a VirtualTourist member from Sebastopol
I'll be in Bassano in mid-September for three weeks to cycle and take many side trips via train, but would also like to rent a car for a week or so to get into the Dolomites to ride. Friends suggested a Fiat Panda is good for this.
Am wondering if it is best to reserve on-line prior to my trip (Hertz in Bassano), or wait and maybe find a cheaper, local rental place? Rentals seem high, especially from the airports.
Any help is much appreciated !
Check rates at 'Europe by Car'. I've booked through them in the past and had excellent results.
And I've user AutoEurope with good results.
1. Airport rentals are usually more expensive, not only because you're a captive audience, but because airport rental offices are open long hours 7 days a week.
2. This takes me to point #2 - if you rent in town (not the airport), do not assume that the rental car office will be open when you want it. It is typical that rental offices in smaller towns are open Monday-Friday, but with a long lunch period when the office is closed, and on Saturday morning. Not Saturday afternoon, and no Sunday at all.
3. Can you drive a standard? While US rentals are almost 100% automatic transmissions, standard transmissions are quite common in Europe. In fact, not only do automatics cost more in Europe, but if you just show up someplace, they're likely not to have any available. Thus, if you have to have an automatic, reserving ahead is required.
4. I am sure that Hertz is expensive; however, from my experience with Avis in Italy, it's even MORE expensive if you wait until you get to Italy to make the reservation. I have no idea if this would be true with more local outfits like those mentioned above.
5. Of course, you will want to take all insurances (which will certainly drive the cost up), although it is my recollection that for Avis, at least, some of the insurance that would be optional in the US is mandatory (and included in the price) in Italy - perhaps one reason the price is so high...be sure that you are comparing apples to apples when you look at other vendors.
Hi Charlie. I note you are from near us so you should rent your car before you go. If you want an automatic, you must reserve ahead. Further, even if a standard is okay with you, it's cheaper to reserve ahead from the US. We lease so I'm no help on renting but three of the companies we've used for leasing also rent so you may want to check them. Here are the web sites.
Don't know your age but some companies won't rent either under or over certain ages. Here is one that will although we have not used it ourselves. It has been highly recommended here on Virtual Tourist.
Check all these sites to find the cheapest rates. The rates vary wildly so it really pays to do your homework. If you need a bike rack, be sure to specify this. We just rent bikes when we arrive; it's simpler. 8^)
Have a great trip.
My husband and I arrived into Milan with two bikes and hired a Fiat Punto - fitted our two bikes in their cases, just, then a medium suitcase and 1-2 other small bags. We drove Milan, Florence, then right up through Trento into Austria, to Immenstadt then back through to Florence where we dropped off. All up was 340 Euro for 10 days with one-way drop.
We're now looking at similar plan to you but staying out of Trento to hit the Dolomites - Monte Grappa here we come!!!
We went through carhire3000.com which got us in with Nova, the agent, with car with Budget. Defo book online - hundreds cheaper!
The Panda has very short wheelbase and my opinion the ride not good. Would recommend moving up to Punto if not too much more expensive.
Hi Charlie, hope you are well. It's one of those 6 of one and half a dozen of the other scenarios. If you wait until you get there and book from the local rental place, you will have no alternative but to pay the price they quote you on the day and that could be high as they will know you need a car there and then. I would suggest comparing a few companies before you go and hopefully you will get a better deal booking earlier.
I use a website called 'The Easy Finder' that compares prices from a number of companies and I find they generally come up with good deals. the address is:
Hope this helps charlie, take care and have a good holiday.