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Rental car for 6 passengers and luggage too expensive!

Group of 6 flying into Bologna early July and out of Munich early August. Checking our usual sources and rental car to support our needs is almost $6,000! Hoping someone can suggest a more affordable rental car option please? We're staying in the Italian Riviera and Oberammergau, Germany areas.

Posted by
68 posts

Two small cars will be cheaper to rent, easier to park, easier to drive, rather than 1 large vehicle.

Posted by
13325 posts

Where are you planning to go that you need a car for?

Posted by
8412 posts

Are you doing a one way rental? If so that could account for ~$1000.00

Do you really need a month long rental? Can you use rental(s) only when truly necessary and avoid a one way rental?

Posted by
694 posts

There is the issue of six people. There is the issue of 6 people's luggage. There is the issue of driving on unfamiliar roads. There is the issue of tolls and auto passes required as you cross borders. I strongly support the suggestion to explore the excellent public transportation network that is available. Although its is not very "American" to take local buses, I have loved doing it in Germany and Northern Italy. If you want authentic take the buses and trains. Getting there can be half the fun... And the "driver" can relax too.

Posted by
3115 posts

Ditto to all of above

Check just renting for Italy, train to Germany then get another rental in Germany
Try to pick up/ drop off same location preferably not at an airport where rates are higher

If you must have a car for that length of time and of the size to accommodate 6 you might want to check into leasing a car
I believe does leasing and there are others

All auto rentals are much more expensive this year - worldwide, due to decreased fleets/inventory during pandemic

Posted by
12791 posts
  • Rent two small cars. One van is generally the same price as 3 economy cars.
  • Also make sure you return the car in the same country otherwise the drop off fee at a different location in another country are huge, as you have noticed. If you need cars both in Italy and Germany, make separate bookings, one for Italy and one for Germany. Cross the border by train. For example you could return the Italian car(s) in Verona, then take the train from Verona to Munich, and once in Munich rent the cars for your German portion of the trip.
  • As suggested above, limit your car rentals to when you really need it. A car is not needed while in a city or to travel between cities. A car is useful only to visit the countryside/rural locations.
Posted by
30 posts

Thanks for the input so far on this subject. Following is some additional information as requested in previous responses- we're staying 2 weeks in Bordighera, Italy and plan to visit areas such as Apricali, Italy, Menton, France and the beaches close to Bordighera almost daily. FYI- it's roughly 3.5 miles from our rental home to the beach. Our overall question is whether we should "bite the bullet" and rent a car for for roughly $6k for the duration or if there are better/more affordable options? We've spent enough time in Oberrammergau to know we do want a car while there for sure.
Thanks again!

Posted by
3115 posts

Our overall question is whether we should "bite the bullet" and rent
a car for for roughly $6k for the duration or if there are better/more
affordable options?

As mentioned in posts above--
leasing is an option
doing 2 rentals to avoid the drop off feein another country

you don't mention what your "usual sources" are
you might see what rate AutoEurope can get you if that is not your usual source

Posted by
7456 posts

We avoided a drop fee of 1000 Euros by dropping off car near border of Portugal and Spain, and taking a taxi across, and renting another car in the second country. It would be more complicated in your case as Italy and Germany do not share a border. Maybe get second car in Austria and train to Germany.. Or train or fly between Italy and Germany. Then rent second car in Germany.

Posted by
3604 posts

Probably cheaper to fly between Nice and Munich, and rent cars in both places.
By the way, the road between Ventimiglia/Bordighera to Cuneo, through France, is closed for major repairs around Tende tunnel and may or may not be ready for the summer. Do not count on it for your sightseeing.

Edit: I see you land in Bologna, but that's far from Bordighera; do you visit other places in Italy?

Posted by
474 posts

There's - a car sharing app that's similar to Turo (where people make their own personal cars available to rent when not using them). Full disclosure, though - I have no experience with it, so it'd be up to you to research it, see if it's something you're comfortable trusting your trip to. Also, these car sharing services often don't qualify for the rental insurance coverages that come with lots of credit cards. But perhaps a car sharing solution might work for when you absolutely have to do some driving locally, and you can otherwise rely on trains and buses for longer distances or one-way trips.

Posted by
12791 posts

The more affordable option is to rent 2 cars in Bologna and returning them in Italy.
Then take the train or fly to Munich, then rent two cars again in Germany (unless Germany has better prices for vans).
Check your options here:

Posted by
726 posts

Roberto has given great advice. Don't rent a car for the duration. It can be a hindrance in some areas.

Rent the car just when you need it. Before leaving Italy, turn the car in and train/fly to Munich, and rent from there.