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Bari Car Rental P/U and Drop-Off Questions


Apr 6th, 2015, 10:10 AM
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Bari Car Rental P/U and Drop-Off Questions

I've traveled overseas about a dozen times but have never rented a car, so I'd greatly appreciate some hand holding. With the following in mind, which pick up location should I choose for maximum efficiency?
Arriving Bari at 6pm, so we are staying the night in town (absolutely will not drive with no sleep, even if it is only one hour).
The next morning, we need to pick up a car. Avis looks cheapest and has an automatic. There are three Avis locations: airport, near train station, and a bit further afield. While driving out of town from the airport may be easiest, the office near the train station is only a 20 minute walk from our b&b. However, it looks to require a tricky drive out of town (maybe that is just Google Maps foolishness?). The one further afield would require a taxi, but would put us closer to the highway out of town.
There appears to be no penalty for different drop-off, so we would drop a week later at Bari airport. Dumb question: when the office is closed, how do we do a drop off? Our return flight leaves at 11:40am Sunday. so what time would you plan to do a drop off?
Thanks for any advice for first-time Italy drivers with anxiety!
yorkshire is online now  
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Apr 6th, 2015, 12:03 PM
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Hey, Yorkshire.
My wife and I visited Puglia 2 or 3 years ago. Great area. We flew in and out of Bari. It's a small, easy airport to navigate. We picked up/dropped off the rental car at the airport.

In your case, I believe I'd pick-up the car at the "further afield" office. Bari is a big, busy city. I wouldn't want to be getting used to an unfamiliar rental car in the city.

As for the drop off of the rental car...we used SIXT for our rental. We had an early morning flight out so had to drop the car off before the offices opened. There is a parking garage next to the airport. We simply had to park the car in one of the SIXT parking spaces in the garage and drop the keys in a lock-box. Easy.

I think that getting to the airport 1.5 hours before your flight would give you plenty of time.

I can't remember the name of the service, but there is an inexpensive bus that runs between the airport and the train station in Bari.

I wrote a trip report after our Puglia visit. If you're interested you should be able to find it under my screen name.

Have a great trip! We really enjoyed Puglia.

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Apr 6th, 2015, 12:16 PM
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While it is always a challenging driving in foreign countries, Bari is not nearly as difficult to navigate as larger cities like Rome or Florence! Plan your route ahead of time, bring directions, and you should be fine. But DO beware of ZTL zones, which are zones you are not allowed to drive in unless you are a resident with a special sticker; you can be fined if you drive in these zones with a rental car. You can find a map of the ZTL zone boundaries here:
As you can see, the train station is not in the ZTL zone so you shouldn't have to worry.
Most car rental companies do not charge one way fees within Italy, especially within the same town, but it is always best to ask specifically just to be sure.
After-hours drop offs are possible for companies that have drop boxes at the given locations you plan to drop off at; just ask the representative at the rental desk where the drop box is specifically when you are picking up the car. I checked and Avis DOES have a drop box at the Bari Airport. You just leave the car in the designated lot and drop the keys in the drop box.
This option is more convenient but alot of people prefer to drop off when the office is open so they can finalize their papers with a representative and confirm that there are no damages to the car etc.

As general pointers for renting the car, be sure to record the condition of the vehicle when you pick it up. If there are any scratches or damages at all be sure that they are noted and take pictures just in case. Be sure to check if your online rental rate includes insurance or not; CDW is required by law in Italy and if you don't have it in your quoted rate you will have to pay extra once you go to pick up the car. Also be sure to have a valid CREDIT card in the driver's name when picking up (NOT just a debit card). The rental company will need to hold a security deposit on your CC and they most likely will not release the car to you if all you have is a debit card.

Just plan ahead, get all your ducks in a row, and you'll be able to relax and enjoy your trip! Many many people rent cars in Italy for vacations so, although your anxieties are warranted, issues are always easily avoidable with a little foresight and planning ahead
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Apr 6th, 2015, 02:55 PM
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I just did a quick search on AutoEurope. It shows every car rental office at the Bari airport to be open on Sundays, which would be normal. Are you sure yours isn't?

If for some reason your car rental office is not open, then I would switch to one that is. And if for some reason that is not possible -- and this might sound nutty/paranoid -- but if you have a camera that can time-date-stamp a photograph, I suggest using it to take a half dozen photos of the car when you leave it in the authorized parking space.
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Apr 6th, 2015, 03:06 PM
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Correct Sandralist--I was concerned about opening times initially, but our flight is later than I thought. My Dad suggested the same thing with photos--you can never be too careful I suppose.

Thanks all for the encouragement! I think if we keep our wits and side mirrors all will be okay. Colton, I think I will map it our more carefully and let the driver decide.

I take it you all recommend GPS.

Chucktown_dobbs, I did enjoy your trip report, one of the many that enticed me to visit this region. Are you from Charleston? (My hometown, but the burbs and not the historic part--though I am convinced growing up near the peninsula is why I value travel, history, and architecture!)
yorkshire is online now  
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Apr 7th, 2015, 10:20 AM
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Hey, Yorkshire.

Good info given from the other folks on the rental car stuff.

The car we rented had an in-dash GPS that Melissa was able to figure out pretty quickly. We found it to be very helpful. I had paper maps as a backup, although they were never used.

Yep, I'm a Charlestonian (James Island, specifically). We are blessed to live in such a beatiful city and always look forward to coming home from our travels abroad!

I can't wait to hear about your Puglian adventures!

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Apr 14th, 2015, 11:14 AM
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We went to puglia last year and flew into brindisi and rented the car there. That was a breeze! Driving in bari will be a pain, but it all depends on how you feel driving in busy, crazy cities. We returned our car in rome and it was surprisingly not too bad. If you're just getting the car and getting out..I wouldn't worry about it. Driving around looking for parking, etc, would be a different story!
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Apr 15th, 2015, 04:42 AM
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I must be the only one who got lost and confused exiting the Bari airport. On two different trips this happened! Make sure to get explicit directions and learn if any of the entrances to the autostrada are closed in that area if you do rent from the airport. Otherwise driving is easy.
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Apr 15th, 2015, 05:41 AM
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Before you go take out annual damage insurance (in the UK this is peanuts look on the google "martin money" website for suppliers).

Italians take a long lunch and their hours reflect that, if the shop opening hours say 1:30 don't believe it, drop them an email.

When picking up the car, walk round it and take photos (watch out for perlicent paint) and photo every corner. Turn on the engine and confirm the fuel meter read "Full", photo the meter and the milometer.

On the docket indicate every error/scratch.

Drop on the floor and check nothing is hanging down.

Then, and only then, sign off on the car.

Check the deal, is it bring back full of fuel or empty. Ask staff where the nearest fuel is and check you can access it on the day and time you intend to bring it back.

When you bring it back it will be inspected, before they inspect it take the same photos and check underneath.

If they hit you with some scam, you have the evidence.

Watch out for speed cameras and Car free zones, you will get two bills, one from the renal agency and one from the municipality, bith hurt.
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Apr 15th, 2015, 08:25 AM
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"renal" let's try "rental", and "both" hurt
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