What I Learned From a Rental Car

Who would have thought that someone can learn so much from a rental car? I definitely did not think so, until my trip to Carmel By The Sea. You see, I have driven the same car for the last 6 years. Although I purchased it brand new, it didn’t have any special add-ons. It was just regular, manual (keywords here) vehicle. Well, when it came time for my rental car, I learned some things from it.

I needed to get used to driving an automatic real quick.

I can probably count how many times I’ve driven an automatic car in the past 7 years on one hand. And the last time I had driven an automatic was probably a year ago. Though I honestly am not sure. The second I started driving that automatic rental, I regretted not asking for a manual. Why I didn’t think to ask for a manual from the get-go, I have no idea. Guess it just didn’t cross my mind at all. Anyways, there I am driving out of the parking ramp and then on to the San Francisco city streets. Both hands are clenched on the steering wheel and I was so tense. I had forgotten how weird it is to switch from a manual to an automatic. After a few stops, I got the hang of it again but believe me, it was a tense few minutes for me there.

Some cars offer a sports mode.

So this was completely new to me. I had no idea that some cars offer a sports (automatic) mode. After finally getting more relaxed with driving an automatic, I realized that the car just didn’t have much get up and go. This was slightly disappointing since it was a sportier car. After a bit, I looked around and realized that I could shift the lever from D to S so I did that. And I wish I had done it sooner. That sports mode made it much more fun to drive! It was actually good to have since I was stopping off at viewpoints and then getting back on the highway. With getting back on the highway, I sometimes needed to be quick about it due to traffic. Having that sports mode was great to have!

Sports mode includes shifters behind the steering wheel.

As I was going down Hwy 1 South, I would stop at different points along the way whether it was for a snack or to get a picture of the amazing view. Well, each time I would stop and get out, I would hit my legs on the steering wheel since it was so low. Finally getting sick of doing that, I decided to feel for the steering wheel adjuster. I found a lever on the left side of the wheel. I decided to push it a couple of times to see if that was the adjuster. Next thing I knew, the car was slowing down… quite a bit. I then realized it was a shifter! I had never driven a car with them before so I had no idea that’s what it was at first. I quickly shifted back up into the proper gear. Don’t worry I found the adjuster then so I could stop bruising my legs getting in and out of the car.

Android Auto is amazing… when it feels like connecting.

When I first got into the rental car, I only connected it via Bluetooth. I didn’t realize it was compatible with Android Auto at all. Not until my second day did I realize there was an Android Auto feature. Remember, my car is 6 years old so there is no Android Auto. Heck, I don’t even have Bluetooth in mine. So, after realizing the rental car had Android Auto, I set it all up and it worked amazingly. Sometimes though it wouldn’t connect to the car’s screen. For whatever reason, even though I would have it connected to the USB properly and running, it just wouldn’t connect to the screen. I’ve heard of others experiencing the same issue so I think that’s an Android Auto issue that they will hopefully be able to fix soon. When it did work, I loved it so much that I am now thinking of somehow adding it to my own vehicle, or if I have to purchase a new vehicle to get it.

So those are the top things I learned from a rental car!

Alisha Ruud is a Lifestyle and Travel blogger. She is an animal lover, volunteers with a local animal rescue, avid reader, and motorcyclist. With her many interests, she has found a way to inspire others with the same interests and goals in life. She also likes to keep things fun!

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