What’s Left Behind in Rental Cars Will Shock You

Photo courtesy of gearpatrol.com

Photo courtesy of gearpatrol.com

If you’ve ever rented a vehicle, you were probably only worried about two things when you called or clicked to make your reservation – price and size. After an investigation by TODAY investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen, another concern may top the list.

To find out just how clean rental cars are before you pull them off the lot, Rossen and his team rented six vehicles from Orlando, including sedans, an SUV, and a minivan. In some, they found visible filth such as stains and a hairball but after taking a cotton swab to every vehicle from top to bottom, they uncovered a few things that were downright disgusting.

Of the five vehicles, two were very clean and passed their tests. In the minivan, however, the team found dangerous bacteria, including human fecal matter covering the steering wheel. Additionally, one child car seat tested positive for sewage contamination. According to one physician, these bacteria can lead to serious public health problems such as diarrhea and vomiting. Yuck.

Rental car experts say that you should never assume a rental car is clean and recommend wiping down all surfaces with anti-bacterial wipes. If there are visible concerns, the experts suggest returning the vehicle and asking for a replacement.

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