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CAR HIRE / LEASE IN ITALY ( and departure from Milan )

CAR HIRE / LEASE IN ITALY ( and departure from Milan )

May 6th, 2009, 03:49 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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CAR HIRE / LEASE IN ITALY ( and departure from Milan )

My search of posts on this topic did not reveal anything more recent than 2007 and so would be grateful to receive any advice about car hire and / or leasing .

We will need to collect a car in Venice and then drive to Tuscany and a villa about 3.5km outside Castellino in Chianti and then return it to Florence . Not certain of the size car as yet for whilst just 2 of us depart Venice to spend a week in the villa there are likely to be up to 7 persons staying and so we will all want to get around to tour and shop .

My main concern is to find a reliable company . Past posts suggest - europcar ; autoeurope.com; novacarhire.com and gemut.com. Has anyone used these companies recently eg the last year or so ?

One post suggested that in their case they were driving between France and Italy and leased a new Renault for just a week which was comparable in price and was advantageous . I recall reading of this being done some years ago and also wonder if anyone had experience or knowledge of it please .
JohnFitz is offline  
May 6th, 2009, 03:52 AM
  #2  
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Sorry I forgot to add that I expect to need to get from Florence by myself to Milan from where my flight departs . Train ? Fly ? What is easier in your experience please ?
JohnFitz is offline  
May 6th, 2009, 04:10 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Take the train to Milan from Florence.

I have used Kemwell and Autoeurope for weekly rentals in Italy in the last 6 months or so. Both are good, as are Nova and Gemut. It is a question of price. Check their sites and follow up with a phone call when you find the best price. For one week I think renting is the way to go.
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 6th, 2009, 05:03 AM
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I don't think you can lease for so short a period, so a rental is what you're looking for. I've been using AutoEurope for more than 25 years, 100+ rentals, and had no problem. They will match or beat anyone else's price. Shop around, then call them. Kemwel is the same company. If you use AutoEurope's websites in Europe, you will find cheaper prices than if you use the US site. Find the lowest price you can and call them to confirm they'll honor it.
StCirq is online now  
May 6th, 2009, 05:04 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Leasing does not work for less than 17 days. This may help:
DRIVING IN ITALY & SOUTHERN EUROPE

Q. SHOULD WE DRIVE IN ITALY?
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

Q. WHAT CAR SHOULD I GET AND WHERE DO I GET IT?
A. It is best to rent your car before you leave for Europe. The best source we have found is www.autoeurope.com [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 www.kemwel.com. 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.

Q. ARE ITALIAN DRIVERS AS CRAZY AS I HAVE HEARD?
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.

OTHER ROAD TIPS FOR YOUR DRIVING SANITY:
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  
May 6th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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Be very careful in Florence. Driving without a pass on restricted streets will get you ticketed by cameras, perhaps multiple times, at more than $100 per ticket. Passes are not issued by rental companies.

For the past 12 years I've used www.gemut.com as I want to deal with the same person, not a different phone reservationist every time. Call Andy at Gemut at 800-521-6722. He is affiliated with Auto Europe, really knows his stuff, and will match any lower rate
kurt1938 is offline  
May 6th, 2009, 03:42 PM
  #7  
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Thankyou all .Really useful and sensible advice generously given as per always on Fodors.

I am Australian but the same principles apply eg international licence and weighing up the pros and cons of driving . Sydney and Melbourne have some of the worst drivers in the world on the roads so there is little that can faze me .The friend I am travelling with is happy to also drive and have me navigate .

I last drove in Italy 15 years ago in a tiny Ford Festiva with 4 large people in it plus bags from Lerici in Liguria to Pisa .I still recall those cars wizzing past on the autostrada and finally limping into town just as the engine faded. It was not a hire car .
JohnFitz is offline  
Dec 8th, 2009, 11:10 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Bookmarking. thanks btn for the info.
moods is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 05:39 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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We hired a car from Nova last summer and all went very smoothly, and price was very reasonable. We picked up and returned at Milan train station. Driving in Italy is also easy, good signs, gas is expensive as all over Europe.
Dgodkin is offline  

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