Car Hire

Dec 9th, 2009, 05:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 58
Car Hire

We will be renting a car in France (Sept. 2010). Would like suggestions on the best economy or compact car to rent.
adman1937 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 06:03 AM
Join Date: May 2008
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I dont know how much ability you have to reserve a particular car, but if you do I rented a manual C2 citroen diesel and it was great(if you dont mind staying under 110km/hr). I must have got 70 mpg- yes gallon- it was peppy and it was a comfortable ride too.
FrankS is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 06:06 AM
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Usually it's a "model or equal" I am presently looking at a gas model Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf. What company did you rent from?
adman1937 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 06:20 AM
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You don;t get to pick a particular car. You pick a class and get whatever they happen to have on the lot - which they likly won;t know until a day or two in advance. When selecting the class make sure you can live with all the cars they list for that class.

And do realize that mot cars will be standard transmission and smaller (in the sme category) than you would get in the US.

As to what type of car you need how many of you are there? All adults or also kids? Is anybody large (my beau s 6'3" and can't drive the minicars -just ot enoughleg room.) How much luggage will you have.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 06:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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This my help--also good for France, except for the insurance:


A. Of course you should if your driving skill & confidence would allow you to drive a rental car in Vermont, Colorado or California. But, be advised of these tips:
* Avoid driving in the major cities except for picking up or dropping cars
* Have good maps—study them in advance—and have a GOOD NAVIGATOR.
* Stay in the right lane except when passing and use your rear view mirrors

A. It is best to rent your car before you leave for Europe. The best source we have found is [800-223-5555] who is a broker for several car vendors. They will quote you prices to include the variables that are often omitted by others, such as unlimited mileage, mandatory insurance coverage with some deductibles, and VAT taxes. It is wise to compare prices and coverage with their sister company at Autoeurope will match any comparable quote, and are famous for their customer satisfaction if problems do arise with the vendor. The best model will depend on your needs, but for best value we suggest you select a compact car with manual transmission. Automatics are available but will cost you about 30% more and may limit your model options & pick up locations.

A. Yes & no! They are certainly aggressive, but they are also more skilled than many USA drivers—both are a function of necessity. Italy is one of the most crowded countries in the world and the drivers have evolved these characteristics
* They are notorious tailgaters. If that bothers you, pull over and let them past.
* On the AUTOSTRADE they will drive fast, but will stay in the right lane except when passing and will use their blinkers when passing—YOU SHOULD TOO !
* They will often pass on 2-lane roads with traffic coming. Frankly, they expect you, and the oncoming car, to adjust to the shoulder and make 3 lanes of traffic.

1. Learn the meaning of the sign “ SENSO UNICO” and take heed [ONE WAY ].
2. Be sure to get your ticket when you enter the AUTOSTADA system & be prepared to pay the toll when you exit it [ rule of thumb—300 km=15 Euro]. You can use your credit card in the VIA lane at the toll both, or buy a debit VIACARD in advance.
3. Do NOT attempt to follow road numbers—that will frustrate you. But, do pay attention to the directional signs that point to your destination [ TO MONTALCINO]. And, be aware if that road leads eventually to a larger city [ ROMA—SIENA ETC.]
4. Unless you have a diesel car, you will want to fill the tank with benzina from the green pump. Most stations will pump gas for you and will take credit cards.

NOTE: As of 2005, an International Drivers Permit[IDP] is required in Italy.
You can obtain them from your local AAA office. You will need a valid US driver’s license, two passport photos, and $15. The photos can be taken at the AAA office.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 06:29 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 12,820
adman, We went with National Car rental and received good service. At the train station the man at the counter even took my car without me having to make the loop in traffic to get to the dropoff as we were late for our train.
FrankS is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 06:32 AM
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nytraveller I am surprised your husband can't drive small European cars. My sons are both the same size as your husband, if not a bit taller, and one happily drives a Ford Ka around, the other would drive my Ka when I had one. They have a friend who is 6'8 and he drives a Clio. And he doesn't need to sit in the back seat to do so.
hetismij is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 06:39 AM
Join Date: May 2008
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Im tall and found the C2 a bit on the small size, but still reasonable. But newer European small cars are much more roomy these days for sure, the Opel Zafira we rented last year actually can be considered spacious for 5 people
FrankS is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Well -

I sympathize - I'm 5'9" and I have trouble driving them - I just can;t get far enough away from the pedals and steering wheel. I suppose if you drive with your arms and legs all bent up you can do it. (I just don;t feel I have contrl of the car that way.)

But I (we) drive with arms and legs as straight out as we can get them - far from the windshield. And the smaller cars just won't do. (He even has trouble with my compact sports coupe.)
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,319
You can check car specs here :

in French :
in English (normally the models are pretty similar) :

Note that mpg in England is per IMP gallon, not per US gallon. The relationship is that IMP gallon = (approx) 4.5 litres and the US gallon = 3.8 litres.

Go for diesel/gasoil/derv where possible. Compression ignition engines give 30+% more mpg and the fuel is up to 30% cheaper. I get around 50 mpg at 82 mph on long runs with a Renault diesel.

For more than 15 days, leasing is cheaper.

Excess insurance is cheaper with an annual policy than paying a daily rate -

Cross border drop offs are expensive

Bonne chance

mpprh is offline  

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