Holiday Car Hire Nightmare   no comments

Posted at 8:36 am in manufacturing,precision parts

A recent vacation break to Miami almost ended in disaster when the police stopped our car due to a broken tail light.

My girlfriend and I had decided to take a last minute package holiday to Florida. We’d been lucky enough to get a really cheap last minute fly-drive deal that gave us 7 nights to explore Orlando and enjoy the Gulf coast.

We flew from Gatwick to Orlando airport and went straight to the car hire desk to collect the keys to our car. We’d pre-arranged the car that we wanted and had booked the first two nights in the Clarion Hotel which is just across the road from the Wet’n’Wild theme park, close to international drive. If we liked the hotel our plan was to stay put, otherwise we would be free to move on to another location.

Our first night was spent resting in the hotel ready for our first full day which we spent sight-seeing and shopping. We finished the day at a fantastic fish restaurant that served some really delicious seafood with great service and entertainment thrown in. It was on our journey back to our hotel that things began to go wrong.

When we got onto the highway a police car pulled in behind us and inidicated that we should stop. The police officer told me that one of my car brake lights wasn’t working and he asked me to step out of the car to take a look. I told the police that we had just hired the car after arriving from the UK only yesterday. The friendly police officer suggested that I pop the trunk and he would check the lamp, which was very king of him.

He shone his torch into the boot and there were clearly some traces of what looked like a white powder covering the trunk lining. The police officer’s helpful manner changed immediately as he returned to his car where he spent some time communicating on his radio. Within only a few minutes a second police car arrived with two officers inside. They told us that we had to accompany them to the police station to answer some questions.

It was at the police station that it became clear that they didn’t really believe our story and they suspected that we were in fact drug dealers. My girlfriend was incredibly upset by the whole experience. It took no less than nine hours before they could verify who we were and that we were genuinely there on holiday.

Luckily there were still people working at the car hire office, even at that late hour, and they were able to provide police with details of the person who had hired the car prior to us. I’ve no idea whether the police ever caught up with the person responsible for carrying cocaine in the boot of our hire car.

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Travel tip: We saved a fortune on airport parking by booking online, in advance. Also, make certain that your travel insurance policy covers you for legal expenses abroad.

Written by ydpaar on August 27th, 2009

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