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Car Rental in Zurich Airport - How to ensure they will have one with automatic transm.?

Car Rental in Zurich Airport - How to ensure they will have one with automatic transm.?

Apr 19th, 2007, 01:48 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Car Rental in Zurich Airport - How to ensure they will have one with automatic transm.?

Hi, Everyone,

I need a bit of help with risk management here

My in-laws are traveling to Switzerland on Sept, 17 - 29th, and can only drive an automatic car. They are aware of at least one case where the person did not get the automatic car he reserved from the US, with limited apologies and no remedial action offered. They are concerned that they may be left without a car, which would be a disaster for their planned itinerary.

Does anyone know of the best way to ensure there is an automatic car upon arrival at the Zurich airport?

Much obliged,

-e
enroute is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 02:05 PM
  #2  
 
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I have not had that experience, I assume you have either talked to the rental agency or made you're wishes clear when booking online.
richardsonsnm is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 02:09 PM
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Coincidentaly my wife and I are flying into Zurich on Sept. 17th also. I have booked my car through Hertz, and though I can't be guaranteed a Mercedes, I will get something similiar and it will be automatic either way. The Swiss are very efficient, I would not over worry about it.
richardsonsnm is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 02:34 PM
  #4  
 
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Try faxing direct to the rental office at Zurich Airport 24 hours in advance, making your request known.
While it may not guarantee no hiccup on the day, letting the rental station manager know about your concern can't do any harm.
Alec is online now  
Apr 19th, 2007, 02:47 PM
  #5  
 
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Hi enroute,

That's a great idea from Alec.

I think the most important factor is the rental agency, not the rental location. I have heard many, many stories about reserving automatics and getting a manual. There just are not that many automatics in Europe.

One of the two times I rented a car in Switzerland, I ended up with a huge station-wagon thing that I did not reserve. It was manual, but that was no problem -- but parking it was a horror. So, even in Switzerland, rental agencies can be shifty.

Anyway, I suggest your in-laws have a back-up plan (maybe a train to the first destination and waiting for an automatic to become free) in case they are disappointed.

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 02:57 PM
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hi, enroute,

I like the idea that swiss efficiency will prevent problems - but the inefficientcy may eminate from the nonswiss part of the arrangements, as when we turned up at Geneva airport [swiss side] to find that they had not been told we were taking the car to amsterdam on a one way hire.

This meant that we had to have a german-registerd car, apparently. sensibly they told us to go and have a coffee, and twenty minutes later we ended up with a terrific upgrade from a golf to a big estate car.

I would second the idea of e-mailing the hire location, say 48 hours in advance.

regards, ann

ps within europe, not all swiss enjoy a reputation for efficiency. I have heard some german swiss talk about the "roestigrabben" ie the border between german speaking, efficient switzerland, and french speaking.... [roesti being that funny fried potato pancake you get in wengen etc]
annhig is online now  
Apr 19th, 2007, 04:46 PM
  #7  
 
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If you use one of the larger U.S. agencies such as Hertz, you can choose an automatic.

Follow up with a call to customer service and have them note on your rental record that an automatic is required.

Because of petrol mileage and such, I've requested a specific car that has GPS in English and,hopefully, with a diesel engine.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 07:23 PM
  #8  
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Thank you all very much for your helpful thoughts. I was also thinking along the lines of direct communication with the agency and the location. We'll do just that. Train, of course is their backup, but there is no guarantee the car will be available at the first stop (Interlaken) and I don't know what more we can do.

Best,

-e
enroute is offline  

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