Posted by: ankneredelstein | August 28, 2008

The Rental Car Exercise

Since I will be driving from Paris to the northern coast of France along the English Channel to retrieve Jennifer, Beaven and Piper from the transatlantic cruise ship adventure which ended in England, I reserved the largest “monspace” minivan Hertz could offer. The family will have several hundred pounds of luggage in many wheeled and unwheeled bags which will need to join my own parade of luggage – all in one vehicle – for the trip to Chatillion de Michelle near Geneva…a potentially 7 or 8 hour trip.

Assuming the vehicle you reserve is indeed the one they will deliver upon your arrival is naive. As it turns out, the fellow at the Hertz desk tries to tell me I should switch to a different vehicle since I will only have 4 passengers, and the little Huyndai miniSUV would be just fine. Now, since you cannot leave your luggage unattended at the rental car desk in the terminal, you need to drag it with you wherever you go.

So, if you need to look at a rental car, you need to drag all your bags with you up and over the curbs, across the lots to the designated rental agency slots containing their vehicles. So…..if the original car is too small, you go back across the lots, up and over the curbs again, BACK into the rental agency hall to their desk, exchange the key and agreement papers for a different vehicle, repeat the process until you are satisfied with the vehicle they offer. Unfortunately, I had to repeat this exercise three times in sweltering August heat before they finally gave up and called their garage to summon the biggest, baddest minivan they had in their fleet – a Ford SMAX (smacks). I had tried the other rental car agencies, but none would do one-way rentals to Beaune.

Ford S-Max

Ford S-Max


Soooo…..four cars later and several trips back and forth lugging my luggage, sweating like the proverbial Grand Cuchon, I settled on what I hoped would be a minvan large enough to swallow my family’s luggage without resorting to the “tie-the-bags-to-the-roof” technique (I brought two lengths of clothesline just in case….don’t leave home without them).



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