Fleet News

Web watch: we review what's hot on the net

THE internet is home to all things weird. There are websites floating around in cyberspace dedicated to some rather obscure concepts (see kittenwar.com or hatsofmeat.com). However, car rental is not usually a subject associated with the bizarre.

Visitors to www.lingscars.com will set sail on a bizarre journey through the mind of Chinese entrepreneur Ling Valentine, who uses a rather ‘unique’ sales banter with her customers.

She considers herself the ‘Ryanair of contract hire’, and gives away Chinese meals, Chinese money, poetry and communist books among other incentives.

It sounds odd and it is. While one part of the logical brain is screaming ‘how could I possibly trust the handling of my new car to this website?’, the other is admiring the way trust is created through this highly personal service.

The 249 letters thanking Ling also help. Customers can talk to Ling live using an instant messenger function. I tested this out, and she replied to a message within seconds in an extremely professional manner. Conversations can be saved and sent to your inbox at the click of a button.

The latest car prices for business and private users can be found on the homepage links on the top menu. Each car comes with lots of additional details and Ling’s ‘car v fags’ feature, which pits the cost of renting the car against the cost of cigarettes. In this case, the daily cost of renting a Lexus IS is the same as two packets of cigarettes.

As Ling points out: ‘Smoking 39 fags bad – car good!’

Navigating the site can be a little confusing – there are links all over the place – and the text has some controversial opinions. For example, here is Ling’s comment on her free lunch offer. ‘Noodle now in date! (Following unreasonable complaint by Trading Standards, I now supply in date product for poor soft English customer who cannot defend body against six-month -old noodle!).’


Ling's Car Porn page

The lowdown:

The site: www.lingscars.com.

We like: Odd, entertaining and an interesting alternative

We don’t like: Muddled navigation system

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