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CAR RENTAL COMPANY SUGGESTIONS

Hello all

we are planning a trip in July to Germany, Austria and Italy. And I was wondering which rental company is the best? We'll be starting from Munich and finishing there as well. Couple of other related questions.
What is a Environmental badge in Germany and if you rent a car from the airport would it have the badge?
How and where to buy Austrian road tax stickers?

Thank you in advance

LT

Posted by
26087 posts

@L

I was wondering which rental company is the best?
None of them and all of them. Which one won't rip you off, which one will the car you want, which one is cheapest? Could be any of the majors.

What is a Environmental badge in Germany?
A windscreen sticker required in most large cities in Germany which shows what pollution class a vehicle falls into. You match up the colour of the sticker on your vehicle (probably green) with the signs as you enter the city. You then enter or not as allowed.

a car from the airport would it have the badge?
If it is German registered. If it is one dropped off from a different country, maybe not.

How and where to buy Austrian road tax stickers?
The vignette (you may as well give it its real name) (you will be in German speaking countries so when asking for it pronounce all the syllables including the final E) is available at highway rest areas as you approach Austria, maybe 10 to 20 km from the border, and at filling stations on minor roads closer to the border. There will be a big sign and picture of the vignette with words on it like "Vignette Hier" or "Vignette" or "Vignette verkaufen". You stop the car and go inside and ask the helpful attendant for a Vignette, and for how many days. It MUST be stuck to the inside of the windscreen following the multi-lingual instructions with pictures printed on the back of the vignette. It is an offence with a suitably high fine to stick it on with tape or not stick it on or lay it on the dash. Cameras and real people just inside the border will catch you and have no mercy.

If driving into Italy each driver MUST obtain prior to driving an IDP - only available in Canada at CAA offices. Beware dreaded ZTLs and watch your speed, especially on the Brenner Pass.

Posted by
2703 posts

Hi LT,

We recently returned from a trip to Germany, Austria and northern Italy. Picked up and returned the rental car at Munich airport. Very easy.

We've rented cars through Andy Bestor at: www.gemut.com for our last 4 trips.

Be sure to let the rental co. know you intend to drive into Italy before paying/reserving or getting a quote. Rental co.'s don't allow some higher end vehicles/models to be driven into Italy. We always have a compact and it's never been a problem.

Our car had the badge (sticker) on it. You can simply ask before taking the car.

The toll sticker (Vignette) can be bought right after leaving the airport at any highway rest/gas stop. Approx. cost is 8 Euro for a sticker good for 10 consecutive days.

For the CDW ins., we used AmEx's "Premium Car Rental Protection Plan". Cost is $24.95 for the entire rental period, up to 42 days, not per day. Make sure to use the same AmEx card for reserving/paying for the rental and at the rental counter for any local road taxes, etc.

I also get an IDP (International Drivers Permit) from AAA before leaving. It's good for 1 year. I've never been asked for it (10 trips), but better safe than sorry.

Paul

Posted by
48 posts

Thank you to the both of you Nigel and Paul for your helpful answers and tips. They are much appreciated. Paul we are planning almost the same trip as you Munich, Austria ( Salzberg, innsbruck) Italy ( Verona, Venice, San Gemiano), so if you have any advice I would love to hear it. Same for you Nigel, you two seem to know the area very well.

Thanks again gents

LT

Posted by
12040 posts

"What is a Environmental badge in Germany and if you rent a car from the airport would it have the badge?"

As Nigel mentioned, these are issued based on the model and age of the vehicle. You can probably be close to 100% certain that if you rent a car in Germany, it will have the necessary green sticker already affixed (hence, no urban driving restrictions). The yellow and red stickers are mostly issued to tractor trailers, farm equipment or much older automobiles. For most tourists, the environmental sticker is a non-issue.

Driving in Austria- make sure you understand all the rules of the road, including both the explicit and implicit rules for changing speed limits. The Austrian Verkehrspolizei are extremely strict.

I'll let someone else explain the crazy urban restriction zones they have in Italy.

Posted by
2703 posts

Hi again LT,

Your trip will be in July, starting and ending in Munich. That's not much to go on as far as giving suggestions, opinions, or advice.

Paul

Posted by
48 posts

lol I guess you are right. That's because the Mrs. is planning the logistics. We start in Munich go down to Innsbruck then San Geminniano, Verona, Venice, Salzburg and Munich. We going to be 4 adults and a child. Hope that helps. Trust me, any suggestions or advice would come handy. As places for sight seeing or eating, or entertainments.

thanks

LT

Posted by
48 posts

Paul

By the way what do you think of AmEx's "Premium Car Rental Protection Plan"? Was it any good? What does it mean liability not included?

Thanks again

LT

Posted by
2703 posts

Hi LT,

We've never been further south into Italy than Bolzano. That said, I'd think about going from Munich to Salzburg, Zell am See, over the Grossglockner Hocahalpenstrasse into the Dolomites to the Alta Badia, then to Venice, San Geminiano, Verona, then to Innsbruck, Mittenwald/G-P area then back to Munich.

Not sure how many days/nights you have, but a loop trip like this would work.

Thankfully I've never needed to use the AmEx policy. Basic liability is included in the car rental. The CDW is the extra charge.

Paul