DC10extender
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Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:33 am

Any chance that one could find an automatic instead of a manual? If so, where and from whom?
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pelican
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:41 am

Quoting DC10extender (Thread starter):
Any chance that one could find an automatic instead of a manual? If so, where and from whom?

In which country do you want to rent a car? Here in Germany from mid-size (3series, C-class, A4) upwards you'll get most likely an automatic from all the big rental companies. Bigger than mid-size and you'll can't get a manual anymore.

pelican
 
DC10extender
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:43 am

Germany, Austria, Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands.
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halls120
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:48 am

Quoting DC10extender (Reply 2):
Germany, Austria, Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands.

You can get automatics in all of the above countries. Although in Ireland two years ago, there were slim pickings at Shannon Airport.
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DC10extender
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:50 am

What about vans, something that would carry 5 people and luggage? Or is it mainly cars?
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TheSonntag
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:50 am

It should not be a problem to get an automatic transmission car. I would suggest you to rent a nice big Diesel car, like Mercedes C-Class, E-Class, BMW 3 or 6 series, or Aud A4 or A6.

They all have great automatic transmission gears available (even though nothing beats manual if you ask me), and they are very good for accelerating from 80mph to 120mph in a short time. Vmax would be around 220km/h (around 135 mph), enough for most uses.
 
pelican
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:52 am

Quoting DC10extender (Reply 2):
Germany, Austria, Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands.

I see. Well I can only speak for Germany and as I said before if you rent a mid-size car you'll get an automatic in most cases and if you book something bigger you can't get anything else than automatic. I'll find this annoying because I prefer manual. I made the experience with Sixt and Europcar (two big car rental companies in Germany) that they have a hard time to find a manual for me - at least when I wanted a mid-size car. Sixt and also Europcar told me that they have only very few manual cars nowadays. So automatic will be the standard and manual an exception if you don't rent a small car.

pelican
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:53 am

Quoting DC10extender (Reply 4):
What about vans, something that would carry 5 people and luggage? Or is it mainly cars?

Good cars would be the VW Sharan or Ford Galaxy. They are available with automatic transmission, but getting so at a rental company is probably rather difficult.

Another alternative could be VW Touran or Opel Zafira, great cars, but automatic transmission is seen seldom here. Therefore I doubt you can get them from a rental company.
 
AsstChiefMark
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:59 am

Most of the time, an automatic will make the rental price jump up by 2 to 4 classes.

Last time I checked, a tiny Vauxhall Astra Automatic cost more to rent than a Ford Mondeo 2.0 Manual.

Mark
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pelican
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:03 am

Quoting DC10extender (Reply 4):
What about vans, something that would carry 5 people and luggage? Or is it mainly cars?

Sixt has a SUV rental categorie (Volvo XC90, Jeep Grand Cherokee, SsangYong Rexton). They should be automatic as standard.

pelican
 
pelican
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:05 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 8):
Most of the time, an automatic will make the rental price jump up by 2 to 4 classes.

That would be new in Germany - at least for the rental car companies I've experience with.

pelican
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:10 am

Just a short question: You are aware that you must drive on the "wrong side" when you are in Ireland and the UK, I guess... The rest of Europe drives on the right. So in the UK and Ireland you will have the steering on the right side, while the rest of Europe is like the US.

BTW, Vauxhall and Opel are identical today, Vauxhall cars are the ones for the UK market with the steering on the right side.

Depending on where you travel, you should also consider trains, especially if you intend to travel domestically in Germany or France. However, a rental car should usually be cheaper.
 
AsstChiefMark
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:13 am

Quoting Pelican (Reply 10):
That would be new in Germany

The price of a rental in the UK is guaranteed to increase by 10% to 50% if it has an automatic. That only applies to "working mans'" cars.

Mark
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AsstChiefMark
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:24 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 11):
So in the UK and Ireland you will have the steering on the right side

I find driving a RHD car with a 5-speed quite easy. It's second nature to me. I think a lot of Americans, including those who are used to driving manuals, are a little freaked out by the thought of the RHD/left side of the road thing. So they splurge and rent cars with automatics to "be on the safe side."

I remember seeing a car hire near Gatwick that kept a supply of American Ford Escorts with automatics for their high-strung American customers. They cost three times as much as their British counterparts. That was over 20 years ago.

Mark
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pelican
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:25 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 12):
The price of a rental in the UK is guaranteed to increase by 10% to 50% if it has an automatic. That only applies to "working mans'" cars.

I see. The policy regarding manual and automatic seems to be different in Germany or for the companies I know.

pelican
 
DC10extender
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:49 am

Thanks for the help.
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Duff44
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:14 pm

On a tangent:

My sister is a resident of the UK, and if I visit her I'll need a car. I drive a manual now in the US.

Is it really difficult to make the switch to shifting left-handed?
Also, is the pattern different? On my 5-spd, 1st gear is up/left, 5th is up/right, reverse is down/right

Just curious...
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JAGflyer
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:18 pm

German cars have the pattern R 1 3 5
___________________________2 4

You push the knob down and the stick up left to go into R

[Edited 2007-02-12 04:18:49]
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Fly747
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:18 pm

Quoting Duff44 (Reply 16):
Also, is the pattern different? On my 5-spd, 1st gear is up/left, 5th is up/right, reverse is down/right

Pattern is still the same.

Ivan
 
pelican
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:40 pm

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 17):

You push the knob down and the stick up left to go into R

Where you'll find the reverse gear depends on the manufacturer.

pelican
 
andz
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:55 pm

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 17):

German cars have the pattern R 1 3 5
___________________________2 4

If you have an old cheap one  Smile

My German car has the pattern R 1 3 5
____________________________2 4 6
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ZakHH
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:09 pm

Quoting Duff44 (Reply 16):
Is it really difficult to make the switch to shifting left-handed?

A mere year ago, I drove RHD for the 1st time. Shifting with the left hand is piece of cake. You'll get used to it after seconds, really.

What is tricky about RHD is where to look. I mean, usually, when you are an experienced driver, you would not think where to look first e.g. when turning left. You do it instinctively. But with RHD, you will need to pay more attention on when to look where.

Apart from that, I found it easier than I first assumed. Also no problems to switch back to LHD after returning home.

On a lighter note, after I returned from the USA in '95, I had some more problems adapting back to our traffic. I've been driving several thousand miles during our 5-week trip in the US. Right after returning back to Germany, I wanted to quickly drive to the supermarket, to fill my empty fridge. I had to turn right at a traffic light that was red, but still being in "US mode", I stopped and then proceeded to turn right after seeing that the road was clear.

Had the cops right behind me - they couldn't believe their eyes. Turning right at a red traffic light was strictly forbidden at that time in Germany(it's nowadays allowed at some crossings). They immediately pulled me over and were quite pissed in the beginning. Luckily, as I had just returned minutes ago, I still had my flight ticket with me and could prove that I just returned from the USA.

After hearing my story (and seeing the ticket) they relaxed and let me go with only a warning.
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KaiGywer
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:23 am

I guess by having automatic transmissions in rentals they reduce the risk of people breaking the clutch from abuse.

Also, makes it easier for Americans to rent a car  Wink
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AsstChiefMark
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:22 am

Quoting ZakHH (Reply 21):
What is tricky about RHD is where to look

Getting used to the clockwise roundabouts in the UK took some getting used to. I heard lots of horns and tire squeals around me at first. Now they're a piece of trifle.  Big grin

I sort of enjoy driving with first-time American visitors as passengers. I've never seen knuckles turn so white!

Mark
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BigOrange
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:49 pm

Quoting Duff44 (Reply 16):
Is it really difficult to make the switch to shifting left-handed?

It can be! I drove for 10 years in the UK, then moved here and the switch to right handed shift was no problem. Going back on vacation 2 years ago I couldn't drive for s**t. It's not so much the shift that's the problem, it's remembering which side of the road to drive on!
 
Banco
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:42 pm

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 23):
I sort of enjoy driving with first-time American visitors as passengers. I've never seen knuckles turn so white!

The well known danger spot for us residents is keeping an eye out for Americans joining the M25 for the first time after picking up the car from LHR. You can spot them in the first traffic queue a mile down the road; they're the one's with sweating faces and crying passengers. Big grin
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cornish
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:52 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 25):
The well known danger spot for us residents is keeping an eye out for Americans joining the M25 for the first time after picking up the car from LHR. You can spot them in the first traffic queue a mile down the road; they're the one's with sweating faces and crying passengers.

I believe that's when they suffer from the affliction known as Colnbrook Skidmarks Big grin

Actually with the new junction for T5 so close to the M25/M4 interchange, coming onto the M25 from the M4 is that much hairier for them now.....
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ThePRGuy
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:48 pm

Quoting Andz (Reply 20):
My German car has the pattern R 1 3 5
____________________________2 4 6

Audi?

Thanks
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cornish
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:52 pm

Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 27):
Quoting Andz (Reply 20):
My German car has the pattern R 1 3 5
____________________________2 4 6


Audi?

I believe Andz has a BMW - but my Audi has the same pattern.....
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N1120A
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:33 pm

Quoting Pelican (Reply 1):
Here in Germany from mid-size (3series, C-class, A4) upwards you'll get most likely an automatic from all the big rental companies

Actually, that size class usually gets a manual.

Quoting Pelican (Reply 10):
That would be new in Germany - at least for the rental car companies I've experience with.

I disagree. The times I rented in Germany, automatics were always more expensive. Didn't matter seeing that I don't like driving automatics.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 13):
I find driving a RHD car with a 5-speed quite easy. It's second nature to me. I think a lot of Americans, including those who are used to driving manuals, are a little freaked out by the thought of the RHD/left side of the road thing.

It took a minute, but I had more problems not sitting facing my RH mirror than I did actually driving the car.

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 17):
You push the knob down and the stick up left to go into R

BMW's aren't pushed down, rather they are shoved over. IIRC, Mercedes 5-speeds are similar to US cars in their location of reverse.
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Stealthz
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:46 pm

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 23):
Getting used to the clockwise roundabouts in the UK took some getting used to.

Ah, yes my first experience with North American roundabouts was interesting, likely worsened by the fact that I had been driving there for weeks and thought I had the concept nailed!!

Quoting Banco (Reply 25):
The well known danger spot for us residents is keeping an eye out for Americans joining the M25 for the first time after picking up the car from LHR. You can spot them in the first traffic queue a mile down the road; they're the one's with sweating faces and crying passengers.

The main road North from SYD is a tunnel/toll road, you learn to look out for rental cars so you don't get stuck behind them at toll booths as they likely don't have Aus currency!
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andz
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:23 pm

Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 27):
Audi?

 vomit 

Quoting Cornish (Reply 28):
I believe Andz has a BMW

 thumbsup   Big grin
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pelican
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:41 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 29):
Actually, that size class usually gets a manual.

 Yeah sureNope not anymore. I rent quite regular because I don't own a car. And during 2006 it became really difficult to get a manual for this size. Okay if you rent at Hertz it could be still a manual - I don't have experience with them. And with Avis you probably also could get a manual. But automatic is standard for two of the big rental companies over here. Coincidentally these are German companies which could be less popular among Americans.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 29):
I disagree. The times I rented in Germany, automatics were always more expensive. Didn't matter seeing that I don't like driving automatics.

As always it all depends on the rental company. For Europcar and Sixt there are no price difference at all (that's why I've mentioned them). You just have to check availability with Sixt. And because automatic became standard last year it should be always available. Avis still charges extra for automatic+navi. Nonetheless your always is completely out of place. The biggest German car rental company - Sixt - doesn't charge extra as another one of the big four - Europcar.

pelican
 
cornish
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:46 pm

Quoting Andz (Reply 31):
Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 27):
Audi?


Says the man who's car was styled by Kia Big grin
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andz
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:51 pm

I don't care who styled it, I like it and that's all that counts!  Smile

Let's not let this develop into A vs B!
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
cornish
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:56 pm

Quoting Andz (Reply 34):
Let's not let this develop into A vs B!

 rotfl  It wouldn't be A.net if we didn't  Silly
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N1120A
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:59 pm

Quoting Pelican (Reply 32):
The biggest German car rental company - Sixt

In Germany, I have only ever rented with Sixt and their cars still list with a manual.
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pelican
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:08 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 36):

In Germany, I have only ever rented with Sixt and their cars still list with a manual.

That's why I've said they changed their standard to automatic last year. Trust me I've a Sixt Gold Card because I'm a regualar customer. Last time I wanted to rent a manual 3series they called to tell they don't have a manual 3series available because there aren't many left in their fleet. And concerning the extra charge for automatic you could check their homepage - they don't charge extra.

pelican
 
Gemuser
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:15 pm

My exprience in France, Spain & Italy is that automatics are much more expensive and EVEN IF ORDERED SIX WEEKS IN ADVANCE are often not aviable when you go to pick them up! And I am not talking small out of the way places either, although none of them were at main international airports, I refuse to get off a 24-34 hour flight from Oz and drive before I have had at least 24 hours rest/sleep and 48 hours in a right hand drive country.

Gemuser
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:20 am

Quoting Pelican (Reply 37):
Trust me I've a Sixt Gold Card because I'm a regualar customer.

Next time you are going to rent with Sixt, try it without logging in your card number. Will save you a lot of money.  Wink
 
pelican
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:48 am

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 39):
Next time you are going to rent with Sixt, try it without logging in your card number. Will save you a lot of money.

What do you know what I don't? The price is shown before I enter my number...


pelican  Confused
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:54 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 12):
The price of a rental in the UK is guaranteed to increase by 10% to 50% if it has an automatic. That only applies to "working mans'" cars.

Just checked with our rental team (we act as an aggregator for roughly 5,000 hires a day) and the premium across the board is something in the range from 3% to 6% over the same engine size manual.

Thats inclusive of all the main rental companies in the UK.
 
AsstChiefMark
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:20 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 41):
3% to 6% over the same engine size manual.

Whoa! What are the companies? A posh automatic would be nice the next time I'm there.

Mark
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RichardPrice
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RE: Rental Cars In Europe

Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:29 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 42):

Whoa! What are the companies? A posh automatic would be nice the next time I'm there.

Mark

EuropeCar, Hertz, Budget Rent-a-car, Avis, Enterprise. Our list is endless  Smile

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