Car rental stories from the industry. Cigar manufacturers travel a lot. Doing events, going to factories in Latin America. Trade shows, more events. So it is inevitable to rent cars. Nowadays it’s prohibited to smoke in rental cars, yet most of them still do. And that results in some hilarious stories. Ministry of Cigars has heard many of them over the years. Here are three.
This car smells like smoke
The first story was told to us by a now-retired Vice President of Sales for a big American cigar brand. He was traveling 250 days out of the year, so he rented many cars. And one day, he returns a rental car to the rental company at the airport. Of course, that Vice President of Sales had smoked in the car. The employee of the rental company checks the car for damages. Then opens the door and says ‘sir, this car smells like smoke’. The Vice President of Sales came back with a brilliant reply. He said ‘about that, I would like to file a complaint about the smell in the car’. Guess what? He got a discount on the rental.
Don’t you recognize him?
Another funny story comes from an industry veteran. He used to be the CEO for a large cigar manufacturer but a few years ago, he created his own company. A very popular boutique company. And for that, he travels all over the United States. Usually, he drives his own car, long road trips with events every evening. Working the grind. But one day he had a rental car. And when he returned it, 2 rental company employees checked the car. The first one asked ‘Sir, have you been smoking in the vehicle?’. Before the brand owner could lie, the other one said ‘of course he has, don’t you recognize him? That’s xxxx xxxxx from xxxxxx cigars’. I bet that guy could kiss his free samples goodbye.
The last story might be the best. It is about a cigar manufacturer and his head of international sales. They were in southern France for an event and had to get to Germany. But as so often in France, the staff of the airport was on strike. So the head of international sales rented a car and off they went. A road trip to Germany. And of course, smoking cigars all the way.
Now, people think that the autobahn in Germany has no speed limits. That’s only true on certain parts of the autobahn. Other stretches of the highway they do have a speed limit. And the Germans have speed cameras that take a picture from the front, so you can see the driver. A few weeks after the trip, the head of international sales gets an e-mail. The rental company received a speeding ticket. They would charge his credit card for that. And charged him with a cleaning fee of €250. The head of international sales replied ‘cleaning fee, why?’. The rental company answers to his question ‘you have been smoking in the vehicle’. Of course, trying to escape the cleaning fee, the head of international sales denied. But then the rental company just emailed a photo of the speeding violation. On the picture, you saw the head of international sales driving the car, the cigar manufacturer sitting next to him. And in both their mouths was a big cigar.
If you have funny rental car stories involving cigars, please let us know. And if the weather allows, just rent a convertible. Smoking with the roof down is bliss, and you won’t stink up the car.