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3 replies
Rental Car - Barcelona to Munich
ashadow07
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Hi All,
I’m thinking of renting a car in Barcelona and driving up the coast through France and cutting up Italy to Munich. Has anyone done a similar trip before? If so, can you offer some insight as to how long it took you and an estimate of the cost in gas/rental? It appears to me that it is definitely cheaper to just fly from Barcelona to Munich, but I’d like to see the countryside a bit. It also seems the eurorail pass is ridiculously expensive(in comparison to flights). Thanks in advance for any help.

oldlady
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A couple of questions: How many in your party? What’s your actual itinerary? If you plan to do the normal tourist thing of just visiting cities and trying to pack a lot of them into one trip, then a car might not be a great option. Seeing the scenery from the train window is easier than seeing it if you’re driving. If you intend to explore rural areas at a leisurely pace, then it’s great. A combination — mainly using the train from city to city with a short term rental or two to explore specific areas — works best for me.

Estimate of costs for a compact car: $500 per week including rental, insurance, taxes, parking, tolls, fuel, fees for renting in one country and dropping off in another. Renting a car usually only makes economic sense for a party of 4. I think you would really enjoy having a car on this trip (assuming you aren’t doing the usual tourist thing of hopping from city to city), but for 2 of you it will cost more than train (Eurail pass may not be the cheapest way to take the train, although it probably will be for this itinerary).

ashadow07
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Thank you for the rapid response. In regard to your questions: – We have 3 in our party. – Our actual itinerary is kind of unknown at the moment. The only thing we really have planned is we are flying into Munich and then we are flying to Barcelona. And then, we want to drive back up to Munich in a matter of about 4 or 5 days just checking out the coast and a little of Italy. – I think we aren’t really planning on doing the normal tourist thing but more into just kind of drifting around and seeing where the wind takes us.

Thanks again for your help!

oldlady
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Car will work well for your plans, and it might be a toss-up with the train for 3. Rule of thumb for using train city to city is $150 per person per week. We loved having a car in the south of France, but the mountain roads and ultra-agressive French drivers were nerve-racking. There is nothing anywhere near comparable in North America.

Some cost issues for car rental that might be kind of hidden in the fine print.

1. Drop off fees for renting in 1 location and dropping off in another — particularly high if two countries are involved.
2. Extra fees or insurance requirements for more than 1 country — a second country often doubles the cost of a short term rental.
3. Extra fees for extra drivers — you probably don’t want to have more than 1 driver.
4. Extra fees (can double the price) for drivers under 25 on some rentals. Renting a car in Europe if you’re under 21 is next to impossible and certainly cost prohibitive.

The right railpass or combination of railpass and point to point tickets can save money. Which railpass were you considering?