The airplane on which I was a passenger had just landed at Denver International Airport on what became a snowy day; and I had already experienced both being screened at an airport security checkpoint and my first airplane flight — I paid for a basic economy fare — during the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.
My First Car Rental Experience During the Pandemic
After washing my hands — as I always do on a regular basis — after using the toilet in the public washroom at Denver International Airport, I then went to dry them…
…and I noticed that all of the electric hot air hand dryers were temporarily out of service due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic; so I had to resort to using compostable paper towels, with which I had no issue.
I then waited outside approximately 15 minutes for a shuttle bus from Hertz to arrive and take me to the rental car lot — as did a lot of other people — and once the shuttle bus finally arrived, everyone in the crowd climbed onto the shuttle bus through both the front door and rear door. Distancing between one another once aboard the bus was impossible, as everyone was crammed together. I was surprised that this was even allowed to happen during the pandemic. Thankfully, most people did wear masks or cloth coverings over their noses and mouths.
When I arrived to the car which would be my transportation for the week, snow was falling on the outdoor parking lot…
…and a sticker on the crack of the door assured me that the car had been cleaned. The seal in the photograph shown above was broken by me, as I did not initially see it under the freshly-fallen snow.
I went to another vehicle to take a photograph of what the yellow seal looked like before it had been broken, as the Gold Standard Clean Seal of Hertz had been applied.
PlatePass was available in a box on the windshield of the car just below the rear-view mirror in case I needed to use it to pay for tolls — but I never did encounter a toll road on my trip.
I must say that while the car I rented was clean on the inside, it did not seem any cleaner than the interior of a typical car which would have been rented prior to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.
Upon returning the car to the rental car facility at the end of the week, no one greeted me to check the vehicle or give me a final copy of my receipt. Instead, the instructions at the return area advised to note the total mileage of the car, time the vehicle was returned, and the amount of fuel in the tank — I suppose for the information of the renter, as I never saw another employee of Hertz prior to boarding the airplane for the return flight…
…other than the driver of the shuttle bus, who would only open the rear door of the shuttle bus to allow me to board. A yellow chain separated the driver of the shuttle bus from the few passengers who were aboard, which was completely unlike the experience when I first arrived at the international airport in Denver.
Aside from what was described in this article, renting a car during the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic was not much different than prior to the pandemic — but inconsistencies did abound during my experience. The shuttle buses should be operating more often on a more frequent schedule to ensure that fewer people are aboard them at one time — as well as to ensure the maintaining of proper distancing among passengers.
The car itself — which was a Nissan Versa with greater than 32,000 miles clocked on its odometer — was fine. The heat was not as powerful as I would have liked — especially when the temperature dipped down to a single degree Fahrenheit; and it did not seem to have a firm footing at times on the icy and snowy surfaces of the roads and parking lots — but it served its purpose well nonetheless, as I wound up driving a total of 2,148.4 miles for the week.
The total cost for renting the car for the week was $178.61 — including all taxes and fees.
All photographs ©2020 by Brian Cohen.