So we went online and hired a compact car to take us across the States.
For those of you who are European, a short teach-in: rental car companies over here have historically bought cars very cheaply by locking themselves into long term bulk purchase contracts – good for Chevy, good for Hertz, until there is a massive economic downturn and smaller, more environmentally friendly cars become fashionable. At that point Hertz etc. have huge inventories of huger cars that nobody wants and that they can’t stop buying. Whenever you hire a car, therefore, they either beg or force you to take a free “upgrade” to some monster truck that does about eight miles to the gallon and steers like an ocean liner.
Anyway, rant over. Hertz gave us a “compact” Toyota Rav4, which full of fuel, people and luggage weighs a little shy of two tons(!). We stamped our little New York feet, and after much aggro and driving around town we ended up with a brand new shiny black Subaru Impreza with about 750 miles on the clock. Result!
She’s beautiful. She doesn’t have a name (unless someone wants to suggest one), but she sits happily on the motorway at 80mph for hours at a time, she handles beautifully, has just enough room for our luggage, comfy seats and a good stereo. Road trip car heaven, unless … you happen to take a black car from its native habitat of New York City and take it into the 100 degree heat of the sunniest places in the United States. Leave her in the sun for anything more than a few minutes and you come back to a shiny Japanese steam oven on wheels.
But we are resourceful, practically minded people. So far our little car has been:
A clothes drier
A pizza oven
An emergency James warmer
Any more suggestions on a postcard please!