Car rental in spain

Old Oct 8th, 2004, 05:37 AM
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Ivy
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Car rental in spain

I am planning a trip to andaluscia in January or february and want to rent a car to tour the white villages etc. . . I can only drive an automatic car(grew up in NYC so I was near 30 when I learned to drive ANY car and never learned a manual!). I have read that it can be hard to rent an automatic car in spain, if I rent through autoeurope, with whom I have had great success in the past, do you all think I will be able to get an automatic car? I dont't care about what it costs, I just want to be able to drive it!! thanks!
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 08:16 AM
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I think it's time you learned to drive a stick shift. The only automatics currently available will be on no advantage when touring the white villages since you will not be able to get an automobile that large through most of the narrow streets typical of the white villages. The largest car I would advise renting is the Renault Megan if you are going to be doing a lot of open road driving. A compact car would be a better choice for touring the villages, something like the new Renault Modus or one of the smaller Peugeot models, but even then you may still have to fold the mirrors in order to drive down some of the streets you encounter in these villages. You?ll also find that parking is at a premium wherever you travel in the area.

You can check with National Atesa, Auto Europe, Avis or Hertz, but if you are only looking at have a car for less than three days at a time, then you may want to wait until you arrive and rent one locally. It will cost about 50 euros for a one day rental.
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 08:32 AM
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We rented a compact Nissan for driving thru Andalucia, and actually did drive down a street in a tiny white village where we couldn't get thru. However, for the most part it was fine. It was a manual - however, I would think you should be able to find a compact with an automatic somewhere. We went thru Kasbah.com since they had the best price, and we had no hassles. For some reason Andalucia has many car rental agencies, most with web sites, and all quite inexpensive.
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Agree with the above posters. Glad to know we weren't the only ones who got stuck in one of the white villages (local men backed us out!) Also recommend Auto Europe, but highly suggest you don't rent from Hertz--we did once and it was a nightmare!

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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 10:45 AM
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If you ar most comfortable with an automatic - and are concerned about narrow streets - just check with all the rental companies to see who offers the smallest automatic.

We did not drive through any of the white towns - had a mid size car - but left it on the outskirts and walked. We did have an interesting time in Ubeda (by the time we had followed the marked route to the cnetral square the rod was so narrow that we had all 4 wheels on the tiny sidewalks - 2 on each side - but we did get through.

I think coming from NYC is an advantage - since unlike drivers in most places - we;'re fairly used to going through places that are only 5-6" wider than the car - even with the mirrors folded in. (Notice that out of towners here are often terrified of passing double-parked trucks - even though there's room to get a garbage truck through - never mind a normal car.)
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 10:49 AM
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We rented what I consider a "mid-size" car (almost a small mini-van) and drove through the white villages w/no problem, but then again, I'm also from NYC and used to tight streets. It was fun! And, yes, we did fold the mirrors in. As far as renting an automatic, just make sure you request it from the rental agency (I learned to drive a stick in college and have never regretted it), it's so much more fun!
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 11:44 AM
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Ivy
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Thanks! I am not really concerned about driving IN the villages as we are big walkers and intend to park on the outskirts and walk through most of the towns. So I will check with autoeurope about the size of the car though!
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Old Oct 15th, 2004, 05:06 AM
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Try carjet -they are consolidators and so seem to have access to a really wide range of cars (and are cheap). they're recommended in another thread too
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Old Oct 18th, 2004, 11:37 AM
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Hi Ivy: Thought you might be interested in this. We rented a car from Carjet last year (which I had to cancel becauseI took ill) It was an Opel Corsa automatic, A/C. The rental cost was 214 euro/week.You can go on their web site for more info regarding what is included in the rates. Hope this helps.
Gail
P.S. There were no penalty charges for the cancellation.I expected we would have to pay since it was cancelled the day that it was to be picked up.On top of that they brought it in from Malaga and we were in Almunecar.
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Old Oct 18th, 2004, 06:09 PM
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We rented a manual at the Madrid airport but can't remember who it was with--maybe Auto Europe. They do have them, but you have to be insistent. Check all the rental companies, get confirmation in writing, and carry the documentation with you when you get there.
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Old Oct 18th, 2004, 06:16 PM
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I'm one of the first people who'll tell you to learn a stick! However, I'm not so sure you'll be too comfortable driving one in some of the white villages. Take Ronda for example, now I'm a stick pro...learned on one and always owned one and still do, two of them...but there's some challenging places (steep + cobble stoned = lots of roll and little traction) that had even me somewhat concerned. You can rent an automatic in Spain, they cost more but also remember you can book something but there's no quarantee it will be available when you arrive, one of the risks. Do learn a stick, everyone should know how...but for this trip not sure you have time to get confident with it for a foreign place. Best of luck and enjoy the trip.
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Old Oct 19th, 2004, 12:44 PM
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I second the nomination for www.carjet.com. I have used them many times in Spain and found they are the cheapest and most flexible with no excess payable in the event of any damage. They have a good range of automatics, although they are more expensive than manuals.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 02:06 PM
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We rented through Autoeurope UK on our recent trip to Spain. Our rate was at least 100 euros less than Autoeurope US charged for the same car.

Automatics were available through the website, but we rented a manual, since my sister drove one for many years before switching to an automatic and was reluctant to pay the hefty rental cost for an automatic. She did very well, but there were a couple of times when she had trouble finding the right gear, and there was the time in Cuenca where we had a hairy time trying to find the parador and had to stop at a traffic light on a steep hill, in heavy traffic, and the car died, with people honking at us, making the situation worse. Don't let anyone try to talk you into trying to get up to speed on a manual transmission for the trip if you've never driven one.

You may have the best luck finding an automatic if you arrange the pickup and dropoff at airports, as we did. You may pay a little more, but you'll likely have a wider selection and a better chance of finding an automatic waiting for you.

By the way, the roads in Spain are great. Most of them are two lane only, but not so heavily traveled that passing was very nerve-wracking, and the countryside is so beautiful!
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Old Oct 27th, 2004, 07:14 AM
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Will be in Spain mid Jan to mid feb. Car jet is a great rental place....picking it up at Malaga airport..307 Puegeot A/C automatic..28 days..great price
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