Lucky meets the Polizei…

…or does he?

First of all, a huge thanks to those of you that helped me yesterday after my little rental car accident. It really means the world to me that you guys were so helpful, so thank you.

It’s my last night in Germany and I’m about to head to dinner, so I’ll keep this update short, though I promise I’ll provide a full update tomorrow.

Today I got to deal with the not-so-fun part of a car rental accident (come to think of it, the whole thing isn’t any fun!) — driving 2.5 hours to Munich Airport (illegally) without a mirror, returning a car that looks like it got into a fist fight with a hummer, and dealing with the insurance policies.

And while I’ll leave the details of what went down for later, I’ll leave off on a lighter note for now.

Check out this picture (it’s a thumbnail, so you can click on it to make it bigger):

You have no clue how tempted I was to return the car, pretend nothing happened, and say “yeah, the left turn signal didn’t work, you might want to look into that,” only to see their reaction. Of course I wouldn’t actually do that, though sometimes in situations of anger/frustration (with myself) it’s nice to play out slightly funnier outcomes, and that was one of them.

The other thing is that I felt perfectly safe driving the car back to Munich Airport without the mirror, as I drove especially carefully. However, technically you need your driver side mirror in order to drive, so I was scared of getting pulled over by the police. Heck, I figured over that long of a drive I’d get pulled over sooner or later, with the hope that I could explain the situation to them and they’d be understanding.

Much to my surprise I didn’t see a single police car the whole way to the airport. As we pulled into the airport I said to my friend “I can’t believe we drove the whole way without seeing a cop.” As luck would have it literally 30 seconds later a police car pulls up behind me. We’re maybe one kilometer from the rental car return, and the police car keeps getting closer and closer. I turn left and then he turns left. Grrr, should’ve kept my mouth shut.

Did I get pulled over and have a run in with the polizei? Stay tuned to find out…

Filed Under: Travel
  1. That’s a clear and sharp picture.

    @AdamH, the mirror probably has a turn signal built into it, once the the bulb is out(or missing) it indicates something is wrong. That’s my guess.

  2. Eins, zwei, Polizei drei, vier, Offizier f├╝nf, sechs, alte Hex’ sieben, acht, gute Nacht! neun, zehn, auf Wiedersehen!

  3. A Mercedes – that’s not going to be cheap.

    Don’t some of the credit card policies exclude coverage on certainly luxury models?

  4. No way they have stopped you for that. And on the Autobahn you’ve been probably driving flat-out on the left lane anyway. Rather got a speeding ticket at Irschenberg ­čÖé

  5. @ Chris S. – Good eye. I missed that even when I enlarged the picture. What the hell does that mean? We have had a number Mercedes,including our present car which is an SL. Lots of lights come on, many of which we have to look up to figure out what the car is trying to tell us. We have never had a reminder to have a cup of coffee (tea?). Our SL IS several years old, so perhaps it is something new.

    @ Mike – “A Mercedes – that’s not going to be be cheap”. Michael, me boy, you have a great gift for understatement!

  6. Keep in mind that in the States Mercedes only imports it’s high end cars. In Europe, many taxis and pizza delivery cars are Mercedes. Actually, I think most taxis in Germany are Mercedes. Just like in China a Buick is luxury, where here it’s average. Actually, I think a ford is considered a luxury auto in China

  7. Coffee Cup Warning Light — Attention Assist monitors the car’s driver, using 70 parameters to determine if he or she is dozing off. If it detects a drowsy driver, the system sounds a warning tone and lights up a coffee cup icon on the speedometer display.

    Perhaps knocking your rear view mirror off is one of the 70 parameters?

  8. Your US insurance is worthless in Germany. The instant you get home, call AMEX and let THEM deal with. Even if you end up paying a few bucks, AMEX will take care of the details.

  9. @ Rob — Is that really what that is?! It was on the whole time. Sheesh, I must be a crappy driver…

  10. @Chris S. and AUSTEX:
    From the operator’s manual (my translation):

    Due to certain settings, ATTENTION ASSIST has detected Tiredness or increasing distraction of the driver. In addition, a warning bell will sound.

    If required, have a break.

    When making longer journeys, have sufficient rest breaks in time for you to recover.

    (German original:)
    Der ATTENTION ASSIST hat aufgrund bestimmter Kriterien Erm├╝dung oder zunehmende Unaufmerksamkeit des Fahrers festgestellt. Zus├Ątzlich ert├Ânt ein Warnton.

    Bei Bedarf eine Pause einlegen.

    Machen Sie bei l├Ąngeren Fahrten rechtzeitig und regelm├Ą├čig Pausen, damit Sie sich erholen k├Ânnen.

  11. Seems to me that the coffee cup/distraction light was correct. Lucky got in the accident/incident because he was distracted/not paying sufficient attention. The coffee cup light probably determined that Lucky needed a constant reminder to be attentive.

  12. To get page views, this blog has been on a downward spiral and is now less about travel than about high school-level fiction writing. Sad.

  13. Senior Citizen As a senior myself, I can attest that I love this blog, and make a point of staying up to date. I’m especially interested in this story, as it adresses my anxiety about renting a car in Europe. Something I never think twice about stateside.

    Perhaps you were looking to the “old fogey nothing but the travel details” blog, took a wrong turn, and ended up here by mistake. The fact that your comment was the 20th on this particular post might have given you a clue. But you did crack me up with your claim that Lucky is putting his blog on “a downward spiral” in order to “get page views”. ­čÖé Yes, degrade your blog, get more readers, what a fascinating insight….

  14. Nice for you that the dashboard warnings were in English. We replaced a flat with a leaky spare the other day in the Ukraine and were trying to interpret the Ukranian tire pressure warning messages without much success. Also I hope the German police, if you met them, were less into outright solicitation of bribes than the Ukranian ones are

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