A BASINGSTOKE man with disabilities is speaking out after he faced what he describes as “a harrowing incident” while driving a courtesy car.

George Turlin, 64, received a courtesy car from Enterprise in Basingstoke on Saturday, March 23, when his car broke down. However, his relief turned into horror when he started driving the car two days later.

While on the road at night, he said the car’s headlights began flashing on and off, eventually ceasing to work altogether, leaving only the side lights functional.

Mr Turlin, accompanied by his daughter, faced a perilous journey back from Andover with hardly any visibility.

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"It was a death trap, and we could have been killed," he said, recounting the experience.

Enterprise has however clarified that, as always, a 25-point check was conducted on this vehicle before giving it to Mr Turlin, but unfortunately the headlight failed two days into the rental.

Upon returning the vehicle to Enterprise the following morning, Mr Turlin said he was advised to seek assistance from Halfords, in Worting Road, to change the bulb.

There, he claims, it was discovered that the car needed two new bulbs, the treads on both front tyres were low, and the fog lights were dysfunctional.

After replacing the bulbs, he took the vehicle back to Enterprise again, when he was told to bring proof of the work that was done.

Mr Turlin said staff at Halfords made a call to Enterprise to confirm the work done, but the car hire staff still remained unconvinced and accused him of exaggerating the claims.

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Expressing his frustration, Mr Turlin revealed that he has lodged multiple complaints with Enterprise but has yet to receive a satisfactory response.

"Nobody is ringing me back or doing anything about my complaint," he said.

The lack of response from Enterprise has left Mr Turlin feeling ignored and concerned for the safety of others who may encounter similar issues with the company's vehicles.

A spokesperson for Enterprise said: “We take customer safety incredibly seriously, which is why we undertake a 25-point inspection of vehicles before they are provided to customers.

"This includes tyre tread depth, tyre pressures, indicators, engine oil, screen wash and wipers. We can confirm that this standard check was carried out before this vehicle was rented out.

"However, it appears that unfortunately the headlight failed two days into the rental. The customer returned to the branch to report the issue and colleagues offered him a different vehicle. The customer declined, so the only option was for us to call a local repair centre to check that they had the spare part and to authorise that the work be undertaken on our account.

"While at the repair centre for the replacement bulb, the vehicle’s tyre treads depth were also routinely checked by one of its technicians. These were found to be above our tolerance, which is significantly above the legal limit, so no action was taken.

"We have apologised to the customer for any inconvenience associated with replacing the bulb. However, we can confirm that we have followed our processes and procedures.”

Mr Turlin told the Gazette that he was not offered an alternate vehicle when he took the first one back. He also said he never got an apology from anyone at Enterprise. 

Halfords chose not to provide a comment.