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rent cars in France and Italy

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
This is not about skiing, but I'm going to France and Italy in June. I will need to rent a car in Milan and then Lyon, France. Anybody know the best sites for rent cars. Thanks
post #2 of 22
cheaper usually if you go through a travel site like opodo.fr
post #3 of 22
snow-forecast.com has discount auto rentals through AutoEurope I believe and they are about 20% less than market. You have to be a member but the deal is pretty good. The cost of membership is minimal and the web site provides great snow forecasts. The web site is run by the Ski Club of Great Brittan.

We also will be in Radda in Chianti the last half of June. Where will you be?

Mark
post #4 of 22
Check your rental agreement and insurance clauses with extreme caution in Italy. Make sure that you don't have to "buy the car" if there is an accident or there are subtle but deadly "clauses" that put you on the hook for damages.

I made it as far as the Italian border ... and a little voice said to check the rental agreement .... I could have driven all over from France to Moscow .... but the little clause was there. In essence, driving in Italy voided any and all insurance including my (I'm pretty sure), extra American Express coverage. Big bold letters in the contract ... under no conditions shall this vehicle enter or be operated in Italy ...

The answer I was given later .... "they are crazy especially in cities" ...
post #5 of 22
i booked mine at avis.com
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly001
cheaper usually if you go through a travel site like opodo.fr
just to be clear, opodo works mainly with Hertz. You'll get a cheaper rate if your sale orginates from opodo's site rather than directly from Hertz's site.
post #7 of 22
Try kemwel.com they are usually cheaper than autoeurope.com, which owns kemwel.
post #8 of 22
I rented with alamo this winter - was pleased. They didn't exclude Italy (rented in Germany - spent most of the time in Austria, but did cross over into Italy for a few days) - but I can see why some companies would. It was amazing what a difference crossing a border made: one side is neat and orderly in fine Germanic tradition - a few kilometers later and the roads are governed by complete and total chaos. Fun times.

J
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake75
It was amazing what a difference crossing a border made: one side is neat and orderly in fine Germanic tradition - a few kilometers later and the roads are governed by complete and total chaos. Fun times.
It's considered very bad form to actually hit anything or anyone in Italy. They pride themselves on driving on the edge of reason.
In Germany they routinely try and drive someone off the road or into a bridge pier for some small driving transgression while hauling down the autobahn at warp speeds. They, too, pride themselves on driving on the edge of reason.

Conclusion, driving in Italy, while 'unstructured', is a whole lot safer than Germany, let alone US where 48,000 folks die on the roads each year :
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by TruckeeLocal
It's considered very bad form to actually hit anything or anyone in Italy. They pride themselves on driving on the edge of reason.
In Germany they routinely try and drive someone off the road or into a bridge pier for some small driving transgression while hauling down the autobahn at warp speeds. They, too, pride themselves on driving on the edge of reason.

Conclusion, driving in Italy, while 'unstructured', is a whole lot safer than Germany, let alone US where 48,000 folks die on the roads each year :
I kind of agree with that.
Italians have little patience for road regulations, they make their owns. But once you'll catch the spirit of it, you'll find they are actualy very good and efficient drivers and that everything will go smoothly.
OTH, to insert your car at 120MPH on the fast line of an autobahn among porches and BMW cruising at 150 MPH is...an interesting experience also.
post #11 of 22
My Hertz rental last June, out of Malpensa, only went 133 mph.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by TruckeeLocal
It's considered very bad form to actually hit anything or anyone in Italy. They pride themselves on driving on the edge of reason.
In Germany they routinely try and drive someone off the road or into a bridge pier for some small driving transgression while hauling down the autobahn at warp speeds. They, too, pride themselves on driving on the edge of reason.

Conclusion, driving in Italy, while 'unstructured', is a whole lot safer than Germany, let alone US where 48,000 folks die on the roads each year :
I read somewhere that "deaths per km driven" are three times the US rate in Italy and twice the US rate in the Germany. Can't find it right now, but this was interesting:
http://www.safecarguide.com/exp/stat...statistics.htm


Europe - In 1995, according to a 1998 World Health Organization Press Release WHO/57 , two million traffic accidents resulted in 120,000 deaths and 2.5 million injured people in the whole European region. occupants, and an injury rate six times higher than that of car occupants.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog
I read somewhere that "deaths per km driven" are three times the US rate in Italy and twice the US rate in the Germany. Can't find it right now, but this was interesting:
http://www.safecarguide.com/exp/stat...statistics.htm


Europe - In 1995, according to a 1998 World Health Organization Press Release WHO/57 , two million traffic accidents resulted in 120,000 deaths and 2.5 million injured people in the whole European region. occupants, and an injury rate six times higher than that of car occupants.
A few retorts. Clearly Americans drive many more miles than Europeans, generally, which will drop the fatalities by distance metric considerably.
When I look at traffic deaths by population all three countries are in the same ballpark - Germany 10.58 (the highest), Italy 8.33, US 7.37 where the number is the ratio of traffic fatalities to population
Which supports my observation that driving in Italy is (slightly) safer than in Germany - perhaps it's better to say that it's slightly less dangerous.
But here's the real kicker. In Europe about 25% of traffic fatalities are to pedestrians and cyclists, in US closer to 5%. Vehicle occupants in US are indeed in a precarious situation :
post #14 of 22
Have gotten great rates and no hassles with Europe by Car.
post #15 of 22
Not sure how long you're going for, but you can lease French made cars (from Peugeot, Renault & Citroen) if you're a non-French/Eu citizen. I beleive in comparison to hiring leasing it's cheaper if you need the car for greater than 17 days.

We're getting a Peugeot C8 for over a month of driving through France, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia & Croatia this coming August/September.

Here's a couple of sites with more info:

http://www.globalcars.com.au/Leasing/Peugeot.aspx
http://www.europeshoppe.com.au/carle..._leasing.shtml
http://www.europetravelcentre.com.au/Leasing/
post #16 of 22
I use holidayautos.com
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake75
I rented with alamo this winter - was pleased. They didn't exclude Italy (rented in Germany - spent most of the time in Austria, but did cross over into Italy for a few days) - but I can see why some companies would. It was amazing what a difference crossing a border made: one side is neat and orderly in fine Germanic tradition - a few kilometers later and the roads are governed by complete and total chaos. Fun times.

J
I have a different experience - drove many times the route Czech Rep - Germany - Austria - Italy (mainly to South Tirol and Lombardy) and never experienced anything near to total chaos in Italy. It's just different, but I can't say more or less dangerous.

But once you go more south in Italy, things on roads are getting weird and crazy. So be carefull!
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice. Got cars rented in Italy and France. Hopefully will survive the experience. My first car rental is out of Milan rail station centrale. Driving from there to a town called Barga which is close to Lucca. I'm guessing leaving Milan will be different than driving in Maui.
post #19 of 22

Driving in Italy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui Steve
Thanks for all the advice. Got cars rented in Italy and France. Hopefully will survive the experience. My first car rental is out of Milan rail station centrale. Driving from there to a town called Barga which is close to Lucca. I'm guessing leaving Milan will be different than driving in Maui.
I don't think it will be as bad as the Hana Highway!!
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yah, at least the kids won't get carsick.
post #21 of 22
I've driven at least 5000 miles in Europe over the last year. I was even involved in a minor accident with a rented car in Italy (not my fault). Took place on the Venice Lido. Spent an hour sorting it out with the Carabinari. No problems. And yes, the car rental company did include Italy on the list of insured countries. Police report was filed, in Italian of course, and nothing ever came of it. Picking the car up at the central station in Milan makes it relatively easy to leave the city... just follow the signs leading to the A1. Either San Marino or Bologna is your general direction.

My take? Don't worry about it. I have a blast driving in foreign countries. Be assertive behind the wheel and go for it. I used to live on Maui and know the road to Hana pretty good... including the dirt section beyond the 7 Pools Area. The Hana Highway is a piece of cake compared to some major European cities. Driving in Rome was like being in battle. Get the smallest car that will still carry you and your things. Big cars in Europe are often impossible to park in the big cities. The smaller, the better. Another thing, in just about every European country the rule of the road is the far left lane is for passing only. It is not a fast lane meant for continuous driving. It's considered a passing lane. Same goes for the A-Bahns in Austria and Germany. If someone comes up behind you and splits the lane (driving in both lanes at once) that means get the heck out of their way. The speed limit might say 100km/h on the signs, but don't be surprised to see people doing almost double that. On the A-Bahns the sky is the limit on the unrestricted sections. Having a car that only goes 200km/h gets frustrating... getting passed by Audi Wagons going 140-ish is embarassing after the 50th or 60th time. I found that when asking how long it would take to get from A to B I could usually knock 25% off the time. And that was just keeping up with the faster flow of traffic. Each major city is a little different. If you can afford it, and if your rental doesn't already have one, purchase a Euro spec TomTom. It'll make life easier.

Aloha
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. Makes me feel a little better about getting out of Milan. Other than leaving and coming back to Milan, we'll be staying out of cities in Italy. We're staying in a town called Barga which is close to Lucca. In France we rent a car out of Lyon airport and drive south to a town called Dieulefit near Montelimar. Both places are near mountains and I hope to get some hiking and mt. biking in. If anybody familiar with those areas, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks
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