If you ever rent a car, we have an important consumer alert for you. More and more renters are complaining about breakdowns, after receiving a car with tens of thousands of miles on it.
For Joanie Flaig, her husband, and daughter, it was to be the trip of a lifetime, to Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon.
But they didn't expect they'd have to make the trip in a rental car from a major agency with a sputtering engine and worn tires.
"My husband noticed that the drivers side rear tire was completely bald. He said, wow, we have a long way to go, that could be an issue," Flaig said.
Joanie says they were several hundred miles from the rental counter when their Chrysler 200, with more than 45 thousand miles on the odometer, started exhibiting middle aged car problems.
We were somewhere between the Wyoming Utah border, in the middle of mountains, no cell coverage, and the engine light came on," Flaig said.
Turns out it was leaking coolant.
" We opened it up and noticed it had less than a cup of water, and hardly any coolant whatsoever," Flaig said.
Joanie and her family managed to limp it to another rental office, where they traded the Chrysler for another car.
But the Wall Street Journal says this is becoming more common, as rental fleets get older and older.
It says low mileage rental cars are getting harder to find. But Joanie says next time, they will be a lot more careful.
"We will check the mileage and if it has more than 45,000 miles, I will probably go in a say I want a different car," Flaig said.
Bottom line... If you end up with a stinky, high mileage used car, don't leave the lot with it. Ask to see what else is available. It may save you some hassles down the road.