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From digest.v6.n670 Sat May 17 05:40:24 1997
From: Barry Wellman <>
Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 18:00:37 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: <Touring/Car Rentals> Geneva/Europe

A few days ago I asked on this list for info re car rentals and touring this summer in Geneva.

My thanks to Paul Kunz and Gary Price for their timely, courteous, detailed and thoughtful assistance.

Here's what I found out, which may be useful for others touring in Europe.

Where it will cost me (at Hertz) nearly $700/week to rent a BMW 318i, it will cost me less than half (slightly more than $300) to rent a Ford Mondeo 2.0 or Opel Vectra 1.8. (All $$s are Cdn dollars, which equals 72 US cents today.) While the Mondeo is roughly equivalent to a Ford Contour (USA), as is generally the case, it drives/handles much better than its American cousin.

I took the cost saving for my 17 day stay and will forgo the 318i pleasure (alas). Note: as in US, the car you reserve may not be what you get when you show up. I may wind up with a Fiat equivalent, for example (this happened in London, last time).

It is far more economical to reserve a car from North America than to book directly with Hertz in Europe. My sense is that the cost savings are even greater than within-North America differentials.

I may be able to save some more $$s by booking car thru rental agencies I had never heard of -- my correspondent says you actually get the car from Avis, etc. (Sounds like they are brokers.) I am not sure I am willing to trade $$ savings for anxiety in this. The companies mentioned were Kemwel and Swiss Wheels.

As to where to go when you are in Geneva, the most recommended day/weekend trip (by my French friends too) is tramping in the Mont Blanc area. (The pen is no cheaper there, alas.)

Barry Wellman 8-)
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