Have you ever rented a car just to see if you would like driving it or not? We had a wedding to attend last year in a neighboring state, and our air conditioner decided to go on the fritz just before we left (that story was amusing in itself, but I will save it for another time). Considering the weather was a good 90° out, and we didn’t have time to take it to the shop, we rented a car. We did not care what kind of car they gave us, so long as the size matched our family needs.
What a pleasant surprise for us to discover we loved the car! It was a brand we had NEVER before considered buying, in fact we thought it was a car we would not like…but boy, we were wrong. The car they gave us was a Limited Edition Ford Taurus, with all the fixings. It had charging devices in all the right places, played music directly from our iPod, was extremely comfortable, had cold AC, was very roomy (even for the teen and tween in the back), and had a lot of trunk space. In addition to that, it was a very smooth and quiet ride, and the engine had great get-up-and-go!
The next trip we took was a mini-trip to Chicago, another neighboring state, to see the well-touted Navy Pier (a trip well worth taking, we loved the pier!). We decided to rent a car, just for the fun of it, to have the extended use of a different type of car. This time around, the car we got was one we thought we might like to purchase in the future, and we found out we just hated it. It was too low to the ground, not at all roomy, and the seats were uncomfortable. On top of that there was a lot of unusable space around and on the dashboard. It just wasn’t designed well (or at least to suit our tastes).
The last trip we took had us gone for two weeks, and it was a few states to our west. Again, we decided to rent. The car we got was not one either of us (my husband or I) really wanted to test drive, but part of the fun of the rental cars is you get what they give you (or at least that is the case with the only rental car company in our city). The car had a no-key entry (which really takes some getting used to), the trunk wouldn’t open unless a button inside of the glove box was switched to ‘on,’ and the interior appeared a bit small for our needs. The car really wasn’t what we thought we were looking for, but it was comfortable, and it did have a super smooth and quiet ride. Not to mention it turned on a dime and could keep up with the best of ‘em on the highway. After a couple of days, however, the car really started to grow on us, especially my husband, and as a result of that trip, he has bumped that make and model up very high on his list of ‘definite maybes’ for his next purchase.
So, we have two more trips to take this year, possibly three, and we are thinking we will again take rental cars. We are only passively looking for new vehicles, but the experiences we gain through the rental car transactions are a lot more extensive than we could ever get from just a test drive off of the car lot. And driving makes and models we had not previously considered before, is just fun!
And with that being said, I wonder if I can talk hubby into test driving a Porsche… he he he. Kidding (sort of).