Let me just start by getting two things out in the open which I know a lot of people will be thinking… Yes I am a woman, and yes I am blonde. There, I said it, so before all the jokes and comments start, I am aware that I will get a lot of stick for this (pardon the pun) because I did, in fact, drive my rental car into a tree in Sofia.
Just to explain and hopefully regain some self-respect, I was parking my lovely little Ford Fiesta at the time and for some unknown reason, I misjudged the distance between the car and the tree as I reversed into the space. I did see the tree, it’s a pretty big tree and would be hard to miss, what I didn’t notice was that it was ‘leaning’ forward just enough to hit my rear windscreen before my tyres hit the curb in front of it. And as the tree hit my windscreen (notice that I say the tree hit me and not the other way around!) the glass shattered and I immediately wanted to burst into tears! I suspect you’re still thinking I’m stupid, and that’s ok 😉
So what do you do when things go wrong and you crash your rental car in Bulgaria? Well, I remember when I collected the car from the Top Rent A Car office at the airport, I was given a phone number and told to keep it with me in case of emergency. I had stored that number in my phone right away so I had it to hand and called them immediately. I was advised to call the police on 112 and ask for a police report which I would need to give to the rental company for their insurance. Once I had the police report I was to drive the car to the Top Rent A Car office in Sofia where we would sort out the paperwork and exchange the car. I called 112 and they were very helpful and spoke very good English. I explained what had happened with the incident and I was given a police report number. As there were no other cars involved I didn’t need to wait for the police to come and access the situation, although often they would do this.
I then made my way to the Sofia airport car rental office. I had to stop for petrol on the way and had a little joke with the attendant who was about to clean my rear windscreen … his words were “oh no” as he realised what had happened. Oh no indeed!
Once I arrived at the Top Rent A Car office I was accompanied to the car and the damage was assessed. My paperwork confirmed that I had full insurance so fortunately I wasn’t asked to make any payment. I waited no more than 15 minutes for an identical car to arrive at the office for me, and after checking the new one over, I was back on the road within an hour of arriving there.
I was very upset when it happened, of course I realise it could have been much worse but any kind of accident isn’t pleasant. What made this bad situation much better was that both Top Rent A Car and the Bulgarian police were incredibly helpful and things were dealt with quickly. All in all I spent about 2 hours getting this resolved and I was very grateful of that.
From now on I will be more careful, and on the lookout for trees, or anything else that may decide to jump out on me! However, it is reassuring to know that when things do go wrong you won’t find yourself under any unnecessary stress. It’s very simple when you have a good, honest car rental company.
You can check Top Rent A Car’s rates and availability here: