How to rent a car...


Aug 30th, 2015, 07:38 AM
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How to rent a car...

Hello everyone, my husband and I are planning our next trip to Europe. This time we want it to be a road trip beginning in Barcelona and ending in Venice. We found a great web site that had itineraries alternatives. However, it seems that renting a car in Europe is not as easy as in USA. Please advice. Is ok to rent a car? insurance? Can we rent in one location, let's say Barcelona, and drop off in Venice?

Our adventure will be next July, but we like to plan and budget ahead of time.
kay_pr is offline  
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Aug 30th, 2015, 07:59 AM
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Renting a car is easy. However, picking up a car in Spain and dropping it off in Italy will be very expensive.

You can work through a consolidator like or contact companies like Hertz, Avis, Kemwel, etc., directly. If the trip will be for a month or more, you could look into leasing programs that allow for one-way contracts.

In the end, you may find it makes better budget sense to pick up and return different cars for each country and connect the rental points with train rides.

You can check what insurance coverage your credit cards provide.
Jean is online now  
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Aug 30th, 2015, 08:58 AM
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I always rent through Auto Europe, and I once did pay an extra $90 to rent a car in Germany and return it in Vienna. I think it makes good sense to drop the car off in Spain and take a train to Venice, as long as the route from Barcelona to Venice isn't too long and complicated.

You can, if you wish, consider the train trip as part of your sightseeing rather than just the way to get from destination A to destination B. I use The Man in Seat 61 for information about train travel. He knows everything.

You can call the rental agency to find out how much it will cost to rent in one country and drop the car

The other option would be to fly to Venice with one of the low-cost airlines.

I'd do some research to investigate the most direct and most convenient options.
Pegontheroad is offline  
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Aug 30th, 2015, 09:07 AM
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How much time will you have?
You will not want a car in the cites, so will you have 17 days or more between Barcelona and Venice?

If not, we need plan B.
bobthenavigator is offline  
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Aug 30th, 2015, 09:41 AM
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I was curious about your situation and did a little research.

It looks to me as if a train trip will be a real hassle and that you would have to stay overnight at Geneva or someplace similar.

A plane trip would involve a one-stop flight to Venice, which would cost between $150 and $250 per person. It's possible that the best option is your first idea--to rent the car in Barcelona and drop if off in Venice.

Apparently when you arrange for the car rental and for a specific type of car, you would be told how much extra it will cost to drop it off in a different country.

Bob is right. You won't want the car in either of the cities.
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Aug 30th, 2015, 10:00 AM
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Or you could fly from Barcelona to Milan (easyjet, non stop, about 40€), and then either rent a car or take a train depending on what you want to see and how long you have. If you want to visit the lakes, mountains, or dip down in Tuscany, you'd want a car. If you just want to get to Venice you'd hop on a train. You said 'road trip' which could mean you want to stop and see lots of places between Barcelona and Venice. If that's the case if you could be more specific about which places are most interesting to you we could give better suggestions as to how to put things together. I usually find I end up doing some combination of train/flight/car. If you are interested in the regions of France between Spain and Italy, it would make most sense to take a train to just over the boarder in France and rent a car there. Then take a train to Italy and get another car there.
isabel is online now  
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Aug 30th, 2015, 10:31 AM
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It's perfectly easy to rent a car in europe. We have done more than 20 road trips in europe - but you need to make sure you have enough time and decide what you want to see in between Barcelona and Venice - since a car is useless in either place.

The drop off charge varies based on which two countries you are talking about and the class of the car (usually higher on automatics and larger cars). We have paid from zero (Belgium to Germany) up to about $250 (Rome to Paris). You pick up the car when you leave the first city and drop it when you arrive at the last city.

So - how many days total do you have for this trip (actually on the ground, not including arrival and departure) and what places are you thinking about stopping in between?

Caveat: We have not done any road trips ending in Italy and the drop off charges may be higher for this due to the very high rate of car theft there.
You might want to consider doing the trip in reverse - not sure if this might help.
nytraveler is offline  
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Aug 30th, 2015, 10:44 AM
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I don't know who told you it isn't easy? It is just as easy as anywhere. But a different country drop off can sometimes double the cost. Plus it is most likely your cc insurance won't cover you in Italy.

Whether a road trip makes sense depends on some of the questions asked above . . . Mainly how many days and exactly where you want to visit.
janisj is offline  
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Aug 30th, 2015, 12:54 PM
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The one-way drop off cost will depend on the type of car you rent. It can easily exceed 400€ for a midsize if picking up in one country and dropping off in another.

If you need to rent a car with an automatic transmission, you'll have to check to see if they will allow the one-way rental. Most companies do not.

You'll also need a IDP, International Driving Permit, if you plan on driving in Italy or Spain. You can obtain an IDP from your local AAA office.
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Aug 30th, 2015, 08:13 PM
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Your road trip includes at least three countries. As pointed out by others, one way rentals across borders may incur hefty fees. Autoeurope and Kemwel are brokers that deal with different rental agencies. It is best to use them as the various options are in a single location, whereas if you do not like one rental company (let's say Hertz for the sake of argument), you have to start a search for a better deal with another company, Avis or Europcar, etc. Using brokers facilitates such a search. It may be best to drop off a car on one side of the border and pick up a new one on the other side to avoid drop-off fees.
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Aug 31st, 2015, 02:43 AM
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As most people have said, renting a car in Europe is just as easy as anywhere else, the drawback crossing borders is the drop off cost. It seems pointless others suggesting planes and trains, if the whole point of your trip is to do a road trip.

Also renting and dropping cars in each of the countries that you pass through, may incur a one way charge, i.e. for Spain, France and then Italy and the logistics of then getting across a border without the car each time would be a PIA not to mention time consuming. (Find nearest rental office for your car to drop off/pick up-research transport across the border).

Get some quotes for your Spain to Italy drive and decide if it's either doable or too expensive.
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Aug 31st, 2015, 02:58 AM
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Is the car the right thing? For those who live in car focused countries it is in their "cultural box", but is it the right answer?

I suggest get hold of a guide book and work out where you want to go on this trip and look at the options that a train offers you.

Barcelona to Carcassonne anyone?
bilboburgler is offline  
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Aug 31st, 2015, 03:36 AM
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You could consider buying a car too. Seriously. We did a euro-delivery of our bmw. It came with 2 weeks of insurance for anything that happened ( we got a stone chip in the windshield ). Of course that means getting to Munich first. But from there we drove to Italy, Belgium, France and of course Germany. We parked in small towns and took trains into the cities. The car was sent home when we were done and a few weeks later arrived in the states.
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Aug 31st, 2015, 08:23 AM
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What are you really asking about? There are hundreds of websites that will suit you for renting a car and it's as easy as anywhere in the US.

The insurance requirements vary from country to country.

The drop charge will be high, as various folks above indicated. It costs money to return a car registered in Spain from its drop point in Italy.

And in the countries you visit, the people drive like Europeans. Think New Yorkers on amphetamines.
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Aug 31st, 2015, 09:29 AM
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There are plenty of flights that are nonstop and less than 100 euro if the goal is only to get from BCN to Venice -- Vueling, for example, does that route nonstop and their cheapest fares would be less than 50 euro. If you check a bag and want to pick your seat, you can still get it for less than 75 euro, probably. Iberia also does it, but I'm sure costs more. So does Ryanair, not that most people like them.
Christina is offline  
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Aug 31st, 2015, 09:42 AM
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Yes, but the OP says a road trip - which implies several stops along the way.

But without more info - how can we help?

As for automatics - that's all we rent and have never had any problem dropping off in another country (as long as not one of those places the company does not want one of their more expensive cars to go). We have done mostly Hertz since we have a very good corporate plan - but before that did some Avis and had no problems with that - or getting the type/size car we wanted - but picked up at either airport or very large central city locations.
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Sep 7th, 2015, 11:32 AM
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I will just tell you my experience: I went to Paris for one week and Italy for 6 weeks a couple of years ago.I went through IdeaMerge and "leased" a VW Touroan wagon. Awesome experience! What we did to save on "one-way" charges was flew to Nice where we picked up the car and left from Nice to Italy - great trip through Northern Italian Riviera to our spot in Tuscany where we were home-based. We drove back to Nice, returned the car and flew out the next morning. The buy-back agreement for 30 days or more saved me close to a $1000 for the 6 weeks.
Maybe something like this will work out. I am currently doing research for a 90 day trip to Spain but will not be using a car except intermittently so have to rent. Auto Europe has given me reasonable quotes so far. All one-way but within Spain which is a big difference.
Good luck!
nanael is offline  
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Sep 7th, 2015, 05:08 PM
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Auto Europe has given me reasonable quotes so far. All one-way but within Spain which is a big difference.

Not from your narration since you returned the leased car to the same location. Had you returned the car in Italy, you would have incurred a foreign delivery fee. One can rent a car and drive it in most other EU countries without incurring a cross-border drop-off fee as long as the car is return to the country of origin.

As for the savings, unless price and acceptable conditions (some renters would not be comfortable with credit card coverage of the CDW available outside Italy) are given, we can only take you at your word.
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