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Rent automatic car in Italy

Old Dec 16th, 2008, 01:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Rent automatic car in Italy

We are having a hard time finding automatic cars in Italy, seems they don't have that many choices. We have rented an automatic before with no problems. Any suggestions? Anybody rent an automatic? from whom? How much?
Marycang is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2008, 01:54 PM
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Hi M,

Have you tried,,

ira is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2008, 02:09 PM
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"they don't have that many choices"

They sure don't. And clutchless manuals aren't saving the day.

Europeans consider automatic transmissions something an old dame might buy. This old dame knows how to drive a car with a manual transmission but I prefer an automatic in Italy. Since rental car companies don't have that many, they sell out quickly. You need to book an automatic car as far in advance as possible, which will mostly mean Pre-Pay. Good luck.
NYCTS is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2008, 02:21 PM
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It has been a while but I have rented automatics in Italy twice. I remember that once was from Hertz and cannot remember the other company.

A tip is to stick to a major city. We rented both times in Florence and didn't have a problem but if you try in the smaller cities, it becomes more difficult.

Rental at an airport gives you a better chance, but there is a surcharge attached to airport locations, at least there used to be.
Sher is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2008, 02:23 PM
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Automatics are more easily found at airports and large cities in Italy.
zeppole is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2008, 02:59 PM
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The vast majority of cars in Europe are manual transmission. I've never rented an automatic there because I don't like to drive automatic, but my understanding is that most car rental outfits will offer you that option but not guarantee that they'll have one. And you normally pay a fairly hefty premium to get one.

I know AutoEurope has them, but have no idea how many or where or what their guarantees are.
StCirq is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2008, 03:19 PM
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Autoeurope has always rented automatics, but you will pay 30% more. Call them at 800-223-5555--do not trust the web site.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2008, 03:33 PM
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The ratio of auto to stick is the opposite of that in the USA: about 1:12. In some countries you can't pass the drivers' test on an automatic, you have to show your skills with clutch and stick.

So even if you do reserve and are promised an automatic, when you go to pick it up they simply may not have one. You either wait, or you drive a stick. With the prices of fuel you want a stick anyway.
DalaiLlama is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2008, 05:22 PM
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Have never had any trouble getting an automatic in Italy - but we always reserve a couple of months in advance - and generally a larger, more powerful car than most people want - or want to pay for.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2008, 09:48 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I have rented cars many times in Italy, although always at the Rome airport through Avis. I have never had a problem getting an automatic car, although I HAVE gotten what they call semi-automatic at times which was quite a pain (i.e. it is actually both manual and automatic and you have to know how to handle that). This last time about a month ago when we were there, I expressely made it known several times in my reservations that I NEED/WANT a completely and totally automatic car, none of these hybrids, and I finally got one, a Nissan Micra, which was just perfect for us.
Flame123 is offline  
Old Dec 17th, 2008, 04:42 AM
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I can help!

Go to the autoeurope site, but change the home country around to different countries. Each time it will give you different choices. If you can use the Italian home page (it is in Italian) you might get the best choices.

When it is time to book, the site allows you to put in your actual home country.

Try the United Kingdom site, Ireland, Canada, etc. It works! We did this when we went to Spain and got a Mercedes A class automatic that was perfect and not listed as available on the US site.
kelliebellie is offline  
Old Dec 17th, 2008, 09:40 AM
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Autoeurope just uses local car rental agencies, they are not an agency themself, so if they have them, others do, also.

I rented an automatic once I really liked, and it was an Italian brand car (and a compact). I liked it because you still had to shift, but you didn't need to use a clutch. It was great, but we don't have cars like that in the US. It was an Alfa Romeo.

I have rented them using Autoeurope, but they were always from Europcar and that was in France. YOu do need to rent at an airport or relatively big city, though.
Christina is online now  
Old Dec 17th, 2008, 12:39 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,164
I always rent automatics in Italy! Recently picked one up at EuropCar in Rapallo, in fact..brokered by Kemwell.

Certainly follow the advice to phone and not rely only on the websites..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2008, 12:05 AM
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Believe me, given the way some people who aren't used to a stick actually drive it, in terms of fuel economy you'd be better off with an automatic.
Dukey is offline  
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