We’re all familiar with that sinking feeling of forgetting something important. Most of us experience this when we’re about to set off on a road trip or when we’re en route to the airport. That stomach sinking feeling of a forgotten item is the reason we carefully curate trip checklists, set reminders in our phones and attach keychain tracking devices to our valuables.
There’s only one thing worse than forgetting something you intended to bring on a trip, and that’s arriving home realizing that you’ve left behind something important. If you started your road trip without an item, it’s just going to be at home waiting for you, but if you left something behind on the return trip, chances are you may never get it back. As it turns out, this happens more often that we realize, especially when renting a car. Many of us rent cars for business trips, family road trips or just as a method of transportation when flying into a city. You hit the road, make it to your destination, drive back and turn in the car. If you’re returning your rental car to an airport location, chances are you’re in a rush to make your flight. Tired and ready to make it home, you accidentally leave something behind in the vehicle.
Curious as to what drivers commonly leave behind in their rental cars, we scoured lost and found databases and surveyed drivers on their most frequently left behind valuables. Of course, there are standard items like phones, credit cards and keys, but drivers aren’t just leaving the usuals behind — they’re forgetting everything from musical instruments and strobe lights to wedding rings and pets.
The findings painted such a peculiar story about American drivers that we took this study one step further. We asked drivers what daily necessities they’d give up to get back their items of sentimental value that were left behind. Turns out even 4% of drivers said they’d give up their significant other!
When it comes to reuniting a lost item with its owner, car rental companies make it pretty accessible for drivers to find their valuables in an online database. There’s a wealth of interesting items that make up the lost and founds of car rental companies — just beware they only hold on to those for 60 days.