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travelfan1 Jan 11th, 2010 11:53 AM

I can't get a large enough automatic car in Orvieto...there goes my plans
I guess I'm naive as I never thought I'd have a problem getting what I needed. I have a party of 4 and wanted to pick up a rental in Orvieto, with automatic transmission. My husband can drive a manual, however I wanted an automatic to help with the driving and in case he'd be unable to drive. Just called AutoEurope and the only automatic they can get me has to come from Rome and it's too small - a Volkswagon Golf.

This throws a wrench into my plans.

Thanks for letting me vent.

tuscanlifeedit Jan 11th, 2010 12:00 PM

Your post has set me thinking. I'm going to take driving lessons for a manual car.

My husband lost his license for speeding in Italy in '07, and since I couldn't drive the manual transmission, we had quite a huge problem on our hands.

That's my best answer, and I am going to call a driving instructor, now.

janisj Jan 11th, 2010 12:01 PM

4 is not a large party - do you really need a large car? If you have a reasonable amount of luggage, a Golf should be just fine.

Just be sure it is a '5 door' (Hatchback)

stepsbeyond Jan 11th, 2010 12:10 PM

Have checked with other vendors directly, like Hertz, Europcar, Avis?

Have you checked a Rome airport pick up location?

I don't know your itinerary, but does it make any sense at all to look a pick ups in Chiusi or Firenze (the latter being only 90 minutes by train from Rome).

Where are you going after Orvieto?

travelfan1 Jan 11th, 2010 12:11 PM

I could book directly with Hertz for what I need but if memory serves I remember reading this wasn't recommended - feedback on this.

AE told me a Golf will not be large enough for 4 adults with luggage - even though we will only have 22" suitcases and overnight bags.

My husband will say he's fine doing the driving. I however, wanted to be able to help out and most importantly, be able to drive should he not feel well. I decided if I'm driving in a foreign county, in unfamiliar territory that I at least want a car I'm comfortable with.

tower Jan 11th, 2010 12:15 PM


Janisj is right...worked fine for me, party of four in Benelux four years ago. I don't think the Golf has gotten any smaller. We had four 19-inchers and two small duffles.
Go to your local VW dealer and try it out. The Golf is a very popular rental in Europe.

stu t.

travelfan1 Jan 11th, 2010 12:19 PM

In my haste the Hertz site was only manual, no automatics. Europcar didn't list Orvieto as a pickup site.

From Orvieto we are heading to Tuscany and staying in San Quirico d'Orcia.

hetismij Jan 11th, 2010 12:21 PM

The Golf VI has 12.4cu ft of luggage space and room for four adults. It is good to drive and it is comfortable. Whilst be smaller than most US cars you will all fit in it. Lots of headroom (38.5ins) and legroom in the back (35.5ins). It is designed to hold 5 adults.

stepsbeyond Jan 11th, 2010 12:22 PM

You should at least check out Chiusi, and the Rome airport pickups, I think.

Also, as someone who had taken many trips to Italy and gotten sick lots of times on vacations and all that -- I really wouldn't plan a car rental around whether you can serve as back up on driving the car. If that's the only reason you are paying so much to get an automatic, get a manual and let your husband drive as he seems cheerful about doing. If something happens, you'll figure out what to do.

janisj Jan 11th, 2010 12:23 PM

A Golf 5 door is a 5-seat hatchback. It would be about as large as I'd want to drive through some of those villages.

janisj Jan 11th, 2010 12:24 PM

was posting the same time as hetismij . . . .

travelfan1 Jan 11th, 2010 12:25 PM

So even though the AE guy told me a Golf won't be large're telling me I can get four 22" suitcases in the back?

HappyTrvlr Jan 11th, 2010 12:53 PM

Last year we had a Fiat Punto wagon for four adults and it held our 4 22" bags and four small carry on bags.

alanRow Jan 11th, 2010 02:03 PM

Don't being solid bags as you may need every bit of crush room you can get

Lindateach Jan 11th, 2010 03:48 PM

Not to put a damper on this discussion, but you may be promised an automatic and when it is time to pick up the car, they may NOT have one so you will be out of luck anyway! We have not gotten the car we ordered several times in Italy but you have to just go with what happens.

kybourbon Jan 11th, 2010 03:54 PM

I don't think anyone guarantees an automatic so even if you reserve one, doesn't mean you will get one.

nytraveler Jan 11th, 2010 04:53 PM

IMHO the best chance of getting the car that you want - esp if it isn;t one of the most common small models - is to pick it up at the airport - where they have much greater turnover. We have rented automatics in italy from both Hertz and Avis (airport or central Rome all times) and had no trouble getting the car we wanted. But - we did pick up early in the day, when they have a lot.

As for the Golf - can;t imagine it would be comfortable for 4 adults plus 8 pieces of luggage unless you're all very petite and don;t mind holding things on your laps.

Dayle Jan 11th, 2010 05:01 PM

Unless your husband tends to get sick easily/is feeble, count on him driving. The worst probably won't happen and you are worrying way too much. AND, learn to drive a stick. It's a very good skill to have, and it's FUN, especially on those windy, Italian country roads.
Zoom, zoom

rex Jan 11th, 2010 05:04 PM

<< I guess I'm naive as I never thought I'd have a problem getting what I needed >>

Be glad you weren't "promised" the automatic you (think you) "need". As kybourbon indicates, believing that they will actually have one there for you would be the most naive thing of all.

Anyone can learn to drive a standard transmission automobile in a weekend. It's an investment that will pay you back many times over.

Best wishes,


J62 Jan 11th, 2010 05:16 PM

Don't get too excited about renting any particular make and model. The models they list (Golf, etc) are merely representative of vehicles they offer for the class of cars. You could end up with something very different. Same class of vehicle, but not the same car.

I've ended up getting a Korean make in Italy, a Czech model in Germany, and a Japanese car in France. It all depends on what they have on hand when you rent.

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