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Rental Car vs. Used Car Purchase vs. Eurail. Any suggestion?

Rental Car vs. Used Car Purchase vs. Eurail. Any suggestion?

Jul 7th, 1997, 10:34 PM
  #1  
Kecia
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Rental Car vs. Used Car Purchase vs. Eurail. Any suggestion?

My husband and I are planning a 6-month trip to Europe...traveling all over the continent, including Ireland and the United Kingdom, Scandanavian, and of course Western Europe with some Eastern Europe thrown in. Based on the length of time we're traveling, do you have any suggestions on which of the above three modes of transportation would be more flexible? And if you suggest a used car purchase, where do we begin? Thanks so much for your help!!!
 
Jul 8th, 1997, 11:30 AM
  #2  
Jim Turner
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Hi, Have you considered buying a new car, using it while on your trip and then shipping it back? I know that Volvo has such a program. If you contact your local dealership, they may be able to help you get in contact with the appropriate office. You may wish to inquire about auto license and driver's license procedures and costs. I was stationed in
Germany a few years back. Getting the above licenses was very costly with considerable red tape. Maybe you can find a country that would suit your needs. This would apply to used cars as well. As far as Eurail, their address is http://www.odyssey.on.ca/~europrail/. We
traveled a lot on the trains in Europe and found the Eurail pass the best value. You need to purchase them in the states before you leave. The flexipass would probably work best for you. Note, the Eurail pass is not valid in the UK and some eastern European nations. Best wishes,
Jim
 
Jul 8th, 1997, 04:31 PM
  #3  
Tricia
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Found a neat website last night that acutally has a list made for us showing the pros and cons of car rental versus train travel. I used Alta Vista Search Engine and typed in " Europe by Car" Several websites came up. One talks about air travel within Europe, prices for car rental etc. It suggested renting a BMW for $169 a week. We are renting a VW Camper Bus in Germany (and it did say Germany is cheapest for rental rates) for 17 days. Unlimited miles. My daughters teacher lived in Europe for 6 months, bought a VW bus and sold it before he returned for more than he paid. AAA club has all information on buying new cars and shipping home. They have cost, barge information etc. Read website about crazy drivers in Europe. Actually they are great drivers but we just aren't used to having someone cross a double yellow and come at us headone. It tells what to do and what to expect in close quarters. And what to do when livestock in road etc. George and La Verne Ferguson have a book, "Europe by Eurorail and a website. May be same one mentioned above. 1-800-722 7151 is their toll free number
 
Jul 11th, 1997, 12:16 PM
  #4  
Cheryl
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Kecia, Came across an old book I bought when I thought we would be driving across Europe. Its perfect for you if you can still get new ones. Its by David Shore Pildas and Patricia J. Campbell, l437 Lucile Ave., LA Ca 90026, called THE CAR, VAN & RV TRAVEL GUIDE (EUROPE FREE!) It lists specific places to go and the best countries to buy or lease cars, and camper vans in. Tells how to not buy a lemon, how to get a buy back policy, etc. Tells where to stay and do it nicely and a lot cheaper. Tells how to buy and ship a new car. Hope this address is still a good one. Drop them a postcard and see what happens!
 
Jul 11th, 1997, 03:55 PM
  #5  
Kecia
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Jim:

Thanks for your suggestions! The more we hear and research, it seem that the Flexipass will probably be the best. Have a great weekend.
 
Jul 20th, 1997, 01:18 PM
  #6  
Greg
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Hi, 6 months on a railpass? Just think about this, "No one has seen Europe who has not traveled in it by car. The life of the continent from an auto window is a closely felt, personal experience." (by Arthur Frommer)- and this "Motoring imparts a freedom and a sense of landscape and culture that train and bus travel cannot match!" If now a bit enthused try Moto Europa, 1-800-888 4741. It will calm your fears about the 8 myths of driving and give you lots of good hints for a safe trip.
 
Jul 20th, 1997, 03:03 PM
  #7  
Kristin Lucas
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Hi! I have probably not traveled anywhere near
as much as some of you, but when we traveled by
train and bus in the Czech Republic and Slovakia this
summer, we met real people from those countries. I
doubt we would have met anyone if we had been
travelling by car. Of course, if you're very out-
going about meeting people, then the car wouldn't
hold you back, but having to ask for help forced us
to talk to people, which often resulted in a good
conversation. Just a thought. Kristin
 
Jul 20th, 1997, 06:15 PM
  #8  
Greg
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Kristen, Do you interact with people while resting in your hotel room? A motorhome or camper van allows you to live side by side with the people of the country. And think about this; when riding trains or buses-which allow you to exercise your vision but don't require you to exercise a map--your understanding of the continuum, your mental map, is rarely constructed. The more you let other people think for you the less you'll know about a place when you leave. Train tracks are usually on flat unexciting terrain, and when they are in mountains they are in and out of pitch black tunnels. Can you smell the pine or feel the breeze or hear the birds or taste the local wine?? We can stop and watch that rugby game, or stop in a local winery and hopefully we'll be able to converse...and please don't stay in your room too long...
 
Jul 24th, 1997, 06:57 PM
  #9  
Dennis Holland
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Rent or buy a car. Try AutoEurope located in Portland, Maine. I used to go by rail but found the schedules too confining and to go any distance involves connecting trains, i.e. went from Dresden to Nice, changed trains in Munich and Milan and took close to 24 hours. Highways are very good and if you can drive a standard, rates aren't too expensive. A car gives you flexability to go off the beaten path and many rail lines have been abandoned in favor of local buses.
Dennis
 
Jul 26th, 1997, 11:48 AM
  #10  
Monica Richards
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Get a flexi-rail pass! Last year in Italy we came across so many squabbling stressed couples in their rental cars, while we were relaxed from our train rides. The trains in Europe are very comfortable, they go everywhere, and you don't have to stress while you travel. We wrote letters, napped, watched the scenery and read instead of going through maps and arguing if we missed our turn. In the US we tend to think of driving as being the only way to have flexibility, but in Europe I think it's the opposite. Get a flexirail pass before you leave, and be sure to travel 1st class. It only costs a little more, and the benefits are enormous (nicer, almost guaranteed seats).

Monica
 
Sep 17th, 1997, 08:16 PM
  #11  
Tricia
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sending to 9/17 for info for others
 
Sep 18th, 1997, 05:51 AM
  #12  
Leslie
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It really depends on what you want to see. If you're planning on seeing only major tourist sights, or staying in large cities, then a rail pass should be fine. But if you really want to see the country, you should drive it. Also, consider the fact that only Germany has a good reputation for their trains arriving on time. We found Italy to be okay, but if you're even considering Greece, you should know that they don't really have a train system. This could be a problem in any of the less modern countries, and the buses often don't follow any schedule. Driving also gives you the freedom to go anywhere and to see some of the more off-the-beaten path type of things. However, I have to agree that driving can be stressful and frustrating. Especially in large cities.
 
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