Rental Car Roulette is a real thing. We rented a car from Hertz (class L - 5 passenger AWD/4WD SUV). We went to pick it up but it wasn’t cleaned yet and wasn’t in the location we rented it from. They offered to drive us to the other location. I let my father go alone since I needed to get to work. I reminded him to check the tires since it’s possible this time of year to hit snow in Wyoming or Montana. When he got there, the car had a flat tire. They gave him a free upgrade to a 38k mile 2015 Nissan Armada (old but interesting).

When I got home from work, I checked it out. Bald front tires. Let’s just hope we don’t hit any snow in the mountains. When I asked him why he accepted a car with bald tires for a 4500 mile trip he said: “it’s 4WD! That handles anything in the snow!”

I suppose that no matter how many times you explain to your parents, who live in the half frozen | half burning hell of New England that tires matter more than driven wheels, it just never sinks in.

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On another note, I’ve been supremely disappointed with the quality of vehicles from rental car agencies in the last few years. I’ve had a pretty wide range of cars from economy cars to diesel economy cars (UK) to full size to SUVs and almost all of them have been below the threshold of cleanliness and maintenance that I keep on my own vehicle. I wouldn’t lend my car to my friend with bald tires or smelling like the inside of a cat’s butt - so why do rental car companies? I’ve done the math on running a rental car company (it’s not complicated) and unless you’re incompetent, you can afford to maintain (and clean) your cars.