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Rental car - van with manual or automatic transmission for Austria?

Rental car - van with manual or automatic transmission for Austria?

Jul 10th, 2002, 08:20 AM
  #1  
Sara
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Rental car - van with manual or automatic transmission for Austria?

We will be renting a car in Austria, and need one big enough for our family of four plus luggage (one suitcase apiece plus carry-on bags). AutoEurope.com shows most cars to be manual transmission, but there is one van available with automatic; however, it is considerably more expensive. My husband is concerned that it will be hard driving a large car with manual transmission in the mountains - it's been quite awhile since either of us drove a standard, but the last time we drove a van with manual transmission in a very hilly area, we found that it stalled easily when trying to go up steep inclines. Someone told us that standard transmissions are better than they were 15 years ago, but I don't know how true that is. We will be traveling in the Salzkammergut region, but don't know how steep the roads will be. Can anyone please give me advice about this?
 
Jul 10th, 2002, 08:50 AM
  #2  
Bob
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I prefer a manual in the type driving you are going to be doing. I have driven one in those areas (van) with no problem. Sometimes it is the driver not being comfortable with the manual and not the car.

Regarding your van. We rented a VW Sharon a few years ago with another couple and found it had great room for all four of us. The one cavet to check: Many times these vans say 7 or 8 passenger because they have the extra row of removable seats in the rear. They will carry 8 people, but not 8 people with luggage. In two cases we found that we needed to remove the rear seats to have room for all four of us and luggage in the back. The extra seats made it impossible to put all the luggage in with the seats installed or even folded up. We had to beg the rental guy in Frankfurt to let us leave the unneeded seats with him. He did not want to do it at all and I can understand that. The only thing that got us what we needed was we were standing in front of him with the seats on a luggage cart and we promised to return the car to that exact rental counter.....which we did.

Bottom line: Check your van's people capacity and luggage capacity for the amount of people you will have on board. Insure that you have enough luggage space with all the seats in place. Just a tip we picked up on.
 
Jul 10th, 2002, 02:50 PM
  #3  
bettyk
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Sara, we just returned from Austria, Germany and Switzerland in May. There were 4 of us and we rented an "Intermediate Station Wagon" thru Hertz. What we got was a Fiat Station Wagon that had plenty of space for our four 22" rollarounds plus our carry on bags. It even had a cover to pull over the luggage area to hide the bags. It was manual transmission, but had plenty of acceleration for the autobahn and the mountains. It was not difficult to drive at all, even in the Salzkammergut.
 
Jul 12th, 2002, 07:15 AM
  #4  
Lily
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Hi Sara,

Take Betty's advice if possible. We made a similiar trip with 6 people in the spring. My husband did all the driving and although he drives manual everyday the mountain roads were quite difficult at times. The size of the van makes things more complicated on narrow roads as well. We found ourselves in some tricky places and much traffic due to construction a few times. We had to have a van with so many people but Scott says next time it's just him and I and a little sports car!!! Sounds ok to me!!!
 
Jul 12th, 2002, 08:21 AM
  #5  
s
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Hello Sara,

The last time I rented from Auto Europe, they upgraded me (free) to a VW station wagon w/automatic transmission. It was only my Mom & me, and I drive a manual shift here at home, so it was pretty ironic. I tried to decline, but this was the only car they had. Anyway, it's probably just what you want -- good pep, seating for (it seemed to me) a football team, and a trunk large enough for all their football gear. Maybe call the AutoEurope representative and see how much that wagon might be.

s
 
Jul 12th, 2002, 10:48 AM
  #6  
mpprh
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Hi

Manual transmission cars always stall on hills .................................................. .............. if you forget to change gear !


Peter
 
Jul 12th, 2002, 03:11 PM
  #7  
Diane Moll
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We rented a van in Austria two years ago with manual transmission. I hadn't shifted gears in years but it came back quickly - if I had a choice, I would definitely choose automatic. I really got tired of constantly shifting, just a personal preference.
 

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