Today, Friday, July 22 we mostly decompressed from the four-day road trip. Jill and Rich drove the car back to the car rental agency in Nice. There were no issues with the car, so that went smoothly. Unlike our driving trip in Germany last year.
We learned the hard way that if anything happens to the car while it is in your possession, it is your fault. Shortly after we left the car rental lot, we had a “low pressure” message on the dash panel. Getting out and inspecting the tires, we noticed a nail in the tire tread. Henry Warner filled the tire to pressure and we never had another low pressure warning. Evidently the nail was sealing the puncture pretty effectively.
Thinking we were performing a courtesy, we mentioned the nail to the agency upon returning the car. After flying back to the states, we were shocked to see a €250 charge for “damage” to the car. We protested that the nail could very well have been in the tire from the moment we drove the car off the lot, as the low pressure warning occurred within hours of leaving the lot. To no avail. We were informed that any damage to the car is the driver’s fault. Henry Warner had a hard time believing that that a simple nail in the tread (not the sidewall) could result in such a princely charge, but fighting a battle via email with a German agency from the US was a fruitless effort.
We filed a claim with our credit card company, which would have completely covered the bill. However, about two months into the protest process, we received a surprise letter from the car rental agency that “insufficient documentation” had been provided by the crew that checked us in, so the damage charge was being waived. Whew! Lucked out on that one! But it did teach us to thoroughly check not only the condition of the body, but also the state of all four tires. So this time in Nice, before leaving the lot, we even drove the car a couple of feet forward to make sure that nothing had punctured the hidden underside of the tires. Car renters beware!
Since nothing blog-worthy happened today, the rest of this post contains previously unpublished pictures.