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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, 06:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 47,676
I'm no longer married, either, but I did most of the driving because my ex was a danger on the roads and I have an infallible sense of direction and can read foreign road signs and almost always know exactly where I'm going because I read the maps and have an internal compass.

I've driven a stick since I learned to drive and would have it no other way. You just might consider learning - it's not that hard.

I do agree that the guy doing all the driving is pretty passé. I'd be pissed too if I had to do it all.
StCirq is online now  
Jun 7th, 2009, 06:52 PM
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I don't like to drive and my husband doesn't like being a passenger--so it only makes sense that he do all the driving.
abram is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 07:14 PM
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Mme. Robespierre is the driver. She never drove an automatic before we got our Odyssey in 2005, so we always get that price advantage in Europe.

I'm the navigator. With the GPS map on my laptop, I reel off the turns and distances - she likes a countdown to roundabouts starting at .5 km.

I can drink as much fruit of the vine as I want to with no problem ever with draconian DUI laws in Europe.
Robespierre is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 12:34 PM
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I am the driver in Europe as well - I like to drive stick, but my husband doesn't, and he is a better navigator than I am. I can find my way anywhere, but I'm not great at telling other people when they need to turn.
november_moon is online now  
Jun 8th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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Not with a hubby, but a friend, both female. Neither regular drivers and though one knew stick, the last time she had been in a manual (in Europe) was crazed the entire time. The other (me) was willing to learn, however, recalled trying to do so years back and found I was totally inept. Just couldn't get the hang of it.

So, we went with an automatic that only cost $50 more than a manual. While I had mapped out our routes for 2/weeks prior departing, the navigating was takenn care of and we simply alternated driving - one day me, the next day her. Worked fine.

Believe whether manual or automatic, at home or distant locale (regardless additional costs), at least one other passenger should be able to drive. Why? A friend with a manual, right here in the US, took seriously ill while driving. Unfortunately, I couldn't get behind the wheel to get her direct to hospital, but had to wait (though rather quickly) for an ambulance.
sandi is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 01:02 PM
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We trade off the driving except that if there is tricky navigation to be done, then he drives and I navigate. He is an excellent driver but does not have the best sense of direction (to put it mildly). I, on the other hand, tend to get stressed out when I am not given good directions so it only makes sense that in the tricky areas, he drives and I navigate. Much more peaceful that way.
akila is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 01:02 PM
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Doing all the driving can get tiresome, but the main driver is usually happy to drive 75-80% of the time.
kerouac is online now  
Jun 8th, 2009, 01:18 PM
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DH always drives and he does't really mind because he knows I'm not very comfortable doing it....actually think he would be pretty ill at ease if I was the one driving! I'm good at helping watch for signs, turnoffs, landmarks, etc. and reading the map. He does prefer to rent an automatic.
If your husband is more experieced with European driving, maybe you should make sure he truly would feel comfortable with you doing it.
RSTravelers is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 03:07 PM
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I've done all the driving over 30 years of European travels. Wouldn't have it any other way. My kids are now in their twenties and they, along with my wife and mother-in-law, are usually asleep within the first ten minutes of driving. It's the most peaceful time of my vacation. The driver gets to control the music and/or Ipod too.
Zeus is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 03:11 PM
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I'm not sure why our choosing for DH to drive is considered passe. This is what works for us. AS I mentioned above, he is much better with directions than I am (I'm the navigator) and he enjoys the driving. This is what we do at home, and this is what we do while on vacation. It has nothing to do with my not knowing how to drive manual, because I do. And we would just prefer to save the extra cost of a secondary driver and use it elsewhere in our vacation budget.

tcreath is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 03:23 PM
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Tracy - How on earth did you get to the point where you thought someone was criticizing your experience as passe or suggesting you only made your arrangements because you couldn't handle a manual?

St. Cirq's comments were clearly directed at the OP wha has a different story than you do.
Aramis is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 04:13 PM
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My Dh usually does the driving but we do trade off when he wants a rest. He drives a stick at home and I drive an automatic but I drive his standard often enough to keep in practice.

Since he likes to ride his bicycle long distances we often have a day where he will ride 100 miles over the mountains and I will drive a route that entails a stop I want to make, then we will meet up at our destination village for the night. So I not only have to drive in Europe, but alone for long distances a good portion of the time.

When he rode the race "L'etape du tour" which ran on a stage of the tour de France from Limoges to St Fleur, I ended up driving over 5 1/2 hours on everything from the autoroutes to roads through the tiniest village and over scary mountain cols on winding "Oh Jesus" roads. The main roads had been closed just like when the real Tour de France comes through town so I had to drive an extremely circuitous route.
I had a sticker on my window that announced I was an "Accompanieur" every time I pulled over to check my map I saw a car with the same sticker pass by, so I thought I must be on the right road, so I pulled out to continue, only to see the same car pulled over map checking a few miles later . We hop scotched like that the entire route.
Celticharper is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 04:20 PM
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Aramis, you are right and I apologize if I offended anyone. I saw a couple of "passe" comments and I read them to be general comments made about husbands driving and not necessarily directed to the OP only.

tcreath is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 04:24 PM
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My husband always drives because he has always had trouble with motion-sickness.

But why not take the train sometimes, if neither wants to do all the driving?

elberko is online now  
Jun 8th, 2009, 08:25 PM
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My husband normally does the driving because he always has done so on holidays, not because he is a sexist pig or anything, we are just happy that way.

However this year I will have to drive because he has had his license suspended (yes for too many speeding tickets!).

I can drive a manual. I have also driven on the opposite side of the road before. In Australia we normally drive on the left but since I will be upside down in the Northern Hemisphere my left and right will be flipped right? LOL.

So all should be well.
aussiefive is offline  
Jun 9th, 2009, 11:24 AM
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I think the comments about husbands do most of the driving as being passe were not directed at the individual people for their personal decisions, but rather at general society in which many people still assume that the husband is the 1st choice and wife second choice when it comes to driving.
november_moon is online now  
Jun 9th, 2009, 11:29 AM
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I know. DH & I are in our mid-30s, and since I'm the driver here at home, I can't tell you how many times that friends (our age) were surprsied to see that I AM the driver and not my husband. The same goes for driving rental cars WITHIN the US. I'm always the primary driver anywhere we go in the US, esp when it comes to driving IN cities. I feel that I'm the better driver between the 2 of us (I learned to drive in Boston, so I can handle city traffic anywhere in the US).

I don't like driving for long periods of time on highways/Interstates, so DH drives those stretches usually.
yk is offline  
Jun 9th, 2009, 11:36 AM
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In the UK, DH drives and I navigate. He won't let me drive, he thinks I'm already too plagued with dyslexia, and driving on the 'wrong' side would be too dangerous. We have always had an automatic transmission, but we've also always had another couple to split the cost.

In Portugal, I drove because the cost of an automatic was prohibitive and he doesn't drive a manual transmission. I also rented a GPS for the trip, because he would have driven me crazy as the navigator.

At home in the States, he does almost all of the driving. He prefers to.
GoAway is offline  
Jun 9th, 2009, 11:55 AM
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''and those pesky Europeans drive on the 'wrong' side of the road and that's the bit that terrifies me''

The worst bit is turning onto a new road at lights or a T-junction overseas - I always have that momentary panic over which side of the road I'm supposed to end up on!
RM67 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2009, 11:58 AM
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ms_go and I used to share the driving (and most other) duties pretty evenly when we traveled. But in recent years, things have naturally gravitated toward a more specialized division of labors.

I drive almost exclusively now, because a) I don't mind it, b) we get there quicker, and c) it allows my shutterbug LW to shoot out the window as we go.

(Navigation is not an issue, as we are equally adept with maps...although her innate sense of direction is nothing short of spectacular.)
mr_go is offline  

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