Hooniverse Asks- Have You Ever Been Caught Hooning a Rental?

That was pre-existing
That was pre-existing

OPP- you know the drill; other people’s property. You’re supposed to respect the ownership of others- you don’t toss the dog’s business over the fence and onto your neighbor’s patio unless he had it coming, you don’t eat off of a neighbor’s plate at the Olive Garden. It’s what separates us from the animals. But that innate sensibility seems to go out the window whenever we get behind the skinny plastic wheel of a rental car. We’ve all heard the stories, and some of the older farts in the crowd may have actually seen it happen- a Hertz GT350H taken to the track, tires switched out, and a couple of races later returned to the agency with the brakes worn to the rivets and a nose sandblasted to a dull patina.
Win on the track, and then take it back.
Win on the track, and then take it back.

While many of us haven’t gone quite that far, it’s true that we tend, as a nation, to be a little hard on the beaver, as well as our rental cars. Typically low-end versions of cars we’d only normally drive under protest, these little Sebrings, Escorts, Calibers, Sentras and their ilk make for fodder for the outlet of aggression and driving gambling that we wouldn’t take with our own pride and joys.
So, knowing that we all tend to do it, the question today is; have you ever been caught having hooned a rental car that showed evidence of said hoonage? If so, what how’d it work out?
Image sources: [ Flickr, MustangsandFords]

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  1. Tanshanomi Avatar

    I don't hoon rentals.
    1) I'm always on business travel, or with family.
    2) Somebody's going to end up with that as a fairly expensive used car.

    1. Prawo Jazdy and The Velocity Trumpets Avatar
      Prawo Jazdy and The Velocity Trumpets

      1. How do you expect the family to learn.
      2. Thats somebody’s fault for buying a rental in the frst place. Maybe back in the day it was much more difficult to investigate the previous owner(s) but not these days what with Carfax and title history being available everywhere.

    2. Prawo Jazdy and The Velocity Trumpets Avatar
      Prawo Jazdy and The Velocity Trumpets

      1. How do you expect the family to learn.
      2. Thats somebody’s fault for buying a rental in the first place. Maybe back in the day it was much more difficult to investigate the previous owner(s) but not these days what with Carfax and title history being available everywhere.

  2. Jo_Schmo Avatar

    I am 33 and have never rented a car in my life. Perhaps I should just for the hell of it.
    That said, enjoy the rental car demolition derby.
    [youtube sa_AhS7o_G4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa_AhS7o_G4 youtube]

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      "I returned it with a full tank of gas!" "You returned it demolished."

    2. FTGDHoonEdition Avatar

      "I am 33 and have never rented a car in my life."
      What's wrong with you?

      1. Jo_Schmo Avatar

        Yeah I know. Never had the need for a rental. Though, I suddenly have a desire for one…

  3. skitter Avatar

    I don't do anything to a rental I wouldn't do in my own car. I let the fluids come up to temperature before I lay into it, I don't light up the tires unless by accident, and when a curb turns out to be much higher than expected, I always keep moving, and keep the bottom sliding.

  4. discontinuuity Avatar

    I'm under 25 and poor, so no rental cars for me. But I have abused my parents' cars on several occasions, and when I was in Germany with my dad he took the rented diesel Nissan up to it's top speed (about 130) on the Autobahn.

  5. joshuman Avatar

    Caught? No. Other than that one time on the road to Hana, I treat the cars just as they were designed to be treated.

    1. Alff Avatar

      Ditto, even though I signed the waiver saying I wouldn't go there. What did they expect me to do with a Wrangler?

      1. rennsport964 Avatar

        Last time I went to Maui, I took a mini-bus tour to Hana. Bad idea. This guy doesn't get carsick – except that one time. Next time, it's the rental, agreement be damned.

  6. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    I'm eighteen. You think I've driven a rental car?
    That said, it would depend on the rental. If it was something vaguely sporty, I'd probably do a short burnout or two, then drive it normally but quickly for the rest of the rental period. A van or truck, might have a little fun, but I'd treat it well. A family sedan… well, that just depends on the family sedan.
    If I got a truly hateful car, though – Sebring or Aveo, for example – I'd beat on it like an uppity mule, but it would come back with plenty of gas and a freshly vacuumed interior to make up for the smoking brakes and missing tire tread.

    1. TheWaterCooler Avatar

      Being 17, I'm in the same boat as you. Unless I had somewhere very important to be, I'd certainly do some minor hoonage, but nothing crazy enough to risk wrecking the car. Burnouts would be almost a given, as my Dodge Caravan has barely enough power to spin the tires on dirt, let alone sustain a burnout (even on a hill, with the parking brake on).

  7. Maymar Avatar

    I've only rented one car, an '07 Matrix I drove to a friend's wedding. I didn't do too much hooning in it, except for whipping around the roundabout in front of GM Canada headquarters (in the 'Shwa). No damage, no real abuse, no excess charges except for a parking ticket because I woke up 15 minutes late. I did more abuse to the rental Cobalts at the dealer I worked at, but still, nothing that went noticed.
    Now, several years ago, I worked for a pizza place that had a fleet of Chevette delivery cars. Calling them decrepit would be too kind. Plus, because the owner was sort of cheap, not only did they not get winter tires, I think the all seasons only got replaced once there was literally no more rubber left. Grip was less than stellar. Of course, the complete lack of power (I'd be surprised if any made more than 40hp), and RWD made this situation ideal for a budding hoon. Whenever the roads were slippery, it became a game of how far out I could get the tail without losing it. Unfortunately, once this worked out to understeering into a snowbank. To make things worse, the day before, one of my coworkers had put that car in a ditch and killed something in the transmission by revving the snot out of the car, to try and free it (I don't remember if it wouldn't up or down-shift, but I remember I had to manually shift the automatic through the three gears). I had been trusted with that car for the night, since it was figured I wouldn't break it more. Luckily, I managed to push it out without causing more noticeable damage.

  8. P161911 Avatar

    Not caught. There was the one time in the early 2000s Budget rented extended cab Rangers for $19.99/day. I was in Chicago for business and got a 4wd Ranger. I got suckered into buying the full tank of gas, first and LAST time I will ever do that. I wanted to use as much of MY gas as possible, so I drove it most of the way back to the airport in 4WD LOW.

  9. SeanKHotay Avatar

    No official caught me doing power burnouts in the Hertz Shelby GT-H while moving in the queue for Sebring ’08 including Sebring’s anally finest.
    The Acura NSX behind me did, tho.
    And I got passed by an ’80s Monte Carlo!

  10. ptschett Avatar

    I haven't had much opportunity to rent a car, being 28, owning 2 cars and not having to travel for work. I do sometimes borrow a car from family or from the shop that's working on my car, and I try to treat those cars better than my own.
    I have however driven a car my dad rented, a '98 or '99 Cougar V6 that was our wheels for a few days to visit a college in east TX. The visit ended Saturday and our flight home wasn't till Sunday, so we took a long way back through Louisiana to visit the mom of one of his employees and I got to drive about from DeRidder to wherever it was that we got back on the interstate. I don't remember much about the college visit, but I do remember having fun with the Cougar going down a winding highway in a forest, then the next day getting back to my car at Sioux Falls and wondering how it had gone from being fun and tossable to being a big boat in 4 days.

  11. faster,Tobias! Avatar

    Had the…pleasure..of a rental once, for a Calais to Dubrovnic odyssey. I was doing my best to hoon it, but how much can you wring out of a 1.2L Ford Fiesta? 140 KPH top speed. Unless the wind gusts against you, then it was 80 KPH.

  12. franchitti27 Avatar

    Having worked for a rental agency, I'm gonna say no…

  13. CptSevere Avatar

    Oh, man, I wish I'd seen this post earlier. I have chapter and verse about how I've tortured the hell out of Hertz cars. They hired me back in the eighties to shuttle their cars all over SLC, and I even got to drive them all over the West returning out-of-town cars back to their home lots and SLC cars back to Utah. Got away with automotive murder. We spanked those mental rentals to within an inch of their lives. We figured that if the cars held up to our abuse they would be dependable for the customers. Hell, they got serviced on a regular basis, anyway, so no problem. Four of us raced Chevy Citations from Idaho Falls back to Salt Lake at full throttle, about a hundred miles an hour. I tested the tire rippers at the parking lot in a Cherokee (they work great). All kinds of snow hoonage, like Crown Vic wagons sideways across ski resort parking lots, stolen Buicks (not by me, an ex-con buddy who just didn't care) in parking garages learning how to use hand brakes to negotiate real tight turns at speed, and learning what the digital speedometer in an '87 T-Bird reads when going three digits. It blinks "88" while the cops pull you over. Taurii, Sables, Bonnevilles, Cutlasses, Regals, all kinds of Hertzmobiles felt the wrath of the transporters while we shuttled them around to the glass place, ski resort satellite offices, back to the airport, and out to the maintenance shop. Lots of fun. It's a miracle I didn't kill myself or total one of those poor cars. It was good training to be a cab driver later on.

  14. Ruckus Avatar

    rented a chevy aveo with 23 miles on it…drove nonstop fron DC to Burlington VT… the hubs start screaming at 70 and the ebrake got some use too. did a 40 to park the day before i returned it. it hated me when i gave it back 12 days later with 2673 miles

  15. Aussie, Aussie.. Avatar
    Aussie, Aussie..

    Rented a convertable mustang, drove it to the Bonniville Salt Flats to see the racing for a day. Hooned, it, washed it off, took it back. They called back a couple of days after, and wanted an extra $90 to clean it properly. They couldn't give me a receipt, so I never paid. But boy did we have fun…..