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Renting a car in Italy

Pueblo, Colorado
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Renting a car in Italy

Boy, after reading all the comments, I am scared to death to rent a car in Italy. Just one person had a good experience and that was long ago in 2008! I am planning on renting a car for two weeks. I want to drive from Rome to Tuscany and then to Venice. Is this unwise?

Has anyone had a good experience renting in Italy? What is a good company? The companies in the comments section indicated that most of them falsified damage, employees didn't care and there were hidden costs. ???

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1. Re: Renting a car in Italy

I've used Hertz. No problems for me. I probably paid through the nose but I wanted to be able to call Hertz US just in case.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Renting a car in Italy

People who have a bad experience post their rants. People who have no complaint see no reason to post.

I have rented cars in Italy a number of times, and have driven around 10,000 km there. Never any problem with a rental company, and not one ticket. You will be fine, provided you do not try to drive into Florence or Pisa: visit by bus or train.

You can rent from a major with confidence; but bear in mind that, apart from the name, there is no connection between Hertz US and Hertz Italy. Same with Avis or any other brand name.

AutoEurope is an agency that arranges cheap rentals with the major companies. The UK site is sometimes cheaper than the US one, so check out both www.autoeurope.com and www.auto-europe.co.uk

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3. Re: Renting a car in Italy

there is no connection between Hertz US and Hertz Italy

other than the fact that I can call the US phone number and talk to the US Gold Card rep and thell them to deal with the problem. But I had no problem. Peace of mind was good. Perhaps mispent money but worth it to me.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Renting a car in Italy

And the Gold Card rep may or may not be able to do anything about your problem. Hertz in the US cannot give orders to Hertz Italy: they are separate companies sharing a franchise brand name.

Bay Village, Ohio
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5. Re: Renting a car in Italy

We rented a car thru Auto Europe in 2005 for 3 weeks. We picked it up at FCO, drove to Positano, then to Florence (we had a parking space behind our apartment), on to Venice (where we left it in a parking garage for 3 nights), and then back to Rome where we dropped it off. No problems at all. We rented a car thru Auto Europe again this past October for 9 days. Picked it up at FCO and drove to the Val d'Orcia area of Tuscany where we spent the entire time exploring all the wonderful little towns. Again, no problems (so far - I always wait for the unexpected ticket!).

Houston, TX
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6. Re: Renting a car in Italy

We have rented cars in Italy and, when we lived in England, have driven our own car there. This includes driving on the island of Sicily. Never had a problem, but we were careful about where we parked and watched our speed. If you learn the signs and the language as it pertains to driving before you go and exercise common sense all can be well.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Renting a car in Italy

The car will be usefull in the Tuscan country side, but completely useless in city centers such as Rome or Venice. Not only is the traffic bad in Rome, but there are very tight restrictions on where you can drive, even with a rental car, and you may incur HUGE fines!!!

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Renting a car in Italy

we have rented many times and always return at a different Italian city than we rent from -- we use Kemwell or Autoeurope which are consolidators so that actual agency maybe Hertz or others but the conditions are Autoeurope conditions e.g. I have read that Hertz charges a drop fee but we did not pay one this fall renting through Autoeurope with the agency being Hertz.

we have never had any actual problem that we couldn't deal with by being careful -- we always document every scratch, make copies of paperwork that describes this and are careful to meet deadlines, return the car with a full tank and get a receipt on return that says the car is gassed and undamaged

we also make sure our auto insurance covers us in Europe and this year since we had to get a travel insurance medical policy for my husband, we got one that included additional car coverage.

yes car agencies are crooks but if you are careful you can avoid getting hosed or at least we have so far (we learned this lesson in the US where a rental agency did charge us for pre-existing damage that they themselves dismissed as trivial when we pointed it out when we picked up the car -- so now we document EVERYTHING much to their annoyance -- but haven't had problems since)

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Renting a car in Italy

in our experience the notion that the UK site was cheaper was not true -- the difference was in what the original quote included -- there were some sort of mandatory insurance fees in Italy that were not quoted in the UK quote but then added as you progressed through the rental arrangement -- compared item to item they were not cheaper -- we priced through both sites

Portland, Maine
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10. Re: Renting a car in Italy

We have traveled to Italy six times for a total of over 4 months of time. Each time we have rented a car through Auto Europe and never had a problem. This includes one 5-week trip when we traveled from Gallipoli (Apulia) to Bolzano (Alto Adige)--all together we have driven in almost every region of the country. That said, we don't enjoy cities so see those mostly at the start of the trip (before we pick up our car) or as day trips where we park on the outskirts and then take public transportation to the center. In particular if you want to see Venice I highly recommend returning the car when you enter the city. The car really is useless there and parking is very expensive. (We have found it useful in Rome-but, again, we stayed on the outskirts.)

For the last few years we've had a GPS and that made our navigation much easier. Auto Europe runs occasional specials where it includes the GPS for free with the car rental--we usually wait for one of those to book since they can be expensive to add to a rental.