Why Do All Rental Cars Smell the Same? (Explained)

Why Do All Rental Cars Smell the Same

Rental cars smell the same because of the maintenance mechanism employed by these companies to maintain their rental cars, several replaceable parts of the car are replaced with new ones, and the air fresheners recommended and used in car rental outlets are always the same.

You must have wondered many times if you are a regular renter that patronizes different car rental companies, why the smell of every rented car is the same, no matter what outlet you rented from, or what company you rented from, or even what state you are renting in.

The smell of many rented cars is always the same, like they are brand new cars when in fact, they are not.

It is obvious that car rentals don’t purchase a new car for every customer that rents a car, but many of their cars always seem to have the smell that comes with brand new cars.

Seeing that it is a uniform occurrence across all rented cars, all rental companies, and even all states, there must be a reason why this occurs, and how they all manage to have an identical smell, no matter the location you are renting your car at. This article will help answer these questions.

Do All Rental Cars Smell the same?

Most rental cars smell the same, but not all. No matter how spelled out or uniform the standards or maintenance policies of the car rental industry are, there will always be cars that deviate from the proper standards.

Not all rental cars smell the same, and this can be due to the locations each car have been to, the kinds of people that have rented the cars, the kinds of things they have done in the car, even the weather condition of the area the car rental outlet is located, and the method of maintenance that the car rental outlet has imbibed.

Although many rental cars smell the same, and even you can say that there are more rental cars that smell the same than there are ones that smell differently, it would be a wrong assumption to say that all rental cars smell the same as a result of several factors that deviates the smell of several rental cars, some of which have been mentioned in the first paragraph.

Therefore, the right answer to the question asking whether all rental cars smell the same is; no, they don’t. A majority of rental cars smell the same, but not all rental cars smell the same.

Why Do All Rental Cars Smell the Same?

Most rental cars smell the same, mostly as a result of the maintenance mechanism that is used to maintain the cars which include how the cars are being washed, cleaned, sprayed, disinfected, brushed, freshened, and refreshed to make them feel and smell new.

Many rental outlets choose the very best tools and cleaning materials to bring the cars to the best condition, and as a result, because of the standard of excellence that these rental outlets opt for, they end up choosing the same, or almost the same set of cleaning tools or materials and also end up using them almost the same way.

After a renter returns a car, most times, the car would need to be treated, washed, and disinfected to bring it to its best state for the next user.

Certainly, except the car wasn’t driven by the renter, the returning condition will not be as good as it was when the car was rented.

Some customers even go as far as smoking in the car, pouring strong alcoholic drinks in the car, throwing up, and all sorts of other unhygienic things that would put the car in an unusable position for the next renter.

Unless the car rental company performs deep cleaning and maintenance with all the recommended cleaning tools and materials that now brings it into a clean state, making it smell brand new all over again the way all the other unused rental cars smell.

Also, another reason why rental cars smell new and the same is that often, several replaceable parts of the car are replaced with new ones.

Parts such as rubber parts, plastic parts, and leathers that are easily replaceable are replaced with new ones to ensure that the car smells new and also to ensure that it is alluring to the renter.

Also, the air fresheners recommended and used in car rental outlets are always the same. These air fresheners might vary from one car rental outlet to another, but in a rental company that has more than a hundred rental cars available, that uses the same air fresheners, invariably, all their one hundred and something cars are bound to smell the same way.

What Air Freshener Do Rental Cars Use?

Over time, Original Factory Sent™, which even reinforces the ‘new car smell’ has been popular amongst car rental companies, car auction companies, and even car dealerships. This is the type of air freshener that is broadly used across all companies that deal in cars.

However, recently, different rental companies have swerved and started signing deals with other companies to come up with unique fragrances.

For example, Hertz Rental has collaborated with OMO Industries to create a different kind of scent called the Fresh Wave IAQ to improve the fragrance of their rental cars and kill the odor caused by other renters.

A few companies also use Ozium, a sanitizer or sanitizing spray, to keep the cars smelling fresh and nice. Even car owners use it from time to time, however, because it has been passed down with time, being among the very first car fresheners to exist, people have gotten used to it, so much that it has become a ‘normal car smell’.

As a result, the use of Ozium has gradually exited popularity.

Why Do Rental Cars Smell Bad?

Rental cars smell bad because of the way renters use the cars after renting, and also the way it is being maintained by the car rental outlets.

Many renters, devoid of a sense of responsibility to the rented car, don’t mind throwing up into the car, smoking joints and weed in the car, drinking strong alcohol and pouring alcohol all over the interiors of the car, having sex, and leaving residues in the car, and some even go as far as peeing in the car.

These, and many more reasons are why rental cars might smell bad.

Despite this, more responsibility for the bad smell falls on the rental outlets, because after a car is returned, they are supposed to examine the condition and do the needful by maintaining, cleaning, and refreshing the car for the next user, but some of them, due to negligence, either do it lackadaisically or don’t do it at all.

This constitutes the terrible smell that rental cars emanate from users.

Advantages of Rental Cars with Good Smell

Here are the pros of rental cars that smell good:

1. Kills the Bad Smell

Rental Cars properly maintained, properly washed, cleaned, and sprayed with a good air freshener will kill the bad smell that would otherwise have attached to the car that would make renters complain, giving them a bad user experience.

2 Better User/Driver Experience

A car with a good smell will give the driver a sense of freshness along his or her drive. The driver wouldn’t mind staying in the car all day and also will look forward to renting again from the same outlet because of the good experience given by the good smell of the car.

3. Improves Business for the Rental Outlet

A car rental outlet reputed for having great smelling cars will draw in more customers, improve their day-to-day rentals, get referrals, gross more from renting cars, and ultimately improve their business.

In a world where car rental outlets are now negligent about the bad smell of their cars, a car rental with great-smelling cars will be a much-desired unicorn.

4. Positive Frame of Mind for the Renter

Who doesn’t like a good-smelling car? Some drivers have even stated how therapeutic it is, driving in a clean car with great air fresheners.

A good-smelling car will help the driver drive better and maintain the attitude, confidence, and serenity of the driver, despite all the negativity and traffic on the road.

Imagine driving in a terrible-smelling car amid terrible traffic. It will fuel impatience and ultimately destroy the frame of mind of the driver at that particular time, and with a negative driver behind a steering wheel, chances of an auto accident will increase.

Final Thoughts

It is important, as a car rental outlet, to maintain your rental cars at all times, immediately after a return. It will be unwise to assume that the car is in great condition just because it looks good on the outside.

Also, as a renter, ensure you examine cars before renting them or getting into them in the first place because this will tell a great deal about your frame of mind.

Furthermore, if you are driving a rented car, you should do your utmost to ensure that the car stays in excellent condition upon return. Returning a terrible-smelling, dangerously smoky car increases the potential of a bad review by another customer.