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Rental Car Requirements in Italy?

Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 12:04 AM
  #1  
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Rental Car Requirements in Italy?

I'm planning to travel by train mostly on my upcoming trip to Italy. But it has occurred to me that while I'm in some of the areas with wineries (Florence, Montalcino, Perugia) it might be better to have a rental car so I can get around more. If I elect to get a rental car, can these be booked pretty much on site? And what is required in terms of deposit? Will they accept a debit card? (I'm taking two credit cards, but they have very low credit limits.) And I'm assuming a valid driver's license and passport are required?
ameelynn1980 is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 12:50 AM
  #2  
 
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Pretty much 'Yes' to all those questions, except that you should note that Italy is one country that requires non-nationals to carry an International Driver's Permit at all times when driving. This is basically a translation of your licence, and you must have BOTH on your person if driving in Italy. In France and Germany the IDP is NOT essential, but it is in Italy.
adeben is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 12:54 AM
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Consider bringing a GPS Navigator. An English language version for Europe.
GSteed is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 10:02 AM
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How does one go about acquiring and IDP? Is it too late for me to get one? My trip is in two weeks.
ameelynn1980 is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 10:08 AM
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you walkk into your local AAA office w/ passport sized photo and $15 and walk out w/ an IDP in about 5-10 minutes.

A bit more if AAA has to take the photos . . . .
janisj is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 10:09 AM
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You can get one at a AAA office. If there isn't one in your area, you can order it online and pray that it will get to you in time. You need a copy of your drivers license and 2 passport photos.

http://www.aaa.com/vacation/idpf.html
Linda431 is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 10:36 AM
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ira
 
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Hi A,

>If I elect to get a rental car, can these be booked pretty much on site?

You will pay much higher prices if you don't book ahead from the US.

See www.autoeurope.com.

And what is required in terms of deposit? Will they accept a debit card?

IME, few rental firms will take a debit card. Mostly, they want a CC or a large cash deposit.

Are you under 25?

ira is offline  
Old Sep 24th, 2007, 08:29 PM
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I believe most rental agencies use your credit card for collateral and can tie up anywhere from $500-$1000 credit on your card until you return the card. They will not take cash for a deposit either.
deke is offline  
Old Sep 24th, 2007, 08:31 PM
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Another thought since you mentioned a low card credit line - you could call the card company and ask them to increase your line of credit. Most will do that with little problem. If you are from the USA the only place to get an International Drivers License is the AAA motor club. Quick eacsy & cheap
deke is offline  
Old Sep 28th, 2007, 03:16 PM
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Just a word of caution, I pre-arranged a car rental through National for pick up in Rome and drop off in Venice and asked twice about a drop off fee and was told both times that there was none. I reserved and received a confirmation email showing all the charges but no drop off fee. I was of course happy to have this confirmed in writing. Of course I did not see the fine print in the email confirmation about "all international one way rentals will have a drop off fee". Needless to say, I got whacked with a large drop off fee and ended up paying double what I was quoted. I complained and was pointed to the fine print. I asked for my complaint to be fowarded to a manager and was promised a reply within 72 hours. Its been two weeks and still no reply even though I have sent polite reminders. In the last one I included a comment that I would be forced to caution other travellers on Fodors if I did not hear back. No response, so here is the caution.


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Old Sep 28th, 2007, 03:47 PM
  #11  
meo
 
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Just a reminder that you will want to notify your credit card companies and your bank (because of debit card use) that you will be travelling in Italy, so you don't have any trouble using your cards while you are there.
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Old Sep 28th, 2007, 04:21 PM
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eurofam, that is an absolutely HORRIBLE story. Thank you for reminding me why I use AutoEurope --an HONEST company.

NeoPatrick is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2007, 04:04 AM
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But shouldn't "international one-way" mean dropping off in a different country from the pickup?
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Old Sep 29th, 2007, 05:01 AM
  #14  
ira
 
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Hi E,

I haven't heard of anyone, until now, being charged a drop off fee within the same country.

Thanks for the warning about National.

We picked up a car from them at MUC and dropped it at STR. It was booked through www.gemut.com.

There was an airport fee, but not a drop off charge.

>I reserved and received a confirmation email showing all the charges but no drop off fee. <

Have you complained to your CC company?

ira is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2007, 05:06 AM
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Nonconformist, my guess was that when you're dealing with an American company like National, then anything through their "international" division would be considered an "international" rental. But like ira, I'm not used to hearing about a drop off fee within the same country in Europe -- although of course they do drop off fees within the same state all the time here in the US.

I'm not sure what recourse there is with the CC company as eurofam says that it was stated on the contract that there would be a drop off fee. There is never any recourse about what you were "verbally told on the phone".

Still I can't imagine signing an actual rental contract where the amount of the drop off fee wasn't clearly stated in advance.
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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 09:08 AM
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Well, I have an update of sorts...

I was going to rent a car in Siena, drive it for a few days while visiting wineries and then drop it off in either Siena or Florence.

Unfortunately, I do not know how to drive a manual transmission vehicle, so I'm limited to automatic transmission vehicles.

The rental fees for a lot of manual transmission cars starts at around $50 per day. That seems reasonable. But the cost for automatic transmission cars was, in many cases, more than twice that much. I can't justify spending $350+ for a rental car for 72 hours.

I guess I'm stuck walking or taking the bus.

ameelynn1980 is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2007, 09:21 AM
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We just obtained a Heetz rental in Verona with a US drivers licence and a credit card.

We had also brought a hand-held Garmin GPS which worked like a charm.
RonZ is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2007, 09:39 AM
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ameelyn - for the price of renting an automatic, you may be able to hire a driver for a day. Do a search on the site and you will find lots of recommendations.

We are renting in Siena for a couple of days and then returning to Florence. I can't drive manual either, but DH can. Although he hasn't driven stick in a number of years, so the first few miles should be interesting!
BarbaraJ is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2007, 09:41 AM
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Good point about the contract NeoPatrick. There's actually more to the story. When I picked up the car, the contract just said "National Passport" with no rate info. When I asked about the rate, I was told it would be the rate as quoted. Plus the contract is mainly in Italian and hard to peruse when you have impatient people behind you. I thought I was safe because I had the written quote (...and yes, the fine print too). It seems the strategy is to appear to be more competitive by giving a low quote and then hitting you up for a drop off fee later using the fine print. Its a sneaky way of doing business. Its a lesson learned and I'll pay more attention to the fine print next time. My experience with Hertz in France (also booked before I left)was wonderful...quote and contract terms matched up and service was very pleasant.
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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 09:47 AM
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"Pretty much 'Yes' to all those questions, except that you should note that Italy is one country that requires non-nationals to carry an International Driver's Permit at all times when driving".

Erm..... this does not apply to EU citizens.
Pvoyageuse is offline  

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