Rental Cars in Italy

Old Sep 14th, 2010, 02:38 PM
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Rental Cars in Italy

We'll be in Italy next May and will rent a car (automatic and 2 people). Has anyone had experience with rentals from Avis or Budget vs Kemwel? Or any other suggestions.
Thanks
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Old Sep 14th, 2010, 02:48 PM
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I rent every year through Kemwel. I've never had a problem.

If you see a lower rate elsewhere for the same car class/coverage, they will match it unlike Avis or Budget. Kemwel is a consolidator, not a rental car company, so your actual rental will be with Europcar, Avis, etc.... just cheaper than renting directly through the rental car company.
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Old Sep 14th, 2010, 03:01 PM
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Thanks - are most rental cars diesel?
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Old Sep 14th, 2010, 03:09 PM
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Autoeurope is often recommended here - we went through them for our trip in April with no problems. Not all cars are diesel although ours was. You will pay more for an automatic and it's not a guarantee - we ordered an automatic already and received a manual. Where are you picking up your car?
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Old Sep 14th, 2010, 03:13 PM
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Picking up and returning at Marco Polo/Venice; possibly drop in Piazzale Roma but will be returning after they close and am not excited about paying after hours drop charges.
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Old Sep 14th, 2010, 03:47 PM
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I rented from http://www.economycarrentals.com/ because they are cheaper than Autoeurope or Kemwel and the price includes the CDW coverage with no deductible. However, the car was returned to its original location. They might not be cheaper if it's a one-way rental; I know that they are not in France where I can have the CDW covered by my credit card.
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Old Sep 14th, 2010, 04:33 PM
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This may help. The Autoeurope customer service has saved me several times after the fact. Have fun !


DRIVING IN ITALY & SOUTHERN EUROPE

Q. SHOULD WE DRIVE IN ITALY?
A. Of course you should if your driving skill & confidence would allow you to drive a rental car in Vermont, Colorado or California. But, be advised of these tips:
* Avoid driving in the major cities except for picking up or dropping cars
* Have good maps—study them in advance—and have a GOOD NAVIGATOR.
* Stay in the right lane except when passing and use your rear view mirrors

Q. WHAT CAR SHOULD I GET AND WHERE DO I GET IT?
A. It is best to rent your car before you leave for Europe. The best source we have found is www.autoeurope.com [800-223-5555] who is a broker for several car vendors. They will quote you prices to include the variables that are often omitted by others, such as unlimited mileage, mandatory insurance coverage with some deductibles, and VAT taxes. It is wise to compare prices and coverage with their sister company at www.kemwel.com. Autoeurope will match any comparable quote, and are famous for their customer satisfaction if problems do arise with the vendor. The best model will depend on your needs, but for best value we suggest you select a compact car with manual transmission. Automatics are available but will cost you about 30% more and may limit your model options & pick up locations.

Q. ARE ITALIAN DRIVERS AS CRAZY AS I HAVE HEARD?
A. Yes & no! They are certainly aggressive, but they are also more skilled than many USA drivers—both are a function of necessity. Italy is one of the most crowded countries in the world and the drivers have evolved these characteristics
* They are notorious tailgaters. If that bothers you, pull over and let them past.
* On the AUTOSTRADE they will drive fast, but will stay in the right lane except when passing and will use their blinkers when passing—YOU SHOULD TOO !
* They will often pass on 2-lane roads with traffic coming. Frankly, they expect you, and the oncoming car, to adjust to the shoulder and make 3 lanes of traffic.

OTHER ROAD TIPS FOR YOUR DRIVING SANITY:
1. Learn the meaning of the sign “ SENSO UNICO” and take heed [ONE WAY ].
2. Be sure to get your ticket when you enter the AUTOSTADA system & be prepared to pay the toll when you exit it [ rule of thumb—300 km=15 Euro]. You can use your credit card in the VIA lane at the toll both, or buy a debit VIACARD in advance.
3. Do NOT attempt to follow road numbers—that will frustrate you. But, do pay attention to the directional signs that point to your destination [ TO MONTALCINO]. And, be aware if that road leads eventually to a larger city [ ROMA—SIENA ETC.]
4. Unless you have a diesel car, you will want to fill the tank with benzina from the green pump. Most stations will pump gas for you and will take credit cards.

NOTE: As of 2005, an International Drivers Permit[IDP] is required in Italy.
You can obtain them from your local AAA office. You will need a valid US driver’s license, two passport photos, and $15. The photos can be taken at the AAA office.
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Old Sep 14th, 2010, 05:04 PM
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And on another note:

http://www.infonegocio.com/xeron/bruno/italy.html
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Old Sep 14th, 2010, 05:25 PM
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We usually use hertz since we get special corporate rates. Also we generally pick up at the largest location - either airport or center city - to ensure that we get the type and class (automatic and mid size, preferably with sport engine) that we reserve. the smaller the location the less likely they are to have exactly what you ordered unless is it economy/compact and standard.
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Old Sep 14th, 2010, 06:48 PM
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Thanks to all for their input!
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