Car rental in France versus Italy

Old Oct 28th, 2000, 06:19 AM
  #1  
ann
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Car rental in France versus Italy

Am planning 2-3 week trip to Italy, Germany and France next summer and will be renting a car for most of the time. In preliminary checking of prices I find a rental starting in Rome and ending in Paris would be over $1100 while one starting in Nice, France and ending in Paris would be only around $400. Can this be right? Anyone have any experience in this area that could advise me. It seems it would be worth the money to drive from Nice since I am planning on being in the Chinque Terre area (plus Tuscany, Rome & Venice). Thanks
 
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 06:33 AM
  #2  
Maira
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An Italian law effective since 1993 request mandatory CDW coverage. Some credit cards coverage is NOT accepted. If you rent the car in Italy, you may need to consider this added expense. Check with your credit card company. I used AmEx for a rental car in 1994 and it was NOT covered. When I contacted AmEx upon return, they stated thay had included a notice with the statement when this came into effect. I never read it. My fault.
 
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 07:01 AM
  #3  
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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Ann, Start your trip in France and try
to end there as well, although dropping
it in Lugano is also a good option if
you put CH at the end of your itinerary.
Is it 2 or 3 weeks---makes a big difference. If over 19 days then there is another option. Let me know if you
need specific help---I have done this
itinerary several times and always with
a car. You have an ambitious plan here.
You will need 3 weeks.
 
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 08:47 AM
  #4  
Rex
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Bob and Ann,

As a fellow trip planner, I am curious about the advice to end in Lugano - - Ann doesn't mention Lugano (or even the lakes area nor Switzerland) - - is there something special about turning in a car in Lugano?

I agree that Ann's best bet is to start and finish in the same country. While France is probably the most economical of the three, reting in Germany has often been a better VALUE - - not cheaper - - just better car for the sane price. This is esepcially true with a (9 passenger) van or mini-van (I don't know how many people you have). I have been disappointed too many times by a French rental van - - which is often a Fiat - - with only "pseudo"-air conditioning. No comparison with a Volkswagen. And in (7-passenger) mini-vans, French models (for example, l'Espace) have much less luggage room.

There may be considerable merit in considering two different "in-country" rentals. You can rent in the Strasbourg area as a Germany rental or as a French rental. Ditto for Basel and Geneva as Swiss or French.

This "Dreieck" (three-corner) area of F/D/CH is a wonderful place to start and/or end a trip to any and all of the three countries you mention. And if you want to break your rental up into two different in-country pieces, there are very attractive airfares between all three airports (SXB, BSL, GVA) and Paris or Nice (one hour flight Strasbourg-Nice eliminates 9 hours driving). Infuriatingly, you cannot drop off a car in Geneva airport without buying that damn vignette ($25 for 15 minutes' worth of driving!)

I have not yet found a similar France-Italy pair, although it is quite easy to rent or turn in at the Nice train station - - and just 45 minutes by train - - at the San Remo train station.

For more thoughts on these or similar strategies, feel free to write me - - although my e-mail account has not been functioning correctly for the past two weeks. Use [email protected] if necessary in the next week or so.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 09:58 AM
  #5  
wes fowler
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Ann,
Italian auto rentals are expensive compared to other European countries. CDW insurance is mandatory, as is theft insurance unlike
France, Switzerland and Germany. Major credit cards will not provide secondary CDW coverage for Italy. The non-recoverable Italian VAT for auto rentals is 20% compared with the Swiss VAT of 7% (which probably explains BOB's suggestion regarding Lugarno as the spot to rent and return). You'll also no doubt incur a stiff drop off charge since you're considering picking up the car in Italy and dropping it in France.
France may not charge a drop off fee for in-country drop offs. Finally, renting from an airport location is considerably more expensive than from an in-town location. Just some things to consider!
 
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 10:27 AM
  #6  
ann
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Thanks to everyone who replied. I'll check with my credit card company to see if I'm covered in Italy. If credit cards don't cover CDW in Italy do most people buy it from the rental company? It's not safe to not have it is it?
 
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 10:54 AM
  #7  
Rex
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Ann,

You may not have understood how literal is the word "mandatory" with regard to insurance for car rentals in Italy. Yes, you will purchase it from the car rental company. The government does not allow car rentals without the customer paying the supplemental insurance charges.

Oh, and by the way - - if you DO rent in another country and pay the high drop charge to leave it in Italy - - using your credit-card based CDW (car rentals WILL permit this, originating in France, for example) - - they will probably NOT tell you that your credit card-based insurance will almost surely NOT protect you for the driving you do in Italy.

A compelling reason to rent from Germany or France instead, and return to the same country you originated your rental. But it doesn't mean that you can't or shouldn't ever rent in Italy. If it makes sense for your itinerary (and it has for me, more than once), you just need to be aware of this cost differential.

Indeed, I think that a great way to see these three countries is to fly into Strasbourg - - rent there and travel wherever you want in France and Germany. End up somewhere in either country. Take train (Nice to San Remo) or fly to Italy (Brussels to Milan or Rome, for example on Virgin Express - - using train to get to Brussels, from Paris or Cologne, for example). Then rent in Italy, and fly home from Italy. Depending on your goals in Italym you may do just fine with a three day rental, as you can often do as well withOUT a car in Italy's major cities. A car is a major plus BETWEEN big cities - - not IN them.

And of course, there are also fifty other ways to skin this cat.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 12:44 PM
  #8  
Sherry
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Ann: I cannot tell you the merits of your starting point and drop off points but I rented a car in Italy in August.
It is true the CDW and theft protection are mandatory. But I rented through Hertz in Italy and my Citibank card DID cover the CDW. But neither AutoEurope nor Kemwell(two conpanies we had used in May and June for Spain and France) would let me do this. If someone on the Forum can help you, I'd let them. A rental over 15 days sometimes presents a problem, too. If you find one of your credit cards provides you with CDW, as I did, it will save you money no matter where you rent.
 
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 02:08 PM
  #9  
Anne
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Ann,
We had a most positive rental experience with Peugot Sodexa, through Auto France, Inc. We rented a 4 door sedan in Paris and drove for a month through France and into Italy, finally dropping it off at the Malpensa airport. The total cost, including insurance and unlimited miles, was $1,048. The car was brand new and the people were great. Their number is 800-572-9655 and website www.auto-france.com.

Have a good journey,
Anne
 
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 02:23 PM
  #10  
Patrick
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I second the motion for Auto France. This is a program in which you get a brand new car you pick up at a dealer (they title it in your name, simply as a formality because you are from outside the European Union --then when they sell this "used" car to a European buyer, it is not subject to the usual VAT tax (20% or more). This sounds involved but it is not. Because they are protecting their car, all insurance is included in their price and there are no "surprises". The only possible glitch is that it must be for a minimum of 17 days --which sounds like it wouldn't be a problem for you. We normally rent through Auto Europe, but did a Pugeot through Auto France for a little over 2 months. It was a great experience.
 
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 11:35 PM
  #11  
gb
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We leased a mid-sized Renault from Renault Eurodrive last summer for 19 days. The total cost, including pick up in Italy was about $900. We also got three free days by acquiring a French master card called French Privilege card. We picked up in Milan, and dropped off in Paris. Nice, personalized service and great car with no hassles.
 
Old Oct 29th, 2000, 01:01 PM
  #12  
xx
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To the top for another interested traveler.
 

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