Sunday, March 3, 2013

Californian Cars PTI: Rental Car

Apologies for the break in transmission guys. I'm back from a fantastic trip of California and can finally reveal what we rented!

Read part one here to see why this was such a big deal. I really felt a lot of pressure to pick the perfect car, within budget (I stress), for what could be the only time we ever have the chance to travel California's Highway 1.

I got in touch with Chanaka from Enterprise's 'Exotics' Department who talked me through the different deals and in the end we agreed on...wait for it...a Dodge Challenger R/T. Now I know some will tilt their heads in bemusement but the mustang were either base-model plastic jobs or the premium level GT and for me the Challenger R/T "Classic" just really looked the part. In hindsight the Camaro SS would have been an incredible car and was only slightly more expensive but I had committed to the Challenger for about US$150 per day and was delighted when it was dropped off at our door at no extra cost.

Speaking of extra costs though, the car in my opinion was a bargain. What wasn't a bargain is the insurance which I think if you're travelling in a rental you just need to have. It's not worth the stress of worrying about damage, theft, accidents etc etc. The insurance was an eye-watering $100 a day. But even that was taken in our stride. What killed us was the petrol. This 5.7L Hemi V8 drank petrol like it was going out of fashion. I also thought being a performance car I should put the highest octane fuel in it. I did this until my Wife and the petrol station attendant found out I was paying for premium when the car would only need standard unleaded. But suffice to say it was a killer on the hip-pocket at about $100 a day in fuel.

Highway 1 at sunset.

Can you tell we really loved our Challenger? I'd have one tomorrow.

One of the many times I filled the beast up.

This was the middle of Winter. Why doesn't everyone live in California?

Suse drove us on 'the 5' back from San Francisco. I fell asleep just after my petrol-head Wife was gingerly pressing on the accelerator in the slow lane. I awoke in terror as we sped, at warp-speed, past everyone else on the freeway. We both really loved the Dodge. Maybe one day we'll do the Camaro, Corvette and Mustang Fastback GT.

And to gloss over week two- we were only driving from LA to Palm Springs where we'd leave the car for the week. So we picked up a little Corolla which cost next to nothing to rent and we couldn't use a full tank of fuel even when we tried. There's something to be said for efficiency, sometimes. A time and a place for everything, you might say.

Thanks for the great suggestions and comments. A Wrangler would have been fun and cheap but we really felt a muscle coupe was the only way to go.

Click here for Part II.

1 comment:

  1. Having vague options in your car rental choices places you in a risky zone. But I am pleased to know that you end up taking a handsome one. Great choice, man! Though the Wrangler is cheaper, the Challenger performs better. And I can see you two loved it.

    Rob Brummitt