. Our policy is to match cars to the best of your ability. It just so happened he brought an Audi A8 in for service and we had one sitting. We rent the vehicle out to him and a week later we call him asking where he took the car. We rent cars and charge the service department so you can only rent a vehicle for 24 hours plus your service time. Anyways after refusing to return the vehicle, we don't hear from the customer for a week. I'm the meantime we have no idea where an $80,000 vehicle is at. Then the police arrive and ask questions about the customer and the vehicle he is in. Turns out, the guy stabbed another dude and fled in our vehicle. After that, I know the car was somehow returned and the customer disappeared."
"Worked for Avis Rent-a-Car for about a year. We had this one guy who would keep renting the Chrysler 300 and for an extensive amount of time. He then decided to 'pimp' the car by buying those black tinting wraps on the car for the windows. We know he's a substance salesman and we don't care as long as he pays.
Another story that relates to the Chrysler 300 is when the car was returned the tires were messed up. When I mean screwed up, it's not the flat tire messed up kind of story. I mean the tire rubber was shredded and the entire tire was warped to the point that it didn't even look like a tire, more of a cone shape. We assumed that this guy decided to do a donut to show off to his buddies."
"Had a short stint working for Avis; my job wasn't renting cars, but picking them up from out-of-state and driving them back.
There were two rentals that stick out.
There was once a car riddled with bullet holes that was apparently part of some kind of crime scene. There was blood in the backseat, but not tons of blood, so I assume whoever got shot back there lived. But other than that, it was driveable, and I drove it back to our office.
There was another time when we got a car back that made me scratch my head. Picked up a car from Indianapolis, and the back seat folded down to make the trunk bigger. Somehow they broke the backseat so the thing wouldn't stay latched and they also ripped up half the interior. But whatever, we get damaged cars all the time. I'm driving this car along I-70 when I feel something brush my leg. I look down and there was a giant lizard in this car.
I nearly crashed from the shock, pulled off to the side of the road, and called the company. They told me they wanted me to drive it back anyway, and that apparently they were warned that there could be an animal in the car.
Anyway, I'm not sure what kind of lizard it was. I'm thinking a large iguana or a baby monitor. I tried to grab it and throw it out of the car but it kept tucking in behind the seats or running up into the trunk. After failing to get it for over 15 minutes, I just tucked the ripped up interior under the seats so it couldn't get at my legs and drove like crazy to get that car back to the station. Only about an hour ride from that point.
I only worked there for a month; I can only imagine what other people have seen there. I moved onto a better paying job - that job was meant for retired people. They only paid minimum wage, and it was a part-time job."