Driving Europe Crazy: 2009
How do you find the cheapest rental rates? What hidden charges can you avoid? What are your tips for dealing with unfamiliar signs, European driving etiquette, and driving on the other side of the road? Is it worthwhile to buy a new or used car in Europe? Is it useful to bring or rent a GPS?
Read the latest car rental advice from Rick.
- Please don't post questions here. Use our Travelers Helpline.
Watch out for Auto Europe
My wife & I went to Ireland this fall to visit a daughter. We discovered that Auto Europe is not a car rental firm, just a broker that uses various sources. The car they provided had 105,000 km of well-worn mileage. Worse, our Visa bill had multiple charges for various amounts and vendors. When done, they charged $102.91 per day (a 10 day rental), and that's after dispute resolution credits. Next time I'll use my Avis or Hertz card.
Gig Harbor, WA USA Wed 12/09/2009
Driving from Dingle to Gakway, Ireland
Rick's Ireland book suggests the route from Dingle to Galway, going straight north and crossing the Shannon River on the ferry, thence along cost via Cliffs of Moher This is indeed a great route. But - we suggest not trying to do it all in one day. Much better: stay overnight in Lahinch or Ennistymon - great villages; have more time to visit cliffs in next morning, then continue liesurely on to Galway. All in one day is stressful and leaves too little time for good stops en route.
Kalamazoo, MI USA Sun 11/29/2009
Returning rental cars
That's why you wait and get a RECEIPT before you leave your returned rental car...
USA Fri 11/06/2009
Auto Europe / Europcar Rip-off
In early September, 2009 I rented a car through Auto Europe. The rental agency, Europcar, located at the Tours train station was our pick-up location. We were issued a VW Touran, and after driving directly to Chenonceau, we realized the air conditioning was not working. We returned the car within 3 hours to the Tours Europcar location. We did not plan on returning to Tours in our agenda, and the need to do so cost us 2 hours of drive time and 1 hour at the Europcar office to get a different vehicle. They had a smaller vehicle with a half-full tank of fuel available left. We asked them to write on the new agreement that we only needed to return it with a half tank of fuel. The car had a nasty habit of "cutting out" (stalling) at will - not a great experience in hill towns! When we dropped the car off in Sarlat 7 days later, we were sure to fill the tank to 3/4 full just in case. We returned it at 10:30am and took the 12:12 bus to Souillac to catch the train to Paris leaving at approx 12:30pm. When we returned home, I found that Europcar had charged me to fill the gas tank, and charged me an extra day, saying we returned the car at 3:30pm. We were half way to Paris by then! I have tried for two months to get this straightened out with Auto Europe to no avail. Avoid Auto Europe and Europcar!
Denver, CO USA Mon 11/02/2009
We used SIXT, the biggest company in Germany and satellites everywhere. We paid $1,500 for a Mercedes Benz Vito panel van for 3.5 weeks. We bought mattresses from Ikea and car-camped. Cheapest way to see Europe. Don't even need excess insurance, since Germany requires collision on all cars. Also, make sure you get GPS, what a difference to plot your course ahead of time.
sandy, oregon USA Wed 10/21/2009
Driving in Europe, dont be afraid!
After hearing all the horror stories about driving I was a little nervous, but after actually getting behind the wheel I loved it! We were a family of five and I think its the only way to go, I drove everywhere- big cities, small hillside roads, one lane roads and I dont consider myself brave at all. We went for the month of Sept, had no problem finding parking, found everyone to be aggressive in their driving but not dangerous. It was funny to see however that no lane is restrictive you can drive in both left and right!! The Autobahn even has slow drivers in the fast lane just like America, something that has changed drastically since my last visit years ago.
Auburn, WA USA Tue 10/13/2009
Environment Badges in Germany
You need an environment badge to drive in the center of most Germany cities or risk a 40 euro fine. Renault Leasing did not supply one, but directed me to a Renault Dealer in Frankfurt, which provided one at no cost. The normal cost is just 5 euro
Omaha, NE USA Fri 10/09/2009
Bad AutoEurope experience.
I booked a car through AutoEurope for my trip to Croatia and Slovenia. AutoEurope confirmed that the Sixt office in downtown Zagreb had confirmed the availability of the car so I paid for the rental, and showed up in Zagreb with the paid voucher.
Sixt's Zagreb office said they had no car available for me and said they had never informed AutoEurope of any availability. In fact, they said AutoEurope had never contacted them! I was thoroughly shattered since I had not planned for this scenario. But the Sixt agent was very helpful and he called a different car rental company (Uniline: http://www.uniline.hr/croatia/car_rental_croatia.php) and asked them to send a car. He also asked them to honor the rate that I paid to AutoEurope.
All in all, the Sixt agent came to my rescue, and I could complete the rest of the vacation as planned. BTW, AutoEurope did refund me the money, but I don't think I'll be using them ever again.
Oakton, VA USA Sun 10/04/2009
GPS and Tolls in Ireland
I have just returned from a driving vacation in Ireland. My friend drove and I navigated. We have two tips to offer as a result of our experience. 1. As others have suggested, we strongly urge the use of a GPS or "SAT Nav" (satelite navigation) as they call it in Ireland. However, we found point- to- point driving directions from the Michelin website as recommended by Rick to be equally important. The GPS was not up to date with recent road changes at some critical spots and our Michelin directions provided essential back-up at those areas but the GPS was far easier to follow in the towns. It was important to have both! 2. There has been a recent change to the toll system on the M50 motorway around Dublin. It is not possible to pay the tolls on the road itself. A camera takes a photo of your car's license plate and you are required to pay the toll by 8 p.m. the following day --or be sent a ticket. We were told by the car rental agency we could pay the toll at any gas station. We stopped at several gas stations between Cashel and Killarney but none knew where we could pay the toll. The desk manager at our hotel that evening in Killarney also didn't know where to pay the toll and suggested we try a convenience store not far from the hotel--they were also unable to help. We finally found a Texaco station on Muckross Road on the way to Dingle the next morning where we were able to pay the toll (3 euros each way). The system is certainly not tourist friendly--unlike everyone and everything else we came across in Ireland. If there is any expectation of traveling on the M50 during your trip, we suggest requesting more specific information when picking up the rental car to save valuable time and limit frustration.
Philadelphia, PA USA Wed 09/30/2009
Travel Guard auto rental insurance
We bought Travel Guard auto rental insurance online for an upcoming trip to Spain and downloaded the description of coverage (DOC). I then went looking for the actual policy, which was not emailed to me and not posted on the company web site. I called and received a copy of the policy in the mail a week later only to find out that the list of "exotic vehicles" excluded from coverage is much longer in the actual policy than in the DOC and includes common economy rental cars such as Citroen & Fiat. (The DOC lists Bentley, Lamborgini, etc.) Though Travel Guard claims they use the DOC in processing claims, the DOC explicitly states that the Policy rules in the event of a conflict with the DOC. I complained and was given an email address to request a refund. (I'll let you know how that goes.)
Manchester, Maine USA Sat 09/26/2009
Car Rental Insurance
I recently rented a car in Germany through Avis. I found it very difficult to get clear information on insurance coverage. When you buy car insurance in the U.S. you expect to get specific information on your coverage for liability, collision, theft, personal injury, etc. You have to pull teeth to get that when you make an online reservation for a car in Europe. Avis did not have any online information on liability insurance; I had to call several people to get more information and they seem to be reading a script without really understanding it. Avis lets you opt for "Personal Accident Insurance" and "Theft Insurance", but did not provide any information on the coverage details.
Check your car carefully for any scratches, smudges, etc. Avis is apparently looking for any way to charge you for anything. The next time I rent a car I plan to take digital photos of the car before I accept it.
John R. Murphy
Oakland, NJ USA Thu 09/24/2009
Car Rental in Europe
I recently rented a car in Germany. I had requested an Audi A3. When I picked the car up I was told that I was upgraded to an Audi A4. At first I thought that was a good thing. When we got in the car, we realized that was a problem. The A4 has more gadgets than you can shake a stick at and the attendant made no attempt to explain the gadgets. The car manual was in German without a German/English dictionary. We finally figured out the heating/cooling, but the radio was a complete puzzle. The car apparently had navigation, but we could never figure it out. The car apparently has a rear sensor that warns you when you are getting too close to an object when you are in reverse. We were never told how that worked.
Summary: Make sure the car representative does not leave until you fully understand all the features of the car. Visiting a U.S. dealer for a car you plan to rent is not allways helpful. You don't know if you are going to get the make and model you requested. You don't know the model year you are going to get. European versions of some cars have different features than the cars sold in the U.S.
Oakland, NJ USA Thu 09/24/2009
Car Rental in France
I recently booked a car rental in France through Europebycar.com aka Holiday Autos. Because the rental began the day before my 25th birthday I questioned the additional charges which would be applicable and booked the car based on the knowledge that at most I would pay a surcharge for one day. When I arrived in France the supplier, National/Citer, levied a charge of 203 euros(an underage assessment for 7 days),almost doubling my car rental charges. I contacted Holiday Autos and they have agreed to refund to me 174 euros or the equivilent of the 6 days of overcharge. It is very refreshing to deal with a company that is responsivre and customer oriented. This is especially good considering that the supplier responsible for the overcharge, National/Citer, would only agree to refund 58 euros. I highly recommend Holiday Autos for European car rental.
Washington, DC USA Fri 09/18/2009
Overcharged on Auto Europe Rental
For a recent trip to Ireland we rented a car through Auto Europe; the Irish rental agency that provided the car was Sixt. Sixt provided a car of lower value than we had paid for, charged a drop fee that Auto Europe told us we would not be charged, and charged an addtional "win and tyre" fee that was not disclosed by Auto Europe. In all we were overcharged around $130. After complaining to Auto Europe, Sixt refunded around $90. Read your contract carefully and be alert for undisclosed charges. I would be reluctant to use Auto Europe again.
Sebastopol, CA USA Fri 09/18/2009
GPS in Europe
Having just returned from several weeks of travel in France I STRONGLY recommend using a GPS. We purchased ours at home, and brought it with us...making sure that we had the Europe maps already installed on the unit. What I can say is that GPS completely took out the stress of driving in a foreign country, and allowed us to take detours without fear of getting lost. Our GPS also informed us of tolls (we paid more in tolls in France than we did for fuel), accurately estimated time to arrival to our destinations, and alerted us to the photo radar (everywhere). Do not let anyone talk you out of getting one, or try to tell you a map is just as good....it's not. Let me put this another way, what would you pay to prevent the marital tension from driving daily and struggling to find your way? A GPS was the best thing I ever brought with me traveling.
Vancouver, BC Canada Sat 09/05/2009
Lease a car
For a three week Italy trip we leased a car. To avoid a 550$ fee to pick up our French car in Italy, we flew into Nice and drove to Italy. What a drive! Leasing was great. We had a minor accident, no problem! If your stay in Europe is more than 2 weeks, consider it.
Minneapoli, MN USA Sun 08/30/2009
Autoeurope/Europcar car rental
Here's a hidden charge I strongly suggest that you avoid. Based on Rick's book on France I decided to take a train from Paris to a city in Normandy, rent a car the train station there and then return it at the train station before returning to Paris. This way I don't have to drive around in Paris. Great advice but Rick didn't warn about the hidden charges of renting at the train station. Autoeurope arranged a car for me through Europcar. On the contract there were 24 "terms and conditions" buried in fine print. One of them was a surcharge of $79 for renting from a train station. This surcharge did not appear on the "total cost" line of the contract and therefore I didn't know about it until I actually got back my credit card statement. Therefore, my advice is to beware of this.
Los Angeles, CA USA Fri 07/31/2009
Transfers Amalfi Coast Italy
I agree with Peter from Copenhagen, Anthony Buonocore is an excellent choice for getting around the Amalfi Coast. Courteous, punctual and most importantly a careful driver on those twisty narrow roads.
Salisbury, England Mon 07/27/2009
limo service Amalfi coast Italy
Limo service - Amalfi coast Me and my wife from Denmark have used Anthony transfers excursions Amalfi, for the last 2 years - and his a very good driver and punctual, and a nice peson. www.amalfitransfer.com
Copenhagen, USA Fri 07/24/2009
Those paper clocks should be in the glove box. Or at least they have been in every car we have rented.
Reading, Pa USA Thu 07/23/2009
Recently rented a minivan through Europcar, out of Zurich. We encountered multiple issues with the Minivan, including a breakdown in Metz, France. Reaching someone to assist, through Europcar's "Breakdown line", was difficult, as they will transfer you many times. You will end up dealing with a Road Side Assistance firm, that is not affiliated with Europcar. Europcar is now refusing to pay for the towing service, and their customer service is abysmal. I'd avoid this firm at all cost. Their prices are good, but their service is terrible, especially if you have an issue.
Suwanee, Ga USA Thu 07/23/2009
Car Rental Tips
Rented through Auto Europe Good experience overall, though they didn't have good directions for finding the rental car location at Charles DeGaule Airport. Also, in Munich the Hertz place initially was going to charge me 120 euros extra, until I pointed out the AutoEurope price promised me.
Don't forget to buy a little paper clock sign to put on dash when parking around Europe. No one told me about these and I got a ticket for not having one.
Melbourne, FL USA Mon 07/20/2009
Car/Limo Service - Amalfi Coast viciintiy
I agree with Rob Armano & Nordic Traveler. The easiest way to get around is by transfer vehicle. I have used Anthony Buonocore/www.Amalfitransfer.com while vacationing along the coast. Anthony was punctual, courteous, and was well versed in the history of the coast. His mini-van was very comfortable and air-conditioned. And most important, he is an excellent driver, he handled the curvy road and the chaotic traffic quite well. I would highly recommend his services. My husband and I will use his services again. You won't be disappointed.
new york, ny USA Wed 07/15/2009
Forget the Car Rental!
I recently traveled to Rome and Sorrento, with my wife and seven year old son. Forget about driving in Rome or Sorrento during the summer season. Instead,we enlisted the services of a yound man by the name of Anthony Buonocore. Anthony provided us with transfer service from Rome to Sorrento (and back!), as well as an excursion to Amalfi, Positano and Ravello. His company is called Amalfitransfer (www.amalfitransfer.com). I didn't know Anthony from a hole in the wall, but my wife and 7 year old son, (who Anthony nicknamed Mimmo!), really enjoyed his company! As it turns out, Anthony is a native of Amalfi, and truly has a knack for bringing the coast alive. He is the type and kind of individual that, I'm sure, readers of Rick's guide books would enjoy. Moreover, it should be noted that Anthony provided punctual, efficient service that really reduced the anxiety level. As previously noted, I have no affiliation to Anthony. Just thought you might like to hear about a quality individual who provided is with excellent service. Ciao!
North Andover, MA USA Sun 07/12/2009
Agree: Skip Car Rental on Amalfi Coast
I agree with a previous post about Amalfi Transfer and 'Anthony'. My family and I are three, my wife 10-month old son and I, and we found his company online. We were a little nervous about relying on an unknown driver in the South from Napoli Airport to Ravello, but he was fantastic.... around a 100 Euros each way. We'll use him again and highly recommend him.
Copenhagen, Denmark Sun 07/12/2009
We rented a car for week in Germany through Gemut.com. Bob Bestor and his crew are nothing short of fantastic! Not only did I get a rate that was 30% less than what I could get from other vendors but also got tremendous support is dealing with an overcharge from Avis we found on our CC after returning. Bob provided great counsel on the best way to handle claim and made sure we understood all the deadlines for recovering the erroneous charges. We will definitely use Gemut of our Europe rentals in the future. Steve P
Pullman, WA USA Sat 07/11/2009
Bring rental car back full and still pay!!
Gas - we recently rented a car in Ireland, thru Auto Europe. I've rented many times through Auto Europe and find they have the best prices. If you find a lower price they will match it or beat it. Anyway, this time I did not read the fine print on my voucher which said to bring the car back empty because I would be charged for a full tank and no refund for unused gas. That was a costly oversight as we filled it before we returned the car for about 60 Euro and then got a separate bill for 74 Euro. Seems this is a new trend with car rental agencies. This is NOT a choice. I have found the same thing in Hawaii too. If you don't pay attention it could cost you. I think it is unethical as there is no way to bring it back empty, especially on a short rental, and they add about 30% to the local prices when they charge you to fill it. Remember if the tank holds 20 gallons that is the amount of gas for which you are charged. It doesn't matter if you bring the car back with zero gallons, ten gallons or twenty gallons still in it. Beware!!!!!!
Waikoloa, Hawaii USA Mon 07/06/2009
Car rental advice
Rented a car in Nuremberg, was upgraded to a car with a GPS installed. What a time saver! Found Autobahn on-ramps easily, located gas stations, distances to points of interest, etc. I highly recommend getting a car with GPS, or bring your own.
San Diego, CA USA Mon 06/22/2009
I rented from Europcar in Frankfurt and should not have bought the CDW Insurance for ~$300 as it invalidated my credit card insurance and after I minor accident they demanded I pay 779.50 Euros which would have been covered by my credit card insurance, but wasn't covered by the insurance I paid $300 (or was it 300 Euros) for!!!
Anniston, AL USA Wed 05/27/2009
European Car Rental
I rented a car twice, for three days each, on my latest two and a half month tour of Europe.
The first rental was in Pisa. I made the reservation with the avis.com for a very good price but when I picked up the car, the rental contract had an quite inflated price. I wrote on there that this was not the price I was quoted before I signed the document (if I had signed it I probably would have been stuck for the higher amount). The next day, the lady at Avis called and advised me that there had been a "mistake" and they adjusted the price.
I drove around the Tuscany area and saw a lot of things I could not have if I had not rented a car, got to mountain villages that would have been extremely difficult to get to with buses/trains. I saved quite a bit on accommodations as I could choose out of the way places that were quite cheaper. Meals too were quite cheaper and just as good as the great restaurants in Rome or Florence.
My last day was in wine country and it was extemely picturesque. Returning the car to the Pisa airport is extemely easy and the airport is right in the city (it probably is very easy to fly into Pisa as well).
I also rented a car in Lyon, France, again through avis.com but this time there was no problem at all with the contract. They gave me a Renault C4, diesel, which was great, drove well, good pickup and fifty miles per gallon.
The French countryside is awesome, so quaint and beautiful, and I loved all the little towns I drove through. I would stop for an hour or two, take pictures, talk with people, then be on my way. Again I saved money on hotels and meals and saw things I couldn't with buses/trains.
French drivers, at least in the countryside, are the most courteous I have encountered. The people were also friendly and welcoming.
New York, NY USA Thu 05/21/2009
rental car dropping off in another city; returning car tip
Just thought I would mention that in Germany it is much less expensive to rent a car in one location and drop it off in another city. In the US, there can be quite a penalty for doing so. We picked our car up in Frankfurt and left it at Mannheim and I think the charge was $50. **TIP** re: finding out where to drop the car. At the Mannheim rail station, there was no obvious rental car parking lot, nor in the terminal was there a rental car desk. It caused quite a panic upon arrival at the rail station, and with speaking almost no german and being taken by surprise that there was no obvious HERTZ lot or desk, it was not fun. Find out EXACTLY where to leave the car & keys upon return; other travelers have mentioned this difficulty, so I thought I would mention it.
San Diego , CA USA Sun 05/10/2009
Children's booster seats
If you need a car seat, make sure you tell the rental company when booking your reservation ----and tell them the age of your children. You do not want to arrive with a 7 year old and find that your car is equipped with an infant seat!
San Diego, CA USA Sun 05/10/2009
Use Google Maps--Renting a car in Rome
If you go to maps.google.com and have a free Google account you can make "My Maps". I used this to find a car rental pickup in Rome near a metro station so I wouldn't have to drive out of the center of Rome. Just copy/paste the addresses from the car rental web site and save each to "my map". We used autoeurope.com in March 2009, and had good luck picking up at the Via Tiburtina, 905 location. It's a short walk from the Rebibia Metro stop, and they speak English. From there it's a short, easy drive to the Autostrada.
Also, I used the "Street View" feature to see where I had to drive before going. You can see the signs, exits, traffic lights, everything. Just drag the little man from the top of the scale tool onto the map anywhere that lights up in blue. Everywhere in Rome seemed well covered.
You can see the map I made at: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=101092523724110064839.00046412b569531b111c6&ll=41.926803,12.527161&spn=0.23091,0.617981&z=11 but be careful, since the locations may not match the current offerings.
Other observations: autoeurope.com has a pretty good web site. It's easy to change pickup and dropoff locations, dates, etc., and see the effects on price. They didn't seem to charge extra for airport or train station locations, and one-way rental seemed about the same as returning to the same place. There was an extra fee of about 20 euros added for some sort of local tax/licencing, but otherwise we had no unexpected charges on the rental. (The contract did warn about this charge, but didn't say how much it would be.)
Driving in Italy (north of Rome, at least) was not bad at all. A GPS probably would have been nice, though they can have their own quirks. (I'm not used to using one.) I looked at prices and decided against it. Don't remember how much it was, though. We got a Michelin map book, and it helped, but we still would have liked to have had more detailed city maps. Also should have spent more time understanding the map book. The system isn't immediately obvious. They don't sign the route numbers, only the next little berg up the road. Without a good map you can't navigate at all. We drove around traffic circles more than once to read all the signs and figure out which way we needed. After dark was the worst. You need good eyesight, too, as the road signs are small.
Oh, we drove to Vernazza, in the Cinque Terra, but the road down the mountain was _very_ narrow and windy. Even being used to Idaho mountain roads I found it a bit nerve-wracking. Fortunately, there wasn't much traffic going either direction. Next time we'd try to park in La Spezia and take the train, or try to arrange it so we did the Cinque Terre either before or after renting the car. We basically parked the car for nearly 2 days while there, so it wasn't an ideal use of the rental time.
Boise, Idaho USA Thu 05/07/2009
Travel France Anytime Train Pass
We purchased 2 trips to Nice from Paris and 2 trips back to Paris from Nice. We recieved conformation letters and our credit card was charged. we also received a set of confirmation letters to access and recieve our tickets At the Paris Gard de Lyon we were issued tickets by a rail France agent. On the train to Nice the conductor said our tickets were not good and we were forced to buy tickets from him.The ticket cost now is tripled as its in Euros. At the nice Gard de Ville Rail France said they had no record of any transaction with them even as we showed them all of our documentation. We have now had to purchase another set of tickets to return to Paris all out of pocket. I would not use this type of ticket at all. I have eMailed them and they havent or wont reply. Upon arriving back in the states will have to fight it out. if any one knows how to contact rail France in US from Europe please reply
Roy C Wright
Westminster, CA USA Tue 04/28/2009
Swinoujscie to Germany border open for cars
In contrary to many other reports the border between the German island of Usedom and the Polish sea side resort town of Swinoujscie/Swinemünde is open for both pedestrians and cars! As a matter of fact there are now two border crossings and now checks as Poland is part of the Schengen zone as well.
Frankfurt, Germany Thu 03/26/2009
20% more at Train Stations & Airports
It's not just Sixt that charges 20% more for pickup at the train station or airport...all rental companies do that.
USA Mon 03/02/2009
Sixt Rental Cars
If booking through Sixt rental car online, make sure to check both the English (www.sixt.com) AND the German (www.sixt.de) sites for rates, I found that there was a difference of over $40 per day on many cars, and some cars could be found for $60 less per day on the German (.de) site. Also Sixt charges you 20% more PER DAY if you either pick up or drop off your car at an airport or other "premium locations", so taking a taxi into the city to pick up your car could save you a few hundred dollars.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 02/28/2009
Do yourself a favor go with Ezio in Rome
I recently traveled to Italy beginning of 2009. We took Rick's advice from his new book and call Ezio's car service Auroservizi Concezio Monti to take us on a tour of Rome and to stop and go at all the sights seeing places. As a chauffeur myself here in the states I really admired and respected the service he provided and out of all of the things I spent money on in Italy Ezio was the best money spent. I could of rented a car and struggled with where to go and what to do first to try to make the most of my time there. We told Ezio in general what we want to see and do and he showed us everything and more. Even little places, views, secrets of the city that we would never ever know about. Even if you have never hired a car service with a chauffeur before Ezio is highly recommended.
ALBUQUERQUE, NM USA Wed 02/04/2009
It is my suggestion that anyone travelling to Italy and who does not have a car stay as close to the train station as possible. We truly felt taken advantage of. We would get charged whatever our meter said but then get charged extra fees for our bags-for EACH one, even if it was a backpack. A 5 minute taxi ride from our hotel in Rome to the train station cost 17 euros!! RIP OFF. Establish the price before you get in the taxi.
Anaheim Hills, Ca USA Mon 01/26/2009
European Rental Car
Hello...In October,we made rental arrangements through Gemut. We picked up our car in downtown Munich for a week and dropped it off in Innsbruck. Driving in Germany and Austria was a breeze with our GPS that was included with the car. The only problem we encountered was that the Avis rep spoke little english so it was a little difficult to communicate. Other than that we had no other problems! I highly suggest you contact Andy at Gemut.
Columbus, oh USA Sat 01/10/2009
Driving in Europe is no worse than driving in the U.S....driving in the countryside is a breeze, driving in cities is a pain (better to park in the suburbs and take public transit into the city centre). We did a month long driving holiday in Europe and leased from Renault http://www.renault-eurodrive.com/ You get a brand new car, unlimited mileage, 24 hour roadside assistanceand no VAT tax. Only drawback was you had to take it in for a mandatory oil change and servicing within the first 1000 kms. - you have to pay for it, but you get reimbursed when you return the car (so keep your receipts). You have to book you car before you arrive in Europe.
Boston, Mass USA Tue 01/06/2009
We travelled for three weeks in Italy this summer. We rented a car and brought our own GPS with us. I would recommend a GPS for anyone renting a car. Investigate bring your own as the rental costs for GPS are high. As an added bonus you then have one when you are at home.
We used it extensively and found it a reliable assistant. We also had maps and of course used common sense when navigating. The presence of a GPS allowed us to travel back roads and tour areas we may not have seen because we knew we could always be guided back to our hotel.
Coquitlam, BC Canada Fri 01/02/2009