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'I drove a hire car around for three days with a drugs bag in the boot’

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
Oct 3, 2017

Stunned dad Lee Radley says he found a bag containing cannabis residue in the boot of his hire car after he had been driving it around for three days.

Lee hired the Peugeot 308 for £67 from an Avis office in Leeds and used it to drive himself and his four-year-old son around for a long weekend.


Megaphone silhouette

But the day before he was due to return it, he opened the boot to find a zip-seal bag in a pocket in the boot containing what he quickly realised was cannabis residue.

Avis has since apologised to Lee.

He later realised the green bits around the driver's seat area were also cannabis.

“I couldn't believe it,” Lee said.

“I’d been driving around for two, nearly three days with this stuff in the back.

“What if I’d been pulled over and the police had found it. Who would have believed that? The social services would have been involved because my son was in there – it’s terrifying.”


Job on the line

Lee said the bag even had a cannabis clover printed on it. He later noticed what he thought were tell-tale bits of the drug around the driver’s seat.

“I work in the oil industry and even a caution would mean I’d lose my job. It’s not the amount that was in there, which I know was not a lot. It’s far more the principle.

“And in this day and age, what else could have been left in there.”

What really shocked Lee was the attitude of the person he spoke to at the Avis office.

“He just thought it was a bit of a laugh,” Lee told us. “He offered m e10% of my next hire. And I just replied that he was mad if he thought I’d rent form them again.”

So, Lee brought his complaint to

“Luckily, they now do seem to be taking it more seriously,” said Lee. “I had a call from a man called Wayne this morning who was very apologetic and said they’d reimburse the hire costs and also – which is more important – review their procedures.”


Not the first case

But it’s not the first time we’ve reported that drugs have been found after someone has hired a car from Avis.

Richard Davies found cannabis in his Vauxhall Mokka after picking it up from the Avis office at Heathrow.

We contacted Avis’ media people over that case but no one responded. We also contacted them over this latest case, and a spokesperson said: "We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service, and take this matter very seriously. We sincerely apologise to the customer for the distress he has experienced as a result of this unusual situation, and we are working with the store in question to ensure that this does not happen again."

The moral of the tale, though, is clear: always check a hire car before driving it away.

And don’t only focus on any damage to the bodywork, check inside the boot and the back-of-the – chair pockets to make sure there’s nothing in there that could get you into a whole lot more trouble than a small dent.