Sunday, August 12, 2012

A real expensive 5 gallon of gasoline

Most people refuel their rental cars before returning the car to the rental company simply because it is cheaper to fill it up yourself then to let the rental car company charge you. I usually do not refuel the rental car before returning. Not because I have money to burn, just because when I rent, I am usually on business trip and the company's procurement had done a real good job negotiating deals with the car rental company, so returning without refueling may even cost less than buying gas from the gas station.

I was in California last week, for both business and personal purposes. Yesterday morning, after crossing the bay over the San Mateo bridge, I headed north on Highway 101. I should have followed my normal routine and head straight to return the car. Unfortunately, I did not. I have no idea what went through my mind, I decided to refuel the car before returning. There is a Chevron gas station on Millbrae Ave just south of SFO. I exited the freeway, headed west on Millbrae Ave, found the Chevron and refueled my car.

To get back to the freeway, I have to head east on Millbrae Avenue. But since there is a center divide in the middle, I cannot make a left turn out of the gas station to get back to the freeway. I have to right turn and head west and then somehow make a U-turn. Unfortunately, there is a huge no U-turn sign at the first traffic light. So, naturally, I made a left turn into the cross street and made a U-turn and headed back toward Millbrae Avenue. As I approached the intersection to make a right turn on-to Millbrae, I guess I was approaching the intersection fast enough to trigger the sensor. So even though I stopped right before the intersection, I saw a flash right in front of my eye. So, me and the rental car were photographed. I will probably getting a special present from "Big Brother".

It's bad enough to get a ticket for running a red light which I never ran over. It's even worse that since it's a rental car, the police will have to go to the rental car company to find me. And because of that, the rental car company is going to charge me another couple hundred dollars "processing charge".

Sigh... It's going to be a really expensive 5 gallon of gasoline. Way more than the amount any rental car company would have charged.

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