Are Turo Renters Insane or Just Plain Stupid?

When I first heard about Turo, I thought, “Nobody could possibly be dumb enough to rent their car out to a stranger. Don’t these idiots know what people do with rental cars?”

I regularly rent cars for trips when I don’t want to put the miles on my own car, or when I’m on the far end of an aircraft flight. Considering the surprisingly low costs of renting cars, it frequently turns out cheaper to rent than to use my own car.

I also have little regard for the car, either. Hey, it’s a rental!

Haven’t you always wanted to smoke the tires off a car? Here’s your chance. Going to LA? This guy will rent you his Mercedes Benz SL Roadster for a mere $114/day.  This car has a base price well north of $80,000, and he’s willing to let some unknown from the internet take it for a few days for chump change? I love the renter’s benign, cheery feedback on the rental. You’d almost think they actually treated it with something other than total disdain.

How about this nitwit? $300/day lets you at his Ferrari California. Remember that scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Yeah, that happens every time.

So, if you decide to rent out your beloved BMW because you can’t afford the payments, you’ll find out that you’ve made a huge mistake. Every person, and I mean every, single person who rents it from you, is going to beat the living crap out of it. They’re going to redline that thing more times in 2 days then you would in 10 years of ownership.

Turo states that you’re covered when you rent your car. Sure, you’re covered when the damage is visible, but a 48 hour beating session may not be even remotely visible. There’s a reason why former rentals are not exactly in the recommended used car purchase list. When the odometer reads 30,000, the engine has the equivalent of 150,000 miles on it. Only a buffoon buys a former rental.

Whether or not Turo actually survives as a business remains to be seen, but while it’s still a going concern, I highly recommend getting out there and having a little fun with some sucker’s pride and joy.

Beating on a Bimmer!

Fiat 500 – 500 Days Left?

Fiat 500 crash

A few years ago, I wrote about the new Fiat 500 that was being brought in to the US with much fanfare from the media and newly merged Fiat-Chrysler group. Even the pre-humiliated Charlie Sheen was doing commercials for the car as Chrysler tried desperately to bring Fiat back to the American market.

There was one problem with their plan. Fiat still sucks and the 500 may be one of the worst pieces of junk that they’ve ever tried to peddle to Americans. I’m old enough to remember the Fiats of the 70s. They were cute, but broke down constantly and the whole fiasco ended when Fiat retreated to the European market where taste in automobiles is a wee bit different.

Fiat has taken the podium for at least one category since they returned, and that is the #1 ranking in Consumer Reports  for least reliable automobile. And not by a small margin. They completely blew away the competition. Ultimately, there is no way you can make it here after taking that prize. Reliability has always been a key component to survivability in this market.

One of the other problems with the little go cart was safety. It faired very poorly in crash tests, so no intelligent parent would put their child, or their teenager, or themselves in one of these.

The 500L Crossover, the last version of the 500 to be dumped on the American market, and the final hope of Fiat, has turned out to be an absolute disaster. Initial enthusiasm waned quickly as the market for idiotic buyers quickly ran out. Sales have plummeted for Fiats in the last year and it’s clear that they won’t be around much longer.  Unless they can come up with something better, which in their eyes is probably this joke of a car, they will be gone within two years.

Imagine how much money they spent on dealerships, networks, marketing, etc..  It’s enough to make Bernie Sanders go in to a complete meltdown.

 

No Encore Please

Buick-Encore

While driving to work today, my eyes were assaulted with another offensive offering from Detroit: The Buick Encore. While this thing has been on the market for a few years now, this is the first one that I’ve ever seen in person. Clearly, these don’t sell very well here and it’s pretty obvious as to why. This is the current front runner for ugly American vehicles and that’s a very impressive title when you look at some of the other incredibly grotesque offerings.

Looking like a steroid injected Chevy Spark, this crossover SUV makes the viewer almost throw up and long for the Detroit of the 70s. It’s that bad. A 1972 Ford Torino looks beautiful next to this pile of crap.

The humor in this is that Buick is actually attempting to compete with the Audi Q3, and while the Q3 is no styling gem, at least it’s decent looking and has a degree of balance and athleticism in its design. The Encore looks like an automotive klutz and dangerous to drive due to its topheavy, rollover prone appearance. The lines are compacted with no grace at all and the sheet metal rising up in the rear end obviously reduces visibility drastically, so even practicality was tossed out the window.

You can almost smell death circling Buick. With their reputation for dismal quality, poor design and exceptionally bad resale value, I’m amazed that there are still enough idiots out there buying their garbage to keep them afloat.

If there is to be an encore, Buick should hire some German automotive designers and start from scratch.