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I can't get a large enough automatic car in Orvieto...there goes my plans

I can't get a large enough automatic car in Orvieto...there goes my plans

Jan 11th, 2010, 11:25 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,480
I have rented cars very often in Italy but only picked-up at the Rome airport location. I have NEVER been promised an automatic and not gotten one. I have always rented from Avis and am willing to pay the extra money for an automatic and for an airport pick-up to make sure I get what I need. There is just no point, IMHO to start out on a wonderful trip with problems.
Flame123 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 01:44 AM
  #22  
 
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If learning to drive a manual transmission is not possible, what about adding one of the other two people in the car as a driver, unless they are children?
Judy is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 03:05 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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I, too, have never had a problem getting an automatic, but it does happen, so.....

One more hint might be to check Autoeurope's other websites, the www.autoeurope.it site for example, and even the AE UK site. Sometimes you will see different cars listed on those sites and you also might get a price break.

And certainly call Avis and other vendors directly.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 03:23 AM
  #24  
 
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Maybe your husband won't mind doing all the driving? I am usually the driver and am fine with it. If the other two adults can drive a stick, maybe one of them could be the alternate driver. Make sure they are named on the rental for insurance purposes.

Another possibility is to learn before you go? It's not so hard. I've driven sticks nearly exclusively since I bought my first car. In fact when I drive loaner cars (which are automatics) I will occasionally have the "very abrupt stop" because I am so used to the stick. I'm sure there are some people laughing and nodding their head when they read this.
flygirl is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 03:24 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Whilst it's possible that a large automatic isn't available in one place, I can't believe that there aren't any large automatics in Italy at all.

My advice - change your rental company and look for "people carriers".
alanRow is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 03:46 AM
  #26  
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As predicted, my husband says he's fine with driving. I know all about not getting what you reserved as it happened to us in Germany. Reserved and payed for an automatic and didn't get one.

I had a few lessons on a manual years ago - no one around now who has one and I still insist on driving a car I'm comfortable with in a foreign country.

The other adults driving are out of the question...truly they are.

According to the AE website I can pick up one in Chiusi, however I don't know that I want the added hassle of training to Chiusi for the car plus we had wanted to stop at Pitigliano on the way to San Quirico.
travelfan1 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 03:47 AM
  #27  
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Clearly my mind isn't working as I know it's "paid" not payed.
travelfan1 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 04:31 AM
  #28  
 
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Manual transmissions can be a real irritant if you aren't used to them (and a danger for some unpracticed drivers). Especially if you get into hilly areas or towns with a lot of traffic. I learned to drive in stick shift cars, and didn't get my first automatic transmission car until I was 50 years old. What a joy, especially since the ATs in most cars these days are so efficient and smart.

In most cases nowadays, drivers using ATs even get better gas mileage than drivers in the same car with manual transmissions--in some models it's because the AT is just more efficient, in the rest it's because the majority (note that I said the majority, not all) of manual transmission drivers aren't very good at hitting the ideal shift points.
Paul1950 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 06:20 AM
  #29  
 
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Have you checked renting one at Viterbo, Grosseto or Civitavecchia since you want to go to Pitigliano?

Or with 4 of you, would it really be too expensive or inconvenient to get a car service to take you and your luggage one of Rome's airports and rent what you want there?
stepsbeyond is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 11:58 AM
  #30  
 
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I have a couple of issues with people saying anyone can learn to drive a standard in a weekend. that simply isn't true. I have a friend who has tried forever and she simply cannot get it - even after numerous hours of lessons with her husband, with me, with a professional instructor. She just can;t "feel" the car at all.

Separately, if you're used to driving an automatic on a regular basis and you're driving a stick and a difficult situation occurs - your unthinking reactions may be the wrong ones.

We both know how to drive sticks - my beau's last car was one - he drove it for years. And I've also driven one for years - but we always rent an automatic, since that's what we drive every day and that's how we tend react if we have to make an emergency stop etc.

For someone who drives a stick all the time - that's fine. But I think the combination of unknown road, unknown car (and the shifting is different from car to car) and a difficult situation is better avoided.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 01:37 PM
  #31  
 
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Right! I can just imagine borrowing a friend's car, assuming that any of my friends own standard transmission cars, and setting off in Manhattan traffic to practice shifting!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 02:22 PM
  #32  
 
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Your trip is not starting in Orvieto. If you pick the car up at the airport, just drive north to Tarquinia to avoid Rome. If in Rome, surely there are multiple offices of rental agencies (like in Paris) and pick up the car from an office on the northern side of the city to minimize city driving.
Michael is online now  
Jan 13th, 2010, 02:43 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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I once tried the trick of renting outside the city centre of Roma to avoid Rome traffic -- and it didn't work! The suburban thoroughfares are as big a headache as Rome proper.

An airport pick-up gets you right on the autostrade, but I would also check out some the smaller cities I mentioned above to see if any work for you.
stepsbeyond is offline  
Jan 13th, 2010, 03:49 AM
  #34  
 
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"My husband lost his license for speeding in Italy in '07:

tuscanlifeedit,

They have licenses for SPEEDING?
They really should advertise that. The Italian national debt could be wiped out in a week.

Seriously though, I'd join the chorus of 'learn to drive stick'. I taught myself some years ago and although the initial lurching as you learn how to handle the clutch is disconcerting at first, now we drive nothing but, even to the point where when we bought a Toyota Camry, the dealership had to bring it in from 50 miles away.

Something to consider
K
knickerbocker is offline  
Jan 13th, 2010, 10:45 AM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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It's hard to remember that many tourist destinations that we think of as cities aren't really very big. Orvieto has only 21,000 people, really just a good-sized town.

If ya gotta have an automatic, you need to look at an airport or in a bigger city, as many have said. You also need to relax because you may well not get what you booked anyway -- in Europe or here. Your husband seems to be okay with a stick shift, so you shouldn't worry!
Ackislander is offline  
Jan 13th, 2010, 11:00 AM
  #36  
 
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>>>Orvieto has only 21,000 people<<<

I would think that number includes the new part of Orvieto which is at the base, not just the hill town.
kybourbon is offline  
Jan 14th, 2010, 09:10 AM
  #37  
 
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Yes, kybourbon. Both towns. It isn't a big enough place to count on a lot of car rental options, though worth visiting any time.
Ackislander is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 08:45 PM
  #38  
rex
 
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<< I can just imagine borrowing a friend's car, assuming that any of my friends own standard transmission cars, and setting off in Manhattan traffic to practice shifting! >>

Too funny... imagining that the world starts at the Hudson and ends at the East River!
rex is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 03:28 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Why is that funny? I live in Manhattan so if I were to borrow a friend's car and practice shift-stick driving, where else would I do it?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 07:45 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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If you lived in San Francisco or Seattle and borrowed a friend's car to practice driving a stick-shift, you soon find yourself sliding backwards down a hill. (Been there.)
Mimar is offline  

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