Driver Pushes the Limits of a Rental Car


Giovanna Boniface, a woman from Vancouver, was accused of driving a Yukon Denali for more than 36,000 kilometers in three days. Did she have prior experience as a speedy race car driver?

Unfortunately, no. She was just a tired mother driving her daughter to Kitchener for her university move-in day. Her round trip to Kitchener was approximately 170 kilometers, nowhere near the distance on the receipt.

Avis Car Rental at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport shoved this bill her way without any bells going off in the invoicing error. As she was waiting at the gate to board her flight, she took a peek at the receipt indicating she’d driven 36,482 kilometers in 68 hours, along with an $8,079.76 charge to her credit card.

“I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh,'” she said. “It’s pretty nuts.”

For the people not into number crunching, here is a breakdown of why this is an impossible possibility. Even if Boniface avoided washroom breaks and gas stops, she would have to sustain a speed of 536.5 kilometers per hour or 148.8 meters per second to reach the distance on the bill. This speed is equivalent to the speed of the fastest drag racer and significantly more than 176 km/h the SUV can handle.

Boniface was not willing to pay for a drive almost equivalent to the circumference of Earth. She rightfully disputed the claim and bill. Boniface and her husband got through to a customer service agent but it was not a helpful process.

Boniface said: “They didn’t really care. I asked to be put through to a supervisor because sometimes that’s what you need to do and they just hung up on me. And I don’t know if they do that purposely but I just kept getting hung up on.”

After the case attracted media attention, Avis began to respond to the complaint. The car rental company contacted Boniface with an apology and assured her that she would have the extra charges refunded in three to five business days.

Avis rents cars — not planes. There is no way their cars have reached over 500 kilometers per hour.


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