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Convertible car rental in Italy / Tuscany (Florence? Venice?) -- where? One-way to Nice?

Convertible car rental in Italy / Tuscany (Florence? Venice?) -- where? One-way to Nice?

Apr 6th, 2005, 01:09 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 24
Convertible car rental in Italy / Tuscany (Florence? Venice?) -- where? One-way to Nice?

I'm interested in doing the a classic Italian drive in a convertible. I've looked through several websites recommended on the Fodors boards:

http://www.autoeurope.com (can't seem to find any convertibles, and there's a 3-day minimum)
http://www.happyrent.com/ (can't seem to pull up the English site)
http://www.sprintage.it
http://www.zephyrus.it

Some of these (particularly the last two) look great, but (a) they're in out-of-the-way locations, and/or (b) they do not seem to do one-way trips.

I'm interested in going to Venice, and then on to Tuscany (including Florence?), and doing a bit of driving. Where can I rent a nice convertible to do this? Do I basically have to do it round-trip (can't take drive it to Nice?). I'd be interested in:
A) renting in Venice, and then taking it to Tuscany, and leaving it in Tuscany
OR (maybe better)
B) I'd take a train from Venice to Florence, stay the night, and pick up the car in the morning, in Florence.

I'd then have to return the car to Florence? Know of any places that would let me drive to the Cote d'Azur and leave the car there (Nice?)?

Any suggestions on how to do this would be much apprecited -- this is a lot more tricky than I had anticipated!
odonnela is offline  
Apr 6th, 2005, 01:31 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,203
I think AutoEurope has no drop charges but I don't know whether that applies if you are dropping in a different country...check with them.
buongiorno is offline  
Apr 6th, 2005, 01:35 PM
  #3  
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Posts: 24
Thanks. I'd consider dropping within Italy (less than ideal), but regardless, I really want to have a convertible. Every time I search Auto Europe for Venice and Florence, I don't see any sort of Convertible as an option. Any ideas on what I can do? Thanks for your thoughts.
odonnela is offline  
Apr 6th, 2005, 01:46 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,834
I just went on the AutoEurope website and found this convertible available for rent, picking up in Florence.
Citroen C3 Pluriel Convertible, but it is a stickshift. Perhaps we are choosing the automatic only option? Try calling AutoEurope directly and see what they can offer. I know that they have that model convertible for rent in an automatic version in France, via their website.

Regarding the charges for dropping off in a differnt country, be warned. They can be very high, especially for just a short rental.
cruisinred is offline  
Apr 6th, 2005, 03:01 PM
  #5  
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 24
Ah-ha! I defintely need an automatic -- maybe that's (part of) the issue? I'm looking for an AUTOMATIC convertible to be rented from Florence or Venice -- obviously, renting and returning in Florence may make things easier. Thanks again for your thoughts!
odonnela is offline  
Apr 6th, 2005, 03:16 PM
  #6  
rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
I hate to sound harsh, but you just haven't thought about how out of touch this is - - what you're asking for...

Is there a company that will let you rent a "specialty car" in Nevada and return it in Mexico?

And indeed, a very unusual specialty car it is that you are seeking! With an empathetic friend, you can learn to drive a car with a manual transmission in a single weekend (indeed, you can generally get it in a single afternoon) - - and then you have a skill that will serve you for life.

Honestly, I don't why you would want a convertible to drive down the autostrada. Companies like Zephyrus (which I have cited often before, but never used) serve the customers in the way they most want - - for driving IN Tuscany - - on country roads, where you can "smell the roses", not just the diesel exhaust of the trucks sharing the four-lane highway with you.

I must not understand what you mean by "classic Italian drive". I can think of a lot of "classic drive" routes scattered all over the USA, and none of them involve any interstate highways.

Best wishes (for the process of re-thinking what it is you really want)...

Rex

rex is offline  
Apr 7th, 2005, 07:40 AM
  #7  
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Thanks for the "harsh," but realistic reply.

I think I may be better served to drive in/around Tuscany and simply return the car where I pickit up. In that case, I'm still looking for convenient place to find a convertible. I'd still feel FAR more comfortable in a automatic -- neither I, nor my girlfriend drive stick. And if we get stuck, well, I don't think it would be good. I wish I had a friend with a manual transmission who could show me how to drive -- however, I'm one of the few people in the US (<0.5%?) with no real access to a car, nor friends with cars. I live in Manhattan -- I'm sure you know all about it -- we don't drive here -- finding a friend with a stick would be difficult, to say the least.

So, again, I think I want to rent a convertible (automatic, if at ALL possible) in/around Tuscany for a day or two. I can pick-up/drop off in the same place. I guess I could also drive from Tuscany to Rome, but that would probably cause problems in terms of returning the car. Any ideas what companies might have the car I'm looking for? Thanks!
odonnela is offline  
Apr 7th, 2005, 08:07 AM
  #8  
rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Okay, now this is not intended to be harsh at all - - I just am truly unfamiliar with your "world" and what it is like to live "there".

<<with no real access to a car, nor friends with cars. I live in Manhattan...>>

And you don't know anyone outside the city? Forgive my cynicism, but how do you know (or what makes you suspect) that you will even like driving around in the Italian countryside?

It is possible, surely - - if not "down the block", then not TOO far from you to rent a car local to you with a manual transmission for a day.

I'm inclined to volunteer my brother (lives in Morristown) to teach you for an hour.

Maybe I have blinders on here, but you really don't know the joys of a road, until you "are one with" that stickshift (no sexual innunendo implied), and the connection it gives you to driving, in the truest sense of the expression "free spirit".

I've been hoping fopr almost five years for someone to report back here with their experience of renting from Zephyrus. Why don't you be the trailblazer for us all?
rex is offline  
Apr 7th, 2005, 08:26 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
I looked into this myself last year, and found the following in the Florence area.

Maggiore Ė National Car Rental
http://www.car-rental-italy.com/convert.htm

Auto Europe
http://www.autoeurope.com
1-888-223-5555 toll-free

Website does not always show convertibles, give them a call

However, neither could guarantee that I would get a convertible. I ended up not renting as a local friend let us use his car, so donít know whether I would have been successful in getting a convertible.

I personally donít like driving a manual in the hilly areas around Florence. To learn to drive a manual just for this trip also seems like a waste of your time and the skill if you won't use it elsewhere, plus the hills of Tuscany are NO place for a driver who is not experienced in using a manual transmission (I would not want to be behind you. . . . )
Cicerone is offline  
Apr 7th, 2005, 08:26 AM
  #10  
rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
A follow-up note (I know, I should have let this go, but you just got me curious as to what I could find)...

Although Kemwel and Autoeurope seem to be (part of?) the same company now, there is a (Renault) Megane convertible listed as available from Florence - - rate "upon request" (and I'm sure there is still a three-day minimum - - but there is no rule against your turning it in early). And of course, it is still a manual transmission.

But at least it exists - - I am puzzled as to why it is not listed with AutoEurope (they do also have a Mercedes Benz convertible at $2100, for the three-day period).

I am also curious who is Kemwel's vendor on this.

They list the rental address as 100r, Via Borgo Ognissanti - - a location that AutoEurope does not show.

It is NOT any of the following (there may be others on this street, but I don't know why they wouldn't be on this list...)

Avis, Borgo Ognissanti 128r
Europcar, Borgo Ognissanti 53r
Italy by Car/Thrifty, Borgo Ognissanti 134r
Program, Borgo Ognissanti 135r

Source: http://www.infohub.com/destinations/...e%29/79081.htm
rex is offline  

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