And you replied:
"Unfortunately they don't see it that way. They see it as you broke
Now I don't know what you meant, but I thought you meant that they
bill for loss of use when the car breaks down, even if the renter
didn't break it.
My car rental tale goes like this:
SWMBO and I rented a car in Orlando and as we drove off she pulled her
cell phone charger out of her purse and plugged it into the lighter socket.
The little red LED on the charger didn't come on as it always does so I
figured some previous renter had blown out the lighter fuse and the
rental place had little reason to check for that.
So, since we were going to be there for a week and didn't have a line
voltage charger with us I "whipped a youey" and went back to the place
to tell them about the problem.
I was shocked, shocked, to hear the girl behind the counter say, "Oh,
the boss had all the lighter sockets disabledd because our cars are all
"non-smoking". (Oh yeah, that's going to stop some pig from lighting up
with a match or a Bic lighter.)
I told her that wouldn't do and after some more pressure from me she got
one of the techs to crawl under the dash and stick a fuse in the empty
slot to power up the lighter socket.
Very funny. I don't smoke, never have, but I didn't like it when I
heard they were taking the lighters out of some new cars. Like they
won't even sell a car to a smoker. Big Brother telling people what to
And when I thought I was driving a truck from Texas, I made sure they
had a socket so I could plug in the compass, or the tv. They all did.
But now that there are so many cellphones, I would think cigarette
lighters would be back on the carmakers required list. Even if they
don't put an actual lighter in the hole, one could still buy one.
Just to clarify one thing. All the rental companies that offer
buying a full tank of gas
upfront that I have dealt with offer this at a price that is either
average or sometimes
better than you can get at gas stations near the airport. If you
choose not to take
the offer and return the car partly empty, then they charge a much
higher rate for
I always take the tank of gas upfront option if I'm pretty sure I'll
be driving enough to use up
close to a tank or more of gas. Then, you just bring it back close
to empty, don't have
to refuel at the end, and got a good price for the gas. If I'm only
going to drive less, then
I refuel before the airport.
On 2 May 2007 06:27:52 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
OK, but I think you said that if you will only need a half tank at the
end of your rental, it's not a good idea to buy a full tank in
Aha! I didn't realize there were two prices from the same place.
Thanks for clarifying that.
But what if you use 20 and 1/8 tankfuls. Don't they charge you for a
whole tankful even though you only need 1/8th? If not, I'm still
confused. If yes, it seems like a very bad deal, even if they do
charge an average or low rate per gallon.
Yes, they would. But you don't have to always fill the tank. On the
last fill, if you figure
you're only gonna drive another 100 miles, you just put in whatever
figure will result in the car going back with not much left, like 6
On 2 May 2007 11:38:47 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
I couldn't risk it.
I've run out of gas 16 times iirc. I almost won a weekend for two in
Las Vegas to appear at some convention or something to illustrate
running out of gas. But the last time was at least 11 years ago. I
try real heard not to do that anymore.
Strangely, most of the times I ran out of gas it didn't cost me more
than 5 minutes, and never more than a half hour. I know that can't
Twice!!, I ran out on the Brooklyn Bridge, heading to Brooklyn, and
each time I coasted down the bridge across Tillary and into the
SAEEWAY gas station. Once on the BQE heading towards Queens just past
Washington AVe. and I coastee along the xway, down the next ramp and
right into a gas station. Once in western Illinois, where I didn't
want to get off the interstate and I got to my destination town,
Chadwick, and ran out of gas just as I crossed the sidewalk while
going into the gas station. Coasted to the pump.
I remember some more, but I've forgotten some too, or I might have won
I don't want to get anywhere close to empty anymore, because I have
100 reasons not to stop for gas.
Last time for me was about 15+ years ago. I got lucky and was able to coast
through a traffic light and into a gas station, right to a pump. Then a car
pull up behind me and says "hey, pull it up a little more". He was pissed
when I didn't.
That makes sense. But I would think Jeff is right, that they'll use
the same lighter they use when they're walking down the street and
don't have a car with a cigarette lighter under them.
Surely only the most disorganized smoker goes out without a lighter,
and if he does, he can buy one or get matches at a 7-11.
Do the car companies try to penalize someone who smokes in their cars?
What if I rent a car and have to give my boss a ride and he smokes?
Would I have to stop him or pay for it afterwards?
I think that would be true. If they say don't smoke in the car, I bet
they have provisions for you to pay up if you stink the car up. Last
time I stayed in a hotel, I saw that the fine for smoking in the room was
no joke ... $250 I think.
I rented a car once that had reasonably low mileage, but you couldn't
drive it with the windows closed, it stunk of cigarette smoke that bad.
I am not one of those, ooo I detect a whiff of smoke, I mean it *reeked*
that much. Man.
I could see where someone might rent a supposedly non-smoking
car, get in and there's a little smoke stench and they say Give me a
car. I can't really blame the car rental people for taking out the lighter.
Still, to take out the fuse, that does seem to be going a little far.
I wouldn't be surprised if smokers carry the removeable part of a
cigarette lighter. Heck they may start carrying the fuse too.
I don't travel that much, and I also stay whereever I find a motel
along the road. I keep a list or look for a nice one. The most
important thing is that the windows should open. So I've gotten to
taking with me a little clock-radio, and I'm thinking I should take a
universal remote for the tv. And a copy of the tv-section from my
local paper, which will have all the network programs if not the local
ones. Easiest would be the Sunday tv schedule for the week.
I carry an enormous variety of things in my own car, including plates,
flatware, and especially salt and pepper.
One time, about 6PM in the summer, my car stalled and woulnd't start
between 6th and 7th on 47th street in NYC, and I didn't want to wear
good shoes while I crawled under the car, so I went barefoot for an
hour while I worked on the car. The street was nice and I didn't even
scratch my feet. But since then I carry a really old pair of sneakers.
Lots of car not only have the lighter socket, but an additional one for
accessories. That is becoming standard. The lighters were taken out more
as a cost savings. I recall one car listing a "smokers option".
Even when they do add "accessory sockets," they can still be a cost
savings vs real lighter sockets. Even when I use the big inverter that
runs my laptop, TV, and camera charger, it draws a fraction of the power
of an electrical-resistance lighter, and it doesn't need the thermal
protection around the socket.
firstname.lastname@example.org is Joshua Putnam
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