Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

Car Adventures

Sometimes I wish everything in this country could be a little bit less of an adventure.  On the other hand, I often make things more “exciting” than necessary by trying to save money.

Last Monday I rented a car.  I think the experience can be summed up the email I sent the car company 5 days later.


Hello Byron,
I would like to return my vehicle one week early on Monday February 4th and receive a full refund for the second week.  Although I did not have high expectations for a company named “Rent a Wreck,” I wanted a vehicle that I could reliably drive to and from work (6km each way) as well as within my neighbourhood in the evenings.  I have had three vehicles from you since last Monday and each has been a major inconvenience.
The first vehicle broke down on Tuesday, the day after I got it.  The gears became stickier and sticker throughout the day until they completely seized up in the afternoon in the middle of Gleneagles Rd.  When the car was off, I could get it into gear.  As soon as I turned it on again, however, I could not switch gears.  As a result of the delay I missed my appointment.
The second vehicle broke down yesterday (Thursday), two days after I got it.  All of sudden it began smoking under the hood.  Luckily I had almost arrived to my destination so I was able to pull into the parking lot.
The third vehicle, which I received yesterday, drives fine so far.  However, as I was driving yesterday the keys fell out of the ignition and it turned itself off.  I do not feel comfortable driving it on a busy road or the highway.  Furthermore, the back seat falls down.  I work in Hillbrow and keep my purse, etc., in the trunk while commuting.  I cannot drive a vehicle in which everyone can see my possessions.
To be honest, I feel like I should also receive a discount for the hassles I’ve had this week due to your unreliable vehicles.  The reason I rented a vehicle was to have dependable transportation, but I have not received that from your company.
If you have comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at ### ### ####.



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