I've been away for a while checkin' out Europe (don't feel bad if you didn't notice...it's a nice community here and all, but I probably wouldn't notice if you were gone either :P). Big props to 505Turbeaux for guiding me through the ins and outs of European transport and car rentals! Was a great trip and we got to see lots of cool stuff, including the Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Pagani bases around Modena and popping over to Monaco for the Historic Grand Prix (friggin' awesome).

Now that I'm back, I'll just jump right back into what I usually do in Oppo posts, which is bug you guys for advice :). In Barcelona my wife and I rented some scooters on the last day of our trip; we've done this a few times before in various beach towns without incident. After most of a day of scooting around Barcelona without incident, my wife slid out around a hairpin turn on the way down from Mount Tibidabo and laid her scooter down, and I proceeded to do the exact same thing right behind her. Happily, we're ok...we were going pretty slow, we weren't racing or driving aggressively. A guy we later talked to said this isn't uncommon with rented scooters there because they're not always in great shape and are outfitted with skinny tires that don't corner well. She ended up with some stitches and neck pain, but her bike took the brunt of it; I got a sprained ankle and a bit of road rash so no big deal here either. When we returned the scooters to the rental agency, they proceeded to charge us out the wazoo for the damage to the scooters, which I thought was mostly superficial...One of my mirrors had cracked off (75EUR) (unrelated to the accident, oddly enough) and I had a scratched panel (another 75 EUR). They wrote my wife's bike up for scratched panels (75EUR), a cracked fitting that was leaking oil (150EUR), and a bent steering mechanism (500EUR) (the front wheel pointed ever-so-slightly to the side when the handle bars pointed straight). That adds up to about 1000EUR including their 20% tax (!). The whole ordeal ended up costing a little less, about 1000USD, after the manager took pity on us for our injuries. I should also add they were very kind to us and promptly called us a taxi to the ER...I bear them no ill will, but I can't help but feel we got a bit screwed, monetarily speaking (especially since the visible damage was superficial...I wouldn't be surprised if they just fixed the oil leak and put them back out to be rented again the following day). I'm very grateful that we got away with such superficial injuries as we did, and if that costs $1k, well so be it, but I'd like to know if I have any options here. I had thought they would just keep the security deposit...there was certainly a time there where I contemplated what the ramifications would be if I simply refused to pay the extra, but the contract terms seemed to have this covered. They suggested I may be able to get a refund through credit card travel insurance or something. Have any of you had any experience with this kind of thing? Did they screw us over, or were they fair?

To repay any wisdom you might be able to offer on this matter, here's a Bugatti EB110 I spotted outside a fancy hotel in Monaco - first time seeing one of these in the wild!


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