There are risks associated with renting a car. Even if you’re the best driver on the planet, you can’t always guarantee everyone else will be.
Car accidents aren’t the only thing you need to worry about either. We’ve seen vandelism (particularly graffiti) all over Spain and France. Some of the graffiti is nice, I’ll admit, but a lot of it is amateur. Even in Sagrada Familia we saw that people had carved their names in the stairwell coming down from the tower. It’s a real problem.
Even vandalism isn’t the end of rental risks, unfortunately. Sometimes the renters can get confused by language differences, and their french-speaking wives don’t catch their mistakes in time.
That’s how we ended up with a tank full of diesel, and a vehicle that wouldn’t run properly. Luckily it was a simple fix (just had to drain the vehicle of the diesel), but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t stressed out.
In Dave’s defence, Gazole is a brand of DIESEL in Europe, which is very confusing for someone who doesn’t speak French, but knows that there it shares a lot of similarities with English.
So, if you find yourself in Toulouse, with a rental car, I’m here to warn you that you that the french word for gasoline is NOT Gazole. And … If you are unfortunate enough to end up with a tank full of diesel, contact St. Simon Automobile. They are not only crazy nice, but they didn’t rip us off and even went so far as to keep our costs as low as possible.
It’s funny how things can turn out. We honestly had a bit of a crummy time in Toulouse. We found most people to be pretty rude and we ended up settling for dinner at McDonald’s because even at 7pm, no one was serving dinner yet.
Yet, our crappy car circumstances somehow changed our entire perspective on the city. Without the recommendation of this mechanic from our air BNB host, and without the kindness of this man, we would have left Toulouse with a sour taste. Sometimes difficult situations can really turn things around for the best, apparently!!
You can reach St. Simon here:
Saint Simon Automobile 8 Rue Antoine Bayes, 31100 Toulouse, France
+33 5 61 86 79 36