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Automatic Trans Car for 4 people in Rome--Could this be a problem?

Automatic Trans Car for 4 people in Rome--Could this be a problem?

Sep 3rd, 2001, 02:11 PM
  #1  
cindy
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Automatic Trans Car for 4 people in Rome--Could this be a problem?

I need to rent a car with AUTOMATIC transmission in Rome for 4 adults plus luggage. I read on another thread that only 5% of cars in Europe are automatic. Neither my husband nor I know how to drive a standard shift and I'm hoping this won't be a problem. Last time we were in Italy we rented a car in Genoa and after a brief "discussion" with the agency, they did find an automatic for us. Also, what size car would you recommend we get? Not sure of the sizes of the models mentioned on the Avis/Hertz sites.. Anyone know which place is the cheapest?
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 02:14 PM
  #2  
Carol
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You really need to make sure you reserve an automatic. It will be more expensive than the other cars. The car rental web sites normally tell you the car sizes. However, keep in mind that the cars will be smaller than in the states. I have had good sucess with AutoEurope.com
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 02:32 PM
  #3  
Linda
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If you are staying in Rome, you really don't need a car at all. I'd save myself the expense. Reasons: 1) most things you will want to see are within driving distance; 2) those that aren't are easily accessible by bus, metro, or, if you must, a taxi; 3) parking in Rome is almost impossible to find; 4) driving in Rome is very difficult; and 5) it seems like all the streets in Rome are one way--going the opposite from the direction you want to go. So skip the idea of renting a car at all.

If you are leaving Rome for further travel, I highly recommend you take the train to your next destination. Then you can rent a car there or just train/bus wherever you want to go. Public transportation in most places in Italy is very easy and frequent.

Yes, AutoEurope is a good place to rent from (if you are renting, arrange for it from home to save yourself money), but please shop around. What is cheapest today may not be tomorrow, or car X may be cheapest at AutoEurope, but car y may be cheapest at Hertz.
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 02:34 PM
  #4  
cindy
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I should have explained myself better, Linda. We're flying into Rome, staying there 2 days, then driving to Tuscany for a week. Won't pick up the car until we're ready to leave Rome and plan to pick up and drop it off at the airport. I would be terrified to drive in Rome from what I've heard! Thanks for your help though..
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 02:41 PM
  #5  
Linda
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Not a problem. Maybe somebody else will read this post and get the hint. Have a great time in Tuscany.
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 04:17 PM
  #6  
Diane
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We rented our car through AutoEurope this past May. If you are picking up your car at FCO, I suspect they should have automatics available, and if you make your arrangements before you leave, they should have one reserved specifically for you (AutoEurope did charge my card at the time of the reservation, but it was sort of nice to have paid for just about everything before we left)
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 05:33 PM
  #7  
janis
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Your main problem is that most American tourists insist on automatics (almost no Europeans would consider renting a auto shift). There just aren't enough automatics in the rental fleet to absolutely guarantee you will get one. So you can reserve one, but on the day they may not have one for you. I would arrange to pick up the car EARLY in the morning so there is a better chance one will be available. Later in the day more will be taken and all the automatics may be gone.
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 05:50 PM
  #8  
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Yes, as everyone has mentioned it will cost you alot more to get an automatic. Also, I agree with other posters - take the train. I rented a car in Florence (alot closer than Rome) and it was only 3 blocks from our hotel; we went to pick up the car and we could SEE the autostrada from the car rental agency....still it took us several "loops" and a near divorce to actually find our way there. I'm a travel agent, and I always recommend train travel when coming in or out of major cities.

Melodie
 
Sep 4th, 2001, 08:34 AM
  #9  
coco
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Cindy,
I've only recently switched to automatic transmissions after many trips of being the only driver in my party who could drive a standard shift. The rates are not that much higher (like they used to be) and there are really many more automatics available than there used to be. Especailly plentiful at Hertz.

In june, we took the train to Florence and picked up the car there from Hertz--had 3 automatics to choose from. Mid-size up should be adequate for the 4 of you unless someone's hauling around a steamer trunk! We paid about $600 for 9 days, 3 drivers and all the insurance they had to offer.
 
Sep 4th, 2001, 12:50 PM
  #10  
Sherry
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Cindy. For what it is worth, I will throw my two cents in. Last year, I arrived at FCO took the train to Florence and picked up my automatic there. Upon return, I drove from Siena to FCO and dropped off the car. If I had to do it over again, I would drive both ways. Especially if the car pick up and drop off point was the airport. There are merits for picking up the car in Rome. It is less a expensive rental and you would not have the hassle and cost of getting to the airport to pick up the car. But you may not want to attempt to drive out of the city. Going between FCO and Tuscany by car is a snap. Get a very good map. I also rented an automatic.
 
Sep 4th, 2001, 01:25 PM
  #11  
elvira
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Saw something in the Sunday paper that Renault is offering automatics for the same price as manual.
http://www.renaultusa.com/special.asp
 
Sep 5th, 2001, 07:50 AM
  #12  
Cindy
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Thanks for all the advice...I was thinking of maybe taking the train to Florence and renting the car there, but maybe Rome is a better deal. On the Hertz website, a premium 4dr automatic (which is the only class of automatic they had listed) is going for $679 a week, then $97 per day for the 2 extra days, and an additional $139 for theft protection, AND 20% tax, 14% airport fee, etc..A grand total of $1395!!! There must be a way to do better than this.. Europe Car and Avis did not let me specify automatic in their reservation systems. Guess I'll have to get on the phone?
 
Sep 5th, 2001, 12:27 PM
  #13  
coco
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Cindy,
Ouch! That is ridiculous...definitely telephone the 800#s. Everytime I have consulted one of the car rental web sites, they quote astronomical prices and omit half the options! I don't bother anymore.

In Florence, you will not need to go to the airport for the car. Hertz and all the other major companies have offices in Florence, mostly clustered near each other, not far from the train station. Really not much hassle to pick up the car in town and drive out. (Driving into Florence can be a little tricky what with all those one way streets!)
None of the 3 automatics were premium cars. We went with an Opel. For further savings, we had pre-paid when booking. Hope you can find a decent deal!
 
Sep 5th, 2001, 01:23 PM
  #14  
ellen
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You might try www.europebycar.com. I had good luck and the lowest prices from them in Germany.

We rented a car (through our villa rental agent)from the Milan Airport last October for 10 days and it cost around $700. The car was a bit like a minivan - held 4 passengers with room for luggage, and it was an automatic. We got it at the National rental counter. Renting a car in Italy is more expensive than in other countries but the over $1300 figure you were quoted seems quite excessive.
 
Sep 8th, 2001, 06:36 AM
  #15  
Mary
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OUCH!! I too am traveling in Italy soon, and began my car search with an automatic in mind. However, I ended up with a manual because I reserved a car for only $311.00 for 8 days! Borrow a friend's car and learn to drive a stick!
 
Sep 8th, 2001, 06:52 AM
  #16  
bettyk
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See if you qualify for any type of discount through AAA, AARP, etc. You might be able to save a little bit that way.
 
Sep 8th, 2001, 07:19 AM
  #17  
Wendy
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Have you looked into leasing a car from Renault? The rate includes all the taxes and insurance, you can order the car you want (including automatics)and if you pick it up and drop it off in France, there is no extra fee. If you pick up and drop off in Italy, the fee is anywhere from 100 to 150, depending on the city. I have started researching this area myself as I also want an automatic and have found the same astronomical prices at all the rental car places. The leasing option is available to North Americans, not Europeans. You can read more about it on Renault's website or do a search on Google to find companies that act as brokers. They will provide more details on their websites.
 

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