This newly-emerging trend of alternative car rentals is discussed in a study by The University of Alabama that was published last Friday in the British Journal of Criminology. The UA researchers learned of rock rentals during interviews with Louisiana prison inmates, then confirmed it by talking to several non-imprisoned drug users.
One person interviewed as part of the study said, "That's how we used to ride when we were young. To have a rock rental was like having a brand new car in the neighborhood."
As you might expect, rock rentals don't always get returned on time... or at all. And that's when the real trouble starts. In a story about the study in The Birmingham News, Jefferson County, Ala. sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Randy Christian said rock rentals gone bad are sometimes reported as stolen, which cost his department time and money. One Louisiana town had 792 reported auto thefts in one year, 400 of which turned out to be rock rentals.
You can read an abstract of the study here, but it'll cost you to read the whole thing, and we doubt they'll take anything other than cash.
[Source: The Birmingham News]