Help! I will be renting a car from Rome at Fumicino. Has anyone had good luck with Auto Europe or Maggiore.
First, I've used Autoeurope five times since 1995. Each time, they've been terrific. I highly recommend them.
That said, expect a longer and more confusing check-out procedure than you get in the states. It takes forever. And be very sure to inspect your car.
As far as insurance, you need to call your own agent and your credit card company. I think I read this advice from Rick Steves, but I do it. I call both and tell them where I expect to be driving and ask what they'll cover if I total the car.
We are renting from Auto Europe in October at FCO as well. As far as I have read they are recommended by readers here and Rick. It was pretty painless to do the reservation on line. My angst was more about driving in Italy.
My husband and I have rented and leased from AutoEurope several times. No problems. If you find a lower rate after you book and pay for your car, they will reimburse you the difference and give you the lower rate if you are renting.
We just got back from Rome, and we rented a car from AutoEurope. They are a broker/consolidator that represents all of the major rental agencys (Europcar, Hertz,Avis, etc.), and they are reccomended by many travel agents.
We rented from their website, and picked up our car at one of their options in Rome; Villa Bourghesee. (Looking at the website, we could see that picking it up at the airport was 20%+ more.) They gave us a map, with good directions, and it was easy to find our way out of town.
Whatever you do, DO NOT rent the smallest car that any agency offers. Many times they are underpowered cars that have problems on the freeways. This happened to us. We had rented the smallest Fiat Punto,we're trying to merge onto a freeway, and we're almost run over by a tour bus.
Remember, that most of their cars are "manuals", and that many use diesel (gasolio). The diesel cars get fantastic mileage, and are prety fast. Also, large cars are not easy to park or drive thru small towns.
We've always used Auto Europe. They always have the car as promised - never had to settle for an "or similar".
At Fumicino I'd ask them to have someone assist you in getting the car out of the garage. We had issues with blocked lanes on our last trip.
Thanks for all of the advise. Did anyone refuse the car insurance and use their credit cards insurance instead?
I have rented cars through Auto Europe in Ireland and France. In both countries I was able to decline CDW because my World MasterCard covered me. (Most cards EXCLUDE coverage in Ireland so I was lucky.)
Here is a quote from autoeurope.com specific to the rules for Italy:
"In Italy Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and theft protection are mandatory. CDW reduces the deductible (responsibility of the client) to US$125-US$1180. Theft protection reduces the deductible to US$305-US$1180. Third party liability insurance covers a maximum of US$2,000,000 in case of damage or injury to people or property outside of the rental car. Fire insurance is also included in our rates."
We used Auto Europe last month for our 2 weeks drive from Sicily to Pisa. They put us with a car from EuropeCar - it was great - no problems. Had to take the CDW though as my AmX does not cover Italy. Usually we decline this coverage and even had AmX pay for a badly dented bumper in Germany. We also could not get AmX coverage in Ireland so used the insurance from the rental company there as well.
Driving in Italy was not bad (2nd time) and directions were fairly easy. The only time we got lost was driving to our B&B in Tropea. Had a few tight squeezes in Ravello but my husband rather enjoyed the drive. We made great time despite notices of roadwork. And it really is the only way to go in Tuscany.
If you are also looking for an alternate rental company, try http://www.sixti.com/