Friday, May 9, 2008

Renting a Car in Europe

There are some great drives in Europe -- both scenic destinations and wonderful country roads, and some models not available in North America, like the Peugeot.

Renting a car in Europe is expensive -- rates are lowest in Ireland, where it is possible to get a vehicle for under $20 a day. Rental rates for Florence and Rome are double that -- around $40 per day. And car rental rates in Munich and Frankfurt are in between, around $30 a day.

And for that you get a small car with a manual transmission, which can be dangerous for those of us who have been spoiled by automatic transmissions and clutchless sport shifts with names like TipTronic.

That includes me -- yes, even me, who writes about cars and test drives them, too. The thought of a driving a manual transmission in the crazy traffic of Rome or Paris or London fills me with visions of medical evacuation helicopter flights.

If you are staying in Europe for 17 days or longer, you can opt for a long term rental -- in effect, a shor-term lease -- from Auto Europe. You'll get a factory-new Peugeot 308 with fuel-efficient automatic transmission, for as little as $39 a day, based on a 45-day rental.

The deal includes a non-deductible fully comprehensive insurance, the ability to travel into most former Eastern block countries with no additional fees, and 24/7 roadside assistance, most of which cost extra with a 'regular' rental.

Vehicles can be picked up in cities including Amsterdam, Brussels, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Frankfurt, Munich, Lisbon, London, Paris, Rome and Zurich.

According to the AAA, more of us this year than last year will be visiting Europe this summer. Read more about where we are travelling on my Green Travels website.

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