Which car?

May 28th, 2010, 12:09 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Which car?

Which economy car would you book? Fiat 500, Panda, or Ford Ka? This is not our first trip but it is our first time to rent a car. I really feel like we should be driving an Italian car while in Italy but we always enjoy sighting the little KAs around Europe as well. Any recommendations?
senorarroz is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 02:46 PM
  #2  
J62
 
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An economy car is an economy car - you wont get the 500, Panda, or Ka even if you reserve it. Those names are merely representative vehicles for the class. You'll get whatever the rental car co happens to have on the lot when you get there. It might happen to be a Toyota, Kia, SEAT, Renault, or Opel model.

If you plan on doing a lot of autostrada/highway driving, I wouldn't get any of those cars, but rather a larger model for speed and comfort.
J62 is online now  
May 28th, 2010, 03:07 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 265
Yes, just go ahead and reserve the class...you may get something else.

That said, we reserved a Panda on 3 occasions and got...a Panda!

You just never know. As long as you are ok with an economy manual trans car, it'll be fine.

Good luck!
Gina817 is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 03:11 PM
  #4  
 
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The Fiat 500 is a favorite of the Top Gear crew. Almost as cute as a MINI which means it's pretty small.
Otzi is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 03:24 PM
  #5  
 
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Gee, I remember a Fiat 500 parking behind my car. Was the same colour. Watching it from a window, a colleage told me.
"Look over there, you car just got a baby"

You wouldn't want to rent any of those cars.
logos999 is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 03:35 PM
  #6  
 
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Is it just 2 of you? If so, I'd go up one class just to give you luggage and shopping space. If there are 3 or more -- then I'd maybe go up 2 classes.

Don't fixate on a make/model since the rental agencies don't guarantee a specific car. The website would say something like >>Fiat Punto or similar<<
janisj is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 04:20 PM
  #7  
 
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How many of you are their? Are you petite, average or large? How much luggage do you have? Do you plan on doing a lot of highway driving?

We are both tall and do highway driving - so we always get a midsize or larger. Frankly the smaller cars just aren't comfortable even for me (5'9" but with long legs) never mind the beau (6'3").
nytraveler is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 05:33 PM
  #8  
 
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Great questions to consider. One more is where will you be needing to park the car? We liked the tiny car b/c we were able to park it on the streets of Naples (no joke) and fit into the most tiny of spots.

We are also extremely light packers so didn't have much luggage to cart around. All that said, the Panda was perfect.

Of course if you aren't concerned about needing to park in small spots and if you need the space, go up a level.
Gina817 is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 05:59 PM
  #9  
 
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I have a lot of car experience and want to reiterate that those are REALLY REALLY SMALL cars. If you plan to have more than 2 carry-on bags you should seriously consider the next level up. Sadly, there is no guaranteeing that you will get an Italian car in Italy!
hausfrau is offline  
May 29th, 2010, 10:36 AM
  #10  
 
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It's true parking can be an issue for those not used to city parallel parking. Being from NYC we're used to wedging cars into spots only a tiny bit bigger than the car - sometimes not easy for someone used to parking only in a mall of their own driveway.
nytraveler is offline  
May 29th, 2010, 12:02 PM
  #11  
 
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if you are considering parking somewhere like Naples, you might like to specify having a car with a separate boot, [aka trunk] rather than a hatchback, so that any luggage or shopping can be hidden out of sight. it might not stop the little blighters, but it could help.

another tip is to park with the trunk hard up against a wall or tree so they can't lift up the lid to get things out.
annhig is offline  
May 29th, 2010, 12:17 PM
  #12  
 
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"you might like to specify having a car with a separate boot, [aka trunk] rather than a hatchback, so that any luggage or shopping can be hidden out of sight"

Every hatchback I've rented in the last 20-ish years has had a retractable or fixed cover over the luggage compartment. They've been as secure as a sedan/coupe w/ a real boot/trunk.

But then again, I've almost never rented the very smallest/cheapest class cars so maybe the tiny basic/stripped down models will be open view in back.
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