• Mar 4, 2010
Just how clean are rental cars? – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Rental cars don't have easy lives. They can be abused and flogged by nearly anyone who wants one, and most of the people who drive these vehicles have the "it's not my car – who cares" mentality. However, a new study from the folks at The Today Show takes a deeper look into the overall cleanliness of these vehicles, pointing out some really interesting facts about the levels of bacteria found on the most commonly touched surfaces (steering wheel, gear shift, door handles, etc.).

The results are slightly shocking, and true as they may be, we find it a little odd that the reporters have compared the sanitary levels of these cars to that of a public restroom. We'll agree that it's absolutely unacceptable to find food crumbs, sticky messes, and even vomit (yes, vomit) in a ready-for-duty rental car, but we must remember that sharing germs is an inherit risk when you use anything that's moved around to hundreds of people each year. It's an interesting study nonetheless, and you can see the full details for yourself by watching the video after the jump.

[Source: MSNBC]



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  • 42 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      When I rent a car I go back home get all my cleaning supplies, go to the local car wash and clean the car from top to bottom. As a courtesy I also clean the car before I return it. Some people are pigs
      • 4 Years Ago
      its nothing compared to a dollar bill

      face it, there are germs in the world, that what your immune system is for

      antibacterial sanitizer is the real danger, just a matter of time till that stuff kills us all!
        • 4 Years Ago
        or tiger woods
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ah true, but i think you'll find more cocaine in rental cars though... go rental cars!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Holy F#^$, My Breeze started life as a DEALER LOANER! I think I might have to disinfect it AT LEAST 5 Times!! I might want to do the same to our Caravan!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, can you say "germophobia"? We're turning into a nation of Howard Hugheses.

      /tissue boxes on our feet?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sissies...My germs will kick any other germs' asses....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Some cars are like mobile trash cans.
      • 4 Years Ago
      People are absolute pigs when it comes to rental cars. During my short time working for Enterprise I would wash my hands 20 times during the day. I'd also never rest my head on the headrest. The things I found in some of those cars was gag-inducing. The general public is a disgrace.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I envy you, Upthewazzu, because it seems that your friends are miles cleaner then mine. I have friends that I refuse to ride with. I keep telling people "you need to move out of your car". Female friends have shoes, clothes, water bottles and what not. I keep 3 things in my car, jumper cables, a leatherman multitool and an umbrella. People that ride my car for the first time always ask me if I just bought it, since I don't have anything in it.

        regarding the article, take a a swab at your computer keyboard... not pretty. There seems to be an unhealthy obsession to "clean".. it's making us less immune to infections. Bacteria are part of life. Take basic precautions... like wash your hands when you come out of the bathroom... seriously, I see way to many people leave without washing up. It's disgusting.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Here is one you might not have found. I had a Colorado extened cab (from Enterprise)while my truck was getting body work done after it was hit in a parking lot. I was letting my 10 year old daughter out of the back seat when I found a CRACK PIPE sticking out from under the floor matt. I make sure I check out any rental I get real good after that one. I guess Clorox Disinfecting Wipes would be a good thing to have too.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @rar:

        I found some of the most unthinkable objects imaginable. Loaded guns (4, to be exact), condoms (not in the wrapper), bongs, crack pipes, you name it I probably found it. Like I said, the general public are slobs.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can only imagine what the buckets from Rent-A-Wreck I used to use in college were covered in. Then again, My friends and I probably contributed to that bacterial cesspool...

      Good times.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Try the Airport. If you can't handle the germs you shouldn't fly
      • 4 Years Ago
      yeah, I will never forget this time I had to drive a rental car for over a month, waiting on my car to get out of the body shop. I used to eat mcdonnalds for breakfast every day, and I would just toss the empty bags in the passenger floorboard and clean it out on saturday.

      well, I got pulled over on a friday night for doing something, the cop says, this is a rental car, pointing his flashlight at the trashcan that is the passenger floorboard, do you treat your own car this way?

      I said, yep, and it's better here than on the highway, right?

      good thing cops didn't have tazers back then, I'd have been tazed for sure, he was mighty pissed at me for being so flippant about the rental car!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I picked up a rental car in Atlanta a few years back. It was late and already dark, and I had to drive to Columbus, GA, about 90 minutes away.

      The next morning I went out and there were ants crawling all over the inside of the car. It was disturbing to say the least that I had spent 90 minutes with them the night before.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I just got back from a trip to Washington last night. My employer had reserved a Nissan Murano from Hertz for me. The driver's seat had a big ugly stain on it, and the rest of the seats looked no better. The wouldn't give me another car, so I put a towel on the seat before I took off. The attendants didn't look too happy, and I didn't care. I gave them the towel when I returned the car.

      I agree that rental cars aren't the cleanest, but some agencies are better than others. I've never had any complaints with U-Save, they even check the car twice before I move it. Enterprise is a joke. They even tried to charge me for seat and carpet stains that were already in the car before I moved it. I had to get the Better Business Bureau to step in before Enterprise backed off.
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