By on May 21, 2008

jasondawe.jpgJeremy Clarkson's strident, xenophobic and bombastic opinions aside, he's a rare bird, a true master of the craft. Case in point: former car salesman and failed Top Gear presenter Jason Dawe. "How to test drive a car properly" begins in the great Clarksonian "I'll get to the car bit when I bloody feel like it" tradition, trying to amuse us with tales from the mattress department. (Snoring is sooooo funny.) And then… "How can you possibly get a proper feel for a new car when you find yourself driving around the local industrial estate with an over anxious salesman sat beside you bellowing into his mobile and indicating the next turn back to the garage? Rental offers a very simple solution, with a lot of the main fleets offering a huge choice of vehicles. The chances are that if you have your eye on a car, your local rental agency will be able to get it for you. And hire doesn’t have to be expensive – ignore the published tariffs and do some bargaining – you might be surprised at the deals with which you could end up. For the sake of spending just a couple of hundred pounds for a week’s rental, you could save yourself thousands if you find the car isn’t for you." I suppose if you're looking for the car that isn't for you, a rental is as good a place as any in which to look. And now a word from our sponsor– I mean another word from our sponsor: "Avis confirm that rental experiences influence new car buying decisions. On handing back the rental car 44% of UK renters said they were slightly or much more likely to add the model to their next new car shopping list." So Jason, which is it: slightly or much more likely? 

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13 Comments on “How to Re-Write An Avis Press Release...”

  • avatar

    Lets see… slightly or much more… what did he leave out? 56% that said “no change”, “less likely”, or “much less likely”?

  • avatar

    In the US, this idea works great if you’re interested in a new Camry or a 2003 Chevy Classic (3-gen-old Malibu).

    The only things I’ve ever learned from US rental companies is which cars to hate.

  • avatar

    How about elminate dealers entirely or convert to service only centers? Make sure your whole fleet is available for rent, even re-imburse rental fees for those who purchase, and run the whole business online, build to order? Consumers get the added benefit of evaluating a vehicle during and after heavy abuse and for as long as they want…I mean, I love the car dealer experience.

  • avatar

    At Enterprise, I got a chance to rent a previous-gen Infiniti G35, a car I’ve wanted to drive ever since it came out. I discovered that the lovely motor could not make up for the twitchy steering, grabby brakes and hyperactive gas pedal all of which conspired to ruin the experience.

  • avatar

    Motivations aside, he’s kinda right.

    I didn’t know how much I hated the Jeep Compass until I had to rent one last week in Dallas.

  • avatar

    My wife and I have been pleasantly surprised by a handful of rentals over the years, a montero, contertible mustang, liberty and avalon all spring to mind as something we’d never have test driven but enjoyed after renting. My wife actually wanted a liberty for a bit after renting it. I’ve said on here before that struggling car makers would do well to exploit this opportunity.

  • avatar

    Over the years I’ve rented several Hummer H2, Audi A8L, Audi A6, Corvette Convertible, so many G35s I can’t remember, a Cadillac XLR, various Jaguars, various Volvos, a BMW 730D in Germany, and the normal rental cars like Mazdas, Fords, and Lincolns. I rented a FX35 for a month just to be sure I would like it, before deciding to buy our FX45. It works especially well if you can get a client or business to pay for your extended test drives on business trips.

    Avis in the US has a rather boring fleet, where Hertz is really where you want to go to see the interesting cars. Avis is getting better, but without an awards program, you are limited to the normal rental cars when on vacation.

    Hertz customer service though has really gone into the toilet after being sold by Ford. 70% or so of their fleet are now “risk” cars (owned by them) instead of leased, so they tend to keep them until they reach 30,000 miles or more. By that time they’re very beat up.

  • avatar

    Hiring a Corolla hatch for two days over Easter made me not hate Corollas. Fun story, but ultimately irrelevant.

    Like Sajeev said, the guy is right. The stats are a crock, but then again, what stats aren’t? I know I don’t need to bust out that one quote about statistics that everyone busts out when they talk about how statistics are a crock…

    If a company has a decent fleet and the cars are in okay condition, you’d be surprised at what effect it has, especially on people who aren’t “car guys.” My aunt was having problems with her car so when she went on long road trips she’d rent a Magnum. Probably would have bought one because of her experiences, had it not been for the gas crunch.

  • avatar

    Try before you buy, and with a rental you can get it for a long weekend or even a week to really experience it before having to live with if for years. I have been fortunate to have had dealers let me take a car home for the weekend before deciding if I wanted to make a purchase. 2 out of three attempts before I made my final decision.

  • avatar

    I’ll pile on and agree somewhat with the ‘rent to buy’ theory. 6 years ago my wife and I lusted after a new Discovery. We had a well used land Cruiser that we needed to let go and knew lots of friends in Arizona who swore by them. We went to Hertz, rented a new one for a week and took off to California. Ummmm… road? Nothing better. On road? Ugh. We saved ourselves from a mistake and went with another Land Cruiser for our off-road adventures.

  • avatar

    I had a rental 2002 Focus that was a fun car. Too bad the interior (and to a lesser extent, the exterior) is so ugly. Also, worst engine sound ever.

    I had a 2003 rental Corolla. Ugly car, but quiet as a tomb, comfortable, and awesome gas mileage compared to my Protege. Too bad it wasnt as fun. If you don’t care about cars, get a Corolla. Would recommend to my mother, sister, grandmother…. everyone who isn’t a hoon.

  • avatar
    Sammy Hagar

    Sort of O/T, but I’ve been trying to set up a weekend rental w/a Prius for almost two months now…still no luck (always gone). Seems to be a very popular choice, which I suspect has equal parts to do w/fuel prices and long test-drives. I just want to rent one to see what what it’s limits are (meaning don’t buy an Enterprise Prius in the state of Washington w/out a thorough inspection).

  • avatar

    Does anyone offer rentals with a manual transmission? If so, I could get on board with this.

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