I’m a big city guy. All of that fresh air and the absence of multi-linguistic arguments echoing from sunrise to beyond sunset, it’s nice for a weekend break. Sorry Canberra, I probably won’t be a resident anytime soon. But this post is about a challenge.
Imagining that you were in Sydney CBD, and you get that call from your boss. You need to travel to Canberra immediately. You weigh up your options. Uber to the airport and fly down, or hire a car?
Waking up felt like any other day. Although perhaps the departure from my bed was more of a childish jump rather than the usual stumble. Looking like the front man of a one-man marching band, I arrived at the Tesla dealer in Artarmon (Sydney) at 9:30am (neither 9:29am nor 9:31am) holding every piece of my camera gear, not knowing what I may need. Holding back my excitement, I put on my best calm person voice and remarked:
“Morning! I’m here to take the Model S for three days.”
In retrospect, I wasn’t so calm.
Equally, such cars deserve the attention from those who can admire their quirks, idiosyncrasies, and faults. These are the cars with a personality we hate to love and love to hate. The Europcar Mercedes-Benz GLE 250D is one of those cars.
In a short pregnancy, the Mercedes GLE was announced in early May 2016 and a week later we had our hands on what seemed like an ex-demo entry-level Mercedes SUV — a direct competitor to the Hertz Audi Q7. Although I usually undertake these reviews myself, this time would be a bit different. I had a pair of accomplices and they had a grand plan.
Some people are rude. Yet, despite their irreversible desire to be the most obnoxious person at our party, we still send the invitation and quietly hope they show up. Albeit usually late.
The V8 Ford Mustang GT is undoubtedly one rude car. It’s loud in every way. Whimpering for attention with pops and burbles on each downshift, the Mustang casts a spell on everyone it passes.
Tuesday morning, the end of Chinese New Year, Melbourne airport. Which was the lead domino that led us to manically driving a ‘Guards Red’ Hertz Porsche Cayman back to the airport 23 hours and 29 minutes later?
It all started with a Europcar booking.
You see, there is a quirk of Europcar’s guaranteed availability. Whilst it’s pleasant that they guarantee your car instead of their infamous switcharoos, their process for confirmation isn’t the smoothest.
The Avis has done it again. For a limited time, Avis is offering Lufthansa customers an exclusive package to go along with their first class flight. Whilst it seems like an interesting deal, this post will unravel what it really means for travellers, and how to enjoy this experience when the deal ends.
Zum Flughafen, bitte!
What do you think of when I say ‘car rental’?
My guess is that it’s either a brand – Hertz, Avis, Europcar. Or a feeling — ‘I remember that time when they scammed me on insurance!’ Perhaps both.
Whatever you think about car rental now, it’s all about to change. The cars themselves aren’t changing, it’s our relationship to them.
One of the relatively new, yet fundamental advances in car rental is the addition of the peer-to-peer marketplace. That is, renting a car that is actually owned by someone other than the rental company.
As a product of luck rather than careful planning, we had previously arranged to see the latest 007 Bond film in the Sydney CBD Event Cinemas’ Gold Class that same evening. It wasn’t the quintessential Aston Martin, but I was thrilled to drive the Cayman into the city for our Gold Class experience.
As it was a late film, driving back home through the city after midnight was a magical experience – no traffic, the exhaust echoing against empty buildings, and a warm summer’s breeze.
I don’t know if Bond ever would come to Sydney, but he would have been jealous of this moment.