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Ladies and Gentlemen - a question on WHO drives the rental car?

Ladies and Gentlemen - a question on WHO drives the rental car?

Jun 7th, 2009, 12:58 PM
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Ladies and Gentlemen - a question on WHO drives the rental car?

Hello - just a quick question....when travelling in europe and renting a car, does your husband do all the driving or do you trade off? I ask because my husband has previously done all the driving since the cars have manual transmissio and he's very comfortable on both the autobahn and mountain roads having worked and lived in germany for several years. Recently, he's mentioned that he's done ALL the driving... On the next trip, if I am doing any driving, we will need an automatic transmission and that is quite an increase in cost. Please don't suggest I learn to drive a manual!! I'm a bit old to learn at this time!! Have you split the driving, gotten an automatic if you're in the same boat as I am or just put up with the occasional complaint?
cmeyer54 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 01:10 PM
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There are 2 cost disadvantages to having 2 drivers---the auto in your case and the 2nd driver for insurance reasons. Tell Dad to suck it up and drive.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 01:50 PM
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Whether you split the driving or not is up to you. It seems your husband may be encouraging you to do some so he can relax a little more.

I wouldn't rate the additional cost as a "disadvantage" as bob says - that is like saying steak has a cost disadvantage over hamburger. Sure it does, but steak is different and you might like it more. You are already aware that it will cost more and all you need to do is decide whether that the enhancement of your (or perhaps mores so your husband's) vacation experience is worth the expense and if you are comfortable doing it.

No need to instruct anyone to just "suck it up", regardless of your (as a couple) decision.
Aramis is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 02:04 PM
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My husband does all the driving, mostly due to the extra costs of adding an additional driver and because I seem to be more "directionally challenged" and therefore get frazzled easily when I don't know where I am going. This always works well for us. We don't plan so much driving that DH can't enjoy himself, and we try to be as leisurely as possible meaning we make lots of stops along the way.

tcreath is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 02:38 PM
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I do all the driving (we both drive stick) and my husband does all the navigating--over time we have found that things work smoothest that way!
wren is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 03:08 PM
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My husband.
cafegoddess is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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My hubby (Bikerscott on fodors) ALWAYS drives...lucky me!
jamikins is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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My husband does all the driving in Europe, because he can drive a stick and I'm much better at navigation. I wouldn't mind driving in Europe but that means re-learning how to drive a stick (which I did take lessons on about 18 years ago) - soemthing which I think is simply too much trouble for me.

FWIW, I'm the driver here at home. He rides his bicycle to work, and I drive both of us wherever we go. I think he's got the better deal, though I really don't mind driving in Boston (my husband probably will have a heart attack or stroke if he has to navigate a car through Boston traffic).
yk is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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well, cmeyer this question can be viewed from the other direction of course ie us Brits driving hire cars in the US.

I can tell you that the time that DH had to do all the driving 'cos I lost my driving licence [mislaid that is, not had it taken away from me, LOL] just before we went, was NOT a success. we function better mostly when I drive and me navigates..not because he's better at it but because I'm more forgiving. if he drives and I navigate, we tend to argue rather a lot.

and we were grappling with an sutomatic that we weren't used to.

give it a go..when we drive in the US or europe, we have to cope with everything being on the other side. compared with that, learning a stick shift should be a doddle.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 04:36 PM
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I have to say, this is a very gender-oriented concept of life that I have NEVER understood. Why is it that most of the time, with 98% of the couples that I know, the husband does most or almost all of the driving? There's nothing about males or females that makes one group physically better at driving. I just don't get it. (Unless it's a male control issue, but I won't go there.)

We used to share the driving on trips, which both of us were ok with. (We both drive manual, though I've had more experience than DH has.) On more recent trips, however, I've done almost all of the driving. I like driving in Europe, and usually we don't do more than a couple of hours each day (if that much); I like both highway driving and going on those narrow, curvey roads. Also, DH is much better at navigating than I am. I'd much rather drive than navigate.

Anyway, I don't think it's fair to require any person to drive more than they want to; it can be tiring. And a tired driver can be a dangerous driver. And about paying the charges for the second driver, on the last two trips we've taken to Italy, they have not charged us for the second driver - even when I pointed out that we weren't being charged (Chalk that up to the Italian way of having lots of rules and regulations, but not always following them.) If possible, I'd always pay for the second driver, for safety's sake.

I think it's worth it to know how to drive a stick, but that's a concept that most Americans don't understand. If I were you, I'd learn how to drive a stick shift car and trade off on driving (you can have him drive the difficult parts, if necessary).
Lexma90 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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You're never too old to learn...
Melnq8 is online now  
Jun 7th, 2009, 04:53 PM
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I am an american female and don't understand the reluctance of so many to learn how to drive stick shift. Even if you use if for a while, it does come back to you--just like riding a bike. And the fact that stick shift cars get better mileage than a comparable automatic would seem to make economic sense. But to each his own.
irishface is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 04:53 PM
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Hello cmeyer, my husband always did all the driving in Italy. I guess he wanted to as the subject matter never came up. I did learn to orginally drive with a stick shift but haven't for decades but imagine I could pick up the skill again very quickly. But anyway my husband always did the driving when we were in the same vehicle although he always said I was a fantastic driver. But I am also a good navigator and map reader. So it worked well for us. If my husband had expresed the opinion he wanted me to drive in Italy I would have but quite frankly I am glad he didn't.

We fortunately always had lots of time in Italy so normally we never drove for more than four hours and normally made a stop or two along the way. He did curse sometimes when driving in the major cities but he cursed in the Italian language so that was fun!
LoveItaly is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 05:16 PM
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Agree with irishface. And I think driving stick is sooo much more fun than automatic. But I'm not married, so what do I know?

In any case, two years ago in France there was no--or a very negligible--charge for a second driver. I think I booked through novacarhire and then it was either Hertz or maybe Avis.

Why not agree that you'll drive the big, flat stretches and he can handle the mountain roads, etc.?
Leely2 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 06:00 PM
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I could try to find a driving school I guess - being in my late 50's, this is not something I'm terribly thrilled to do since on the trips, I've done the navigating so its not like I"m sitting back and just enjoying the scenery. I also tend to be more conservative driving (and do most of the driving on trips in the states) so the autobahn would be a real challenge. Ah well - we'll see out it works out on our next adventure.
cmeyer54 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 06:02 PM
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I do all the driving because I can drive a stick--DH does not. He's a a much better navigator anyway!
ILUVPARIS is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 06:09 PM
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We both drive - otherwise it's just to much for one person. PLus, we both enjoy driving in europe - versus how frustrating it is in the US. Granted you have to pay for 2 drivers - and an automatic if you're not comfortable with a manual. but the additional cost is minimal given the entire cost of the trip.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 06:11 PM
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My wife does all the driving because she can drive a stick - I do not. I'm a much better navigator anyway.

BTW, there is usually an additional second driver cost that has nothing to do with the type of car you rent.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Jun 7th, 2009, 06:11 PM
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Who does the driving?? Who ever wants to!

I'm no longer married - though driving wasn't the reason we split

I LOVE driving overseas and usually prefer a stick - I know for some couples, driving is the "man's job" - but that just seems silly to me.
janisj is online now  
Jun 7th, 2009, 06:23 PM
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My husband drives. Mainly because we are Australian and those pesky Europeans drive on the 'wrong' side of the road and that's the bit that terrifies me. Especially as the controls and rear vision mirror are also reversed. He does a good job, we initially hired a car on Santorini so that his first experience could be on quiet streets. We've only had one truly awful experience, when he looked the wrong way (the way he would usually look) when backing out of a driveway and we nearly collected a car coming past!

I think you will probably have a happier trip if you stick with what you are used to. Be prepared to stop often so that your hb can enjoy the views etc instead of just seeing the cars in front.
cathies is online now  

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