Hiring a car in France or Italy?

Nov 28th, 2010, 01:19 AM
  #1  
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Hiring a car in France or Italy?

Is it cheaper to hire a car in France or Italy? I know there would be drop off charges if we didn't return the car to the country of origin. Someone told me that the insurance costs are much more in Italy. Is that true?
aussie_10 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 03:41 AM
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Yes. In Italy the CDW is mandatory, as is theft insurance. However, you may be covered for the CDW on your credit card.
StCirq is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 05:42 AM
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This may help---Italy is always higher.
Sorry about the tabs, but you can get the idea.

CAR RENTAL STRATEGY FOR NORTHERN ITALY
BY BOB THE NAVIGATOR

How would you like to save perhaps $500 on your next car rental in Italy? Well, you probably can if you decide to start and end your trip in Germany or Switzerland. Here is an actual scenario that proves the point.

A recent client nearly had a heart attack after getting a quote for a mid-sized car with automatic transmission for Malpensa [MXP] airport in Milan. He was quoted over $1300 for a ten day rental, with the drop off also at MXP. Wow, over $130/day was about twice what he had budgeted. So, we changed his itinerary and saved him over $500. How? We decided to fly into Zurich and get the car in Lugano---not a bad diversion for any itinerary that includes the fabulous lakes region of northern Italy. After landing in Zurich he trained to Luzerne for two nights before continuing on to Lugano[LUG] by train to get the car. It proved to be an enjoyable addition to his trip that included two lakes destinations in Italy and several days in the wine regions of Piemonte.

Car rental prices in Italy are just much higher than adjacent countries, primarily due to the mandatory insurance rates. Lower rental rates are also valid in Germany with Munich [MUN] being a good choice as a launching pad for trips into most venues in northern Italy. Here are some examples:


TEN DAY CAR RENTAL PRICE COMPARISONS [in $$$]
COMPARABLE INSURANCE COVERAGES—THREE LOCATIONS

BROKER COMPACT/MANUAL MIDSIZE/AUTOMATIC

MXP MUN LUG MXP MUN LUG

AUTOEUROPE 729 584 496 1303 993 853

GEMUT 663 388* 378 1235 621 583

AVERAGES 696 486 437 1269 807 718

SAVINGS N/A 210 259 N/A 462 551

• *Price is for sub-compact with automatic upgrade to compact model.
• DISCLAIMER: Rental prices can vary by season and locations. These prices are a snapshot in October, 2007 for these two vendors only. Prices may vary when you actually get a quote, but the point is still valid. The prices will always be higher in Italy, especially for automatic models.


There are additional benefits to considering this itinerary strategy. You get to add more options in your quest to find the best airfares, or free seats using award miles. Besides the obvious destinations of Munich and Zurich, you can also consider Stuttgart as a viable choice to save on airfares. That gives you three other options rather than just considering Milan & Venice.

But the primary benefits to me are the wonderful destinations that you can add to your northern Italy itinerary. I have always loved an itinerary that includes the Salzburg area, the castle country of Bavaria, the Dolomites, or even Lake Garda with other destinations in Italy. That is especially true for any family trip or for those who are seeking the ultimate in natural beauty. And, the drive from Munich airport to Val Gardena in the Dolomites is only four hours and includes some great scenery past Innsbruck and through the Brenner Pass. The drive to Salzburg or Garmisch is only about two hours.

Any Zurich itinerary should include at least two nights in lovely Luzerne either going or coming, and one night in Zurich to enjoy this unique city. The additional rail costs will be offset by the fewer car rental days. Of course, you could get the car in Zurich, but I have always preferred using the very efficient rail system in Switzerland. And, Lugano itself is a terrific destination to enjoy for a few hours before driving an hour to Lake Como or wherever.

To me it is a win/win scenario. The only catch may be adding enough days to your trip to make it all feasible. You will probably need at least twelve days to include two or three Italy destinations with the transitional venues. I have included Tuscany in my own itinerary that began and ended in Munich, but it may be a bit of a stretch if your time is limited. But, saving between $200 to $500 on just the car expense for your next trip to Italy can sure buy you your fill of gelato and cappuccinos---always a good idea.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 08:12 AM
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Just go to the Kemwel site, plug in your dates for two rentals, one in each country, and compare the prices. You might also want to compare Kemwel prices with EconomyCarsRental. The latter was cheaper for me when I rented a car in Sicily last summer, but would have been more expensive in France.
Michael is online now  
Nov 28th, 2010, 07:09 PM
  #5  
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Thank you for your replies

Hmmm lots to consider. Was originally thinking of flying into Frankfurt, a few days around the Mosel area (without a car). Then train to Alsace and then hiring a car for 4 or 5 days. Italy was going to be about 3 weeks but really only hiring a car for about 10 days. We would then fly out of an Italian city.
I have previously been very tempted by the Dolomites and was trying to fit it into our itinery. But we would then have to return to Germany or Switzerland to drop off the car.

Our whole itinery is flexible, however it will be 3 weeks in Italy and about 10 days in Alsace and Paris.

Can we use Kemwel site if we are Australian?
aussie_10 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 01:28 AM
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If your trip is for more than 3 weeks, consider doing a buy/buy-back deal with Peugeot or Renault. You can book online or go through an Australian travel operator. Your brand-new car can be picked up just about anywhere in France at no extra charge or a few locations in Germany (small charge), and can be dropped off in select cities in Italy (usually Milan and Rome) for a supplement (around 100 to 150 euro). Rates are fully inclusive - you just pay for the fuel you use, and usually cheaper than rental.
It's called Peugeot Open Europe and Renault Eurodrive.
Alec is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 01:56 AM
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Yes we did the leasing deal with Renault, in France last year with friends. It worked great for rural France. I didn't know you could drop the car off in Italy. Only problem is in the cities like Florence and while we are in Cinque Terre we would have to leave the car in a parking lot, at a cost of course.
Was wondering if the value of leasing is still there. Or if it is cheaper with 2 short term rentals. One in France and a longer one in Italy.
aussie_10 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 03:30 AM
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Just to point out that an IDP (International Driving Permit) is a LEGAL requirment in Italy
alanRow is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 03:50 AM
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Yes, you can use Kemwel no matter where you live.

People often report lower prices on AutoEurope sites for other countries too...

autoeurope.de
autoeurope.fr etc
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 09:33 PM
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Just did a dummy booking on Kemwel for Oct next year for 9 days for a Mercedes A180 diesel Automatic. $597.62 This was the quote.

YOUR RENTAL INCLUDES

* Sales tax as of Booking Date: 30-Nov-2010.
* Unlimited mileage and fire insurance. Liability Insurance for injuries or damages to persons or things outside the vehicle.
* Rental includes Collision Damage coverage . Rental limits potential vehicle damage liability to the deductible of approximately 0.00.
* Rental includes Theft Protection for the vehicle . Rental limits potential vehicle loss liability to deductible of approximately 0.00. Location surcharge for rentals commencing at an airport location.



RENTAL DOES NOT INCLUDE

* Gasoline or Diesel. Client is advised to return the vehicle with a full fuel tank and to retain copies of gas receipts. Exception: Pre-paid fuel option, in which case, vehicle should be returned as empty as possible (no refund for unused fuel).
* Insurance coverage for personal injuries to driver or passengers. Optional coverage may be offered locally for an additional fee.

- Does not include the above insurance is this essential to purchase? This price seems not a bad price for 9 days. - your thoughts?
- We do not have to have an automatic, manual is ok
aussie_10 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2010, 10:52 PM
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It might help to know that emergency room care in Italy is free. Further medical care might be covered by your own medical insurance.
Michael is online now  
Nov 29th, 2010, 11:04 PM
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I think that you have a small car. If willing to go with a more ordinary car (not a Mercedes) you can get a Clio Renault for about $200 less from EconomyCarRentals. I plugged in Milan for Oct. 1 and Rome for Oct. 11 (both at the airport).
Michael is online now  
Nov 30th, 2010, 01:05 AM
  #13  
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Michael were you happy with reting from EconomyCarRentals? Their prices certainly look good.

I plugged in 10 days hire, pickup from Siena and return to Bologna and they priced a Renault Clio/Ford Fiesta manual for $400 or a Renault Modus/Fiat grande Punto diesal $416. These prices were all inclusive. Very good rates, better than I could get from Australia and cheaper than hiring a car for use in Australia.

Almost look too good to be true. I had read that hiring a car in Italy was expensive
aussie_10 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2010, 09:19 AM
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I've used EconomyCarRentals in Turkey and Sicily with no problems. The Turkish car was not in the best of shape (the radio kept on falling out of its holder), but I had no problems otherwise. There is a whole thread on this company, with most posters satisfied with the service. I did not have any damage on the car to be able to report on post rental service. One word of advice: careful if you decide to change the rental agreement. I reduced it by one day, did not pay close attention to the agreement, and it turned out that the reduction increased the price of the rental (read my
Sicily report). I did not lose anything on it because somehow my credit card was charged in dollars the same as the euros--in other words I got a one to one exchange.
Michael is online now  
Nov 30th, 2010, 09:31 AM
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If you're Australian, you can drive a normal car and aren't foreced to pay a premium for an automatic. So I'd investigate into that too.
logos999 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2010, 11:46 AM
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Have you tried Driveaway,com? We always use them to compare quotes from various car rental companies & they are an Australian company. I just checked for 9 days Florence-Bologna - cheapest price A$359 and in the A$411 for a Clio. If you are coming from Australia your travel insurance will probably cover you for excess payments on car rental insurance.
GregY2 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2010, 11:51 AM
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Yes we own 2 cars and one is an automatic and the other a manual drive. So we don't have to get an automatic drive.

Michael I will read your Sicily report. I typed in 'car hire in Italy' and there isn't much thread info. I have also looked at Autoeurope and their rates are not too bad either. Much better than the Avis and Hertz rates offered here. I just want to make sure I am getting what I think I am getting. That is the only problem when booking online and not talking to someone.
aussie_10 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2010, 12:01 PM
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How about this? http://www.sixti.com/
It won't get much cheaper than that, but the question remains, how big your bags are.
logos999 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2010, 12:13 PM
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Type in "rental" instead of "hire" and you'll probably get lots of results.

AutoEurope also has live people at the end of telephone lines, and I always call them so I can ask questions, but also because I often get a better deal over the telephone. According to their website, the toll-free number to call from Australia is 00-11-800-223-5555-5.

I would get a bigger, manual car over a smaller automatic any day. The Clio, BTW, is really quite small. I'm a pretty tiny person, and I feel cramped in it, though I've rented several. The accelerator is about the size of a sponge, and feels like one.
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Nov 30th, 2010, 12:20 PM
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Here's the other thread:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...xperiences.cfm

I drove a Clio all over France and northern Spain and did not find it at all uncomfortable. But I generally find that size car (Peugeot 206 is another) more comfortable to drive in Europe than larger cars. The mileage on the Clio diesel was great (49 mpg on average), and that was a few years ago, before the speed crackdown in France, when 150 kmh on the autoroute was not exceptional.
Michael is online now  

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