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car rental options coming over the border from Italy - SanRemo? Menton? Nice?

Four adults are traveling in late Sept 2024. We will spend time in Piedmont Italy (flying into Milan), renting a car there. We then hope to drive over into France, stopping in St. Maxime for a night, then on to St. Remy. We know eventually we will drop the car off in Avignon. We have talked to auto europe and the rental prices are so high and not many options that fit 4 passengers plus 4 suitcases. Since they represent other car rental agencies we thought this was the best way to go, but maybe not. We've looked at dropping the Italy car off in San Remo Italy and then renting another car once in France for the rest of our trip to avoid those drop off fees in another country. For anyone that has done this, is San Remo a good place to do this? We are then trying to see if we can rent a car in Menton, France just over the border but not having much luck. Any other options? We also looked into taking a train from San Remo to Nice and then renting in Nice. We are starting to pull our hair out on this car rental business !

Posted by
7612 posts

Haven’t personally dropped off a car in San Remo, but have done car rental (maybe it was Europcar) at the Nice airport and it was pleasant. What results did you get with going by train from San Remo to Nice, then renting at Nice (maybe at the airport)? That would seem to potentially be the least inconvenient and least exorbitant strategy. Maybe the others hang out in Nice (or Villefranche) while the driver (or drivers, if there’s going to be more than one) go to the airport to get the car. If a rental office in downtown Nice, then all can get it over with at once. An office at the airport will likely have the most generous operating hours.

Posted by
10340 posts

I don’t know about Italy, but I have used the Europcar agency in Menton. Nice has all the rental companies at the airport.

Posted by
5114 posts

It looks like there are frequent trains from Sanremo to Nice (with a change in Ventimiglia), that take less than 1 1/2 hrs using the Trenitalia website). And it stands to reason that there will be more rental agencies in a city with an international Airport. You may be making things harder for yourself than necessary by concentrating on finding the closest rental car options as close to the border as possible.