rental car woes

Old Jan 2nd, 2005, 07:01 PM
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rental car woes

I am meeting friends in Lucca, Italy, but need a car to be picked up in Zurich and dropped off in Nice. Does anyone have any tips on how to avoid outrageous dropoff fees, or general bargain tips on car rentals in Europe?? Right now I am being quoted from $900 to $1200 for a week. Help!
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Old Jan 2nd, 2005, 07:21 PM
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It's almost impossible to return a car to a different country, without a large drop off fee. We checked last year and the Geneva airport , though in Switzerland, is on the border with FRance and you can rent a car on the French side of the airport and return at Nice with no charge. (of course that is NOT Zurich), but just an idea. I think Geneva would be closer to Lucca anyway than Zurich.(unless you already have your plane ticket!) Have you tried Hertz, AutoEurope, Avis etc for comparison? (however they always want to know if you are taking the car into Italy...and the REQUIRED extra insurance adds up!)
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Old Jan 2nd, 2005, 07:37 PM
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can you take the train??
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 02:34 AM
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It really would be helpful to know more about your actual itinerary or travel plans. You may be able to combine the use of rail and then a rental car or vice versa. Now is the time to find out if others think your plan will work and possibly avoid those totaally unnecessary drop-off charges as well.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 12:54 PM
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Thanks for your thoughts so far. My itinerary requires us to fly into Zurich (the joy of using "miles"). We arrive on Friday morning and plan to be in Lucca late Saturday. We will be leaving the following Saturday morning for an immediate flight out of Nice. I am beginning to consider train options. Any good Eurail websites?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 01:01 PM
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Take a train to Lugano, Como or Milan. Rent an Italian car. Return it Friday afternoon (not Saturday morning) in San Remo. Spend the night there (consider the Nyala Suites Hotel). Take the short train ride from San Remo to Nice (Gare SNCF); take a cab ride from there to the airport.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 03:43 PM
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Rex has a good idea for renting and returning in Italy. (with train on both ends).. our son and wife (on honeymoon) two years ago flew into Zurich and took the train to Milan, rented a car there., My husband and I have picked up a car in Lugano (but... oops, that is Switzerland!, and we did it to continue north on the Switzerland part of the trip (after having visited Italy!) Or as Rex mentioned, perhaps Como for pickup! It's a lovely train ride from Zurich.
Or even the train all the way, IF your friends in Lucca have a car...OR rent one there yourself since you'll be spending the whole week in the area!
Sounds like a great trip.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 04:20 PM
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Can't help with the Zurich-Nice problem, but I can recommend a very good, very reliable rental agency in Lucca itself: Autonoleggio Giglio. Family run, lovely people, reasonable rates. They brought a car to the port when we wanted to visit Lucca while on a cruise, then brought us back at the end of the day. I still receive Christmas cards from them several years later. [email protected]
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 05:15 AM
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 05:24 AM
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For train schedules and fares, go to rail.ch, the Swiss Rail website. It is easy to use.

I personally would take the train the whole way, and rent a car for a few days in Lucca if you want to see the countryside. Car rental is not cheap, insurance is mandatory in Italy, gas is US$4.50 a gallon and parking is not easy to find in most towns. For just point to point travel, a train or cheap European airline is the best way to go. Some airfares are cheaper than train fares. A mother load of info can be found at http://www.discountairfares.com/lcosteur.htm
and http://www.thissen.net/lowcost.html
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