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Renting a car in Italy

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Jul 9th, 2014, 03:32 PM
  #1
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Renting a car in Italy

Hello,

We are arriving in Rome for two nights, going to Tuscany for 5 nights, then to Cinque Terre for 3 nights, and to Venice for 3 nights. My questions is: Where should we rent the car if we only need it for Tuscany? I was thinking of taking the train from Rome to San Gimignano, renting the car there, and then dropping it off at the same spot and taking another train to CT? Or should we just rent from Rome and drive up to CT ourselves turning it in somewhere outside of La Spezia? Are costs that much higher (like they are in states) if you pick up and drop off separate locations?

Thank you!
wendyanne75 is offline  
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Jul 9th, 2014, 03:51 PM
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The rental car scene has changed dramatically since the financial crash of 2008. One keeps reading more and more about scams, reminding me of the late 70's. And then there are those dreaded ZTL zones.

Car rental prices have never been more insane, and a lot depends on whether you rent Manual or Automatic, and whether you take one of the varied insurance "extras," which is all part of the new money game. Airport rentals will now cost you more than city center. And the fee to drop in another city has inflated.

Where you should rent depends on what you want to see, where you might want to stop, what is most convenient, what is the safest, and what is your budget. A lot of questions to think about. Eventually you'll need to punch in some numbers to see what your options are and how the financials fall.
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Jul 9th, 2014, 03:59 PM
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No train to San Gimignano, and no car rental near SG as far as I know.

What day of the week would you be picking up the car? Is San Gimignano your first destination?

If you want to pick up the car not in Rome but as far south as possible so that you can drive through Tuscany to SG, then that would be Orvieto. You can walk from the train station there to the car rental offices, but it's not open Saturday afternoons or on Sundays. If you want the fastest option to SG or want to rent on a Sunday, take the fast train to Florence, taxi to the airport and get your car there.

You can probably drop the car in La Spezia, but you'd have to check your rental company about that location, whether there is a drop fee and whether the fee is large enough to make you reconsider the logistics at both end of the rental.
Jean is offline  
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Jul 9th, 2014, 04:03 PM
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"And the fee to drop in another city has inflated."

I've noticed that too.

If you must rent a car with automatic transmission, you'd have the most luck at either the Rome or Florence airports. A company might confirm this option for another location, but there's no guarantee such a car will be there when you arrive.
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Jul 9th, 2014, 04:30 PM
  #5
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We are staying in a farmhouse about 10 miles away from San Gimignano, arriving on Thursday from Rome. We haven't nailed down exact itinerary, but will be exploring the Tuscany area, and coming from Rome could really go anywhere convenient and pick up a car...I thought for some reason the train stopped in SG, but must be wrong. So we should probably go somewhere where there is easy train ride from Rome, and then to Monterosso which is our next stop. Probably Florence or Orvieto then makes the most sense? Budget isn't a huge issue, and we will pay more for convenience if it makes sense, but trying to balance pros and cons of pick up and drop off points. Will look into Orvieto and Florence to see. Thank you!!
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Jul 9th, 2014, 04:44 PM
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Use www.autoeurope.com to check on pick up and drop off sites. Then book through them as well.
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Jul 9th, 2014, 04:47 PM
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Orvieto is your best bet---the Hertz outlet is near the train station. Be there before 13:00---they may close for 3 hours then. Use Autoeurope or Kemwel.
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Jul 9th, 2014, 04:54 PM
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I love the drive to Tuscany from Rome, and I've done it numerous times. I find it very easy to pick up my car at Europcar on Via Sardegna, near the Villa Borghese, and quickly exit the city through Porta Pinciana. Avis is also nearby. The drive north is a piece of cake from this location. You can arrange your car reservation through AutoEurope.com and request these locations.

There are too many places that I love to stop along the way, and Orvieto is just one of them. The drive is so fabulous, if budget isn't a concern, I would get into the car as quickly as I can and go exploring.

For a drop-off in another city, I doubt I would trust anyone other than Auto Europe for that rate.
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Jul 9th, 2014, 05:15 PM
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Europecar, Avis and Hertz all have locations near the villa Borghese. I would pick up the car there. I have done this several times for day trips out of Rome.
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Jul 9th, 2014, 05:25 PM
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We have used Autoeurope for years, always the toll free number.
RonZ is offline  
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Jul 9th, 2014, 07:27 PM
  #11
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So if we were to pick up the car in Rome (which actually does sound like a great idea!) where would you suggest we drop it off after our Tuscany visit if we are heading to Cinque Terre?
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Jul 10th, 2014, 04:50 AM
  #12
 
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You might want to consider dropping off in Pisa and taking the train to CT. I just did a quick rental car check (for one week this October) and the one way fee was pretty modest ($68/week for a Magane or similar). Much more convenient it would seem.

Also - you need an International Driver's Permit (IDP) for Italy, available at AAA.
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Jul 10th, 2014, 07:23 AM
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I would check that number---sounds way too low.
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Jul 10th, 2014, 09:14 AM
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bob - I was surprised so I did it twice - on avis.com which I've used in the past.
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Jul 10th, 2014, 09:20 AM
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Thanks!! will look into it
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Jul 10th, 2014, 09:32 AM
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Hmmm ! I just $270 for a compact with a drop in La Spezia on Autoeurope, which includes Avis among its vendors.
Check the insurance coverage. AE will match any quote--give them a chance by phone---888-223-5555
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