MiroslavJune 11, 2014
During our rental, our car got stranded in water and flooded. What I liked was the swiftness of recovering the vehicle and getting us a new one, even that our first car got flooded in a rural area of south Texas (near Sheffield). The person who first stopped next to us took us to a local towing company, the manager of that company immediately phoned National to arrange everything and within 2 hours our car was on a tow-truck on a way to Midland Airport, TX. The manager of the towing company was very nice to us, waited with us until the tow-track arrived (so we could be in his warm car and not out in the rain) and his wife even brought us coffee:-) Then we were taken with the car to Midland Airport, TX, where it took overall about 20mins and we were sitting with all our belongings in a new replacement car. Given what has happened, I couldn't even imagine how smooth the process of recovering the car and getting a new one would be. Just to compare, several years ago I had a small accident with a rental car rented from a different company (involving damage to a wheel so couldn't drive anymore) in France and it took more than 24 hours to get the car towed and be in a new one. This one took about 4 hours including 1.5 hours journey on a tow truck. Would definitely rent with National again when I go to the US!
What we didn't like was the fact that the car got us stranded. We were driving in a very heavy thunderstorm through many puddles and suddenly a red warning battery light came up. Before we could get to an area that has cell-phone coverage to ask what this battery light means, we had to drive through water that was about 30cm deep. In that water, the car suddenly just "died". The problem was that the water started to flow and rise and we had to evacuate the car very quickly as in about 15 minutes, the water rose further 3 feet! The car was then flooded with mud on the floor. The thing I actually didn't like was the fact that it got stranded in the first place (I'm used to driving through 30cm water where I live in the UK several times a year, either in thunderstorms or heavy rains, and my rather small car never "died" or showed signs of problems with battery after driving through water), but guess Texas is not used to such weather conditions and cars in Texas are not made to be ready to drive through such water. Given the very fast recovery process (see my "what you did like" section) and the fact that we should have probably waited stranded and not driven through the water, I wouldn't take this fact as a very negative.