Car rental through multiple countries

Old Mar 13th, 2024, 07:16 AM
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Car rental through multiple countries

Hi all! We're planning a long road trip through Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Italy and I'm looking for some practical advice. We'll be renting a car somewhere in Cologne/Koblenz/Frankfurt and ending in Venice. 2 adults, 2 kids, minimal luggage in August.

Questions:
- Is traveling across boarders easy? Any additional info needed with a rental?
- Should we ditch the car once we hit Milan and take the train from Milan - Pisa - Florence - Venice? Or keep it and just drop it off at the airport/train in Venice?
- Driving through the Alps - tough/doable/any advice we should know?

All of our booked hotels do have parking options, so I'm not worried about keeping it, but just wondering which is easier? And shorter. Our schedule is pretty full and I don't want to lose time/days due to a potential transportation issue (or strike), but I also realize the value of the public transport.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 07:47 AM
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Just very quick -- crossing borders is a non-issue. A big issue however is a one-way rental collecting in one country and dropping in another. Can almost double the full cost of the rental with drop off fees plus, while your credit card will likely cover the CDW insurance elsewhere - it won't in Italy.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 07:48 AM
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You will pay a large fee for not returning the car to the same country where you picked it up. We we were quoted 1000 for dropping off a car rented in Portugal, in Spain. We took a taxi across the border and rented a car in Spain.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 06:15 PM
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You could look at leasing a car instead of hiring. I've heard it's more cost effective. Renault and Peugeot are two I've read about.

If you hire a vehicle, you must tell them the countries you will be visiting for insurance purposes. Some countries require a vignette that you put on your windscreen. We hired in Italy once and immediately over the border, in Slovenia, we stopped, bought the vignette in a tiny shop, and kept driving. It's a road tax (I think).
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 07:48 PM
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Those are all Schengen countries. There are no real border controls left.

The question you should ask is the car needed for the stops you're making. Also how much time do you have? That's not one or two weeks. That's more like two months.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by KayF
You could look at leasing a car instead of hiring. I've heard it's more cost effective. Renault and Peugeot are two I've read about.

If you hire a vehicle, you must tell them the countries you will be visiting for insurance purposes. Some countries require a vignette that you put on your windscreen. We hired in Italy once and immediately over the border, in Slovenia, we stopped, bought the vignette in a tiny shop, and kept driving. It's a road tax (I think).
If you lease a car, that's mostly the system in France, and you can't get it many places outside of there (hence Renault, Peugeot). I believe you can pick up a leased vehicle in Frankfurt. However, you would be tied to having to take it back there. It really only comes into its own if you have a vehicle for a longer period of time, that's when it's cost-effective. If you are just travelling for a few weeks - sorry, I can't see your original post as it's not on my current screen - it's not really an option.

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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 11:23 PM
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Unless the system has changed the French leaseback can be dropped around Europe or picked up . You pay a drop fee but it's possible.

All the French owned/related companies are involved. That includes Nissan and Dacia
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 11:32 PM
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Picking up a lease car outside France involves a pick-up fee, the same goes for dropping the car off outside France. This could negate the advantage over a rental. Compare prices in Autoeurope.com.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 12:57 AM
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How long do you have for your trip?
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj
Just very quick -- crossing borders is a non-issue
No it is not. you must state if you intend to cross a border. And some companies will charge you if you do. I guess it has nothing to do with insurance or rescue but rather to allow for the silly pricing policies. For example, I saw the price was much lower to rent a car across the border. But when I collected the car, I was asked if I intended to cross the border. Answering yes, Bang, additional 80.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 01:55 PM
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I had no issue going from Austria to Switzerland. You get hit with the one way fee but no issues crossing boarders. Driving in the Alps is something I would highly recommend!
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 03:58 PM
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No issue at all crossing borders in the countries you referenced. Did the same last May. Issues with cross country involve Croatia to Bosnia, Bosnia to Serbia, Romania to Bulgaria, ect…You are completely OK on your planned agenda.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj
Just very quick -- crossing borders is a non-issue

Originally Posted by rouelan
No it is not. you must state if you intend to cross a border. And some companies will charge you if you do. I guess it has nothing to do with insurance or rescue but rather to allow for the silly pricing policies. For example, I saw the price was much lower to rent a car across the border. But when I collected the car, I was asked if I intended to cross the border. Answering yes, Bang, additional 80.

I meant the act of DRIVING from one country into another is no issue. Of course you need to tell the rental company before taking the car and also understand if a vignette or other things are required. I think sometimes people look for things to nit pick ??
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj
Originally Posted by janisj
Just very quick -- crossing borders is a non-issue
I think sometimes people look for things to nit pick ??
The question was "Any additional info needed with a rental?"
I think I just answered the question.
And the policy or additional fees are not the same for all rental companies. So, I strongly advise to read the small prints before selecting the company. If you don't, you will discover the fees when picking up the car. I really did not like it when it happened to me.
And it could be even worse if you are not asked if you intend to cross a border (usually the case when you don't pick a car near a border), because you could discover that you are not insured in case of problem abroad (despite the "green card" listing the countries covered by insurance).


Last edited by rouelan; Mar 14th, 2024 at 08:34 PM.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 09:36 PM
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Usually the issue with crossing borders is eastern Europe. The countries on the OP list don't tend to be an issue. Yes read the terms but it's not normal to have limits on that list of countries.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2024, 09:04 AM
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So in reply to your question then let me tell you what we're doing
We are hiring a car for 24 days. Picking up in Essen, driving to The Netherlands, Prague, Vienna, across to Konstanz then up to Frankfurt so thats a total of 5 countries as we'll cross into Switzerland along the way. Its costing us EU850 for a small car booked with Avis.
If we could have picked up in Amsterdam then it would have been much much cheaper BUT seems like Avis has a problem picking up from the Netherlands and then going into the Czech Republic but no such problem if I pick up from Germany. Germany is an expensive country to hire from. Crossing countries is not a problem. Get the smallest car that you can handle with 4 people and all of your luggage. We're getting a Corsa or C3 or equivalent....this will be too small for you. A C4 can handle 2 large suitcases in the back - barely though. Parking in hotels can sometimes require amazing driving skills so larger cars could be a problem for parking
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