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Italy- Car Rental help- in a bit of a jam

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Sep 16th, 2014, 06:04 PM
  #1
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Italy- Car Rental help- in a bit of a jam

Hi,
We were planning on renting a car in Chiusi per everyone;s advice after taking a train from Florence for a few days in Tuscany- and then dropping the car off in La Spezia before taking a train to Cinque Terre. I have checked with Hertz and EuropeAuto - and neither have a automatic car- which we require. Are there other suggestions on where we might be able to get a car with an automatic transmission that won't require us driving in Florence but rather further outside? Or are there other car rental places in Chiusi?
I am thinking its not likely I can learn to drive a stick in a few weeks time
thanks very much,
LH
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Sep 16th, 2014, 06:14 PM
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Actually, if you have a couple of hours and a stick shift available, you could probably learn quickly - not that hard.
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Sep 16th, 2014, 06:18 PM
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Um - why not pick up the car at the Florence airport - which likely has a much larger office and automatics available. This will avoid any risk of driving in pedestrian zone - and probably be less complicated overall - since you can just hop in a cab to the airport and won't have to train to a rental office.
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Sep 16th, 2014, 06:26 PM
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Automatic transmission rental cars in Italy are rare and expensive. I think you have plenty time to learn how to drive a standard.
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Sep 16th, 2014, 06:34 PM
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Also try Autoeurope.com. We have rented from them in the past. They deal with multiple agencies and you can speak with them on the phone in English to discuss different options.
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Sep 16th, 2014, 07:03 PM
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Florence airport or perhaps even Pisa airport are your best bets.
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Sep 16th, 2014, 07:33 PM
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I think Florence airport would be easiest (Pisa is further away for pickup and in the wrong direction if planning to visit southern Tuscany first). What is your itinerary for southern Tuscany?

There are other car rental locations, but airports are the most likely to have automatics.
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Sep 16th, 2014, 11:08 PM
  #8
 
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I'm sorry but you are not going to learn stick and drive safely in a couple if hours. There are a lot of hills here. I would ask the car rental places which locations have an automatic
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Sep 17th, 2014, 04:31 AM
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I would agree with the others who said you do not NEED to learn to drive a stick for this. What you do need to do is either use AutoEurope which will look at every agency in Chiusi OR do not "as others have suggested" rent the car in Chiusi.

Rent the car from a place that has automatics and they certainly are NOT "rare" in Italy if you rent from the right location.
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Sep 17th, 2014, 04:55 AM
  #10
 
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lghammill,

Even though automatics are not rare at airports and some cities in Italy it is always good to call your car rental company 36 hours or so before your pick up and re-confirm the guarantee of an automatic. If possible call the local office directly (at airports desk clerks speak English) or call the major home office. That way it doesn't slip through the cracks.

You might also find that a rental agency wants to charge you a drop off fee if you are not returning an automatic to airport. You can either pay it or offer to drop the car off at Pisa airport which would not add to much hassle to your trip as opposed to dropping it off at La Spezia.

I agree with your assessment that you are unlikely to acquire enough skill at driving a manual to feel comfortable driving it out of the Florence airport to your Tuscan destination. It's a busy area.
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Sep 17th, 2014, 06:14 AM
  #11
 
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We have done numerous road trips in europe - including Italy for several of them - and never had any problem finding an automatic from Hertz or AVis. Do be aware that typically the smallest and least expensive car classes are not offered in automatics - assume you will have to rent above the smallest classes.
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Sep 17th, 2014, 07:52 AM
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The formula for this is pretty straightforward: The larger the rental outlet (such as at an airport), the more vehicles they have available and the greater the likelihood that they have automatics in stock or can reserve one for you.

On the contrary, relative backwaters, such as Chiusi, are likely to have fewer vehicles and a lower chance of having an automatic.
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Sep 17th, 2014, 05:40 PM
  #13
 
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We have rented an automatic from Hertz in Florence. The car rental agencies listed for Florence train station are located a few blocks from the station and they will give you directions out to Florence that will avoid the ZTL pedestrian zones.
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