Permission to drive into/through Italy

Old Aug 26, 19, 7:54 pm
  #1  
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Permission to drive into/through Italy

Has anyone had experience requesting and getting permission or an exception to be able to drive into and through Italy when renting outside of Italy?

Reading the fine print in the rental T&Cs, it seems certain cars (BMW, MB) are not allowed into Italy when rented outside of Italy (say Germany or France). After researching, it appears high incidence of "theft" (real or fake) and the cars disappearing to eastern europe or Russia was the reason for this rule. The language appears to indicate that its possible to get that exception waived, but wondering if anyone had this done successfully.

It seems that in theory there is nothing stopping you, other than by violating the terms your CC or Hertz CDW would not cover you if the car was stolen or even in an accident.

We were interested in driving a nice car on a one way from Munich to Spain going through Italy but most "major" seem to have this exception, and Sixt charges a $1500 one way fee.

Any feedback, a number to call, or alternatives (that dont involve taking the train or flying everywhere) are appreciated.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 10:08 pm
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You are correct. They will specifically ask you if you are leaving Germany (for example) and will adjust the car they give you on where you are going. Also, depending on where you are going, you won't want a 5-series or E-Class due to the size of the road/alleys.

I am trying to recall what vehicles I was given on my holidays to Italy (picked up in Germany), but they weren't BMW or Mercedes. I do believe I had an Audi A4 Combi on the trip that I took my parents on a tour of Europe.

Good luck. I personally wouldn't chance taking the car into Italy if it is not allowed there. To much can happen and you are liable. I also believe there are stickers on the windscreen stating what countries the vehicle cannot go into, but I may be crazy.
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Old Aug 28, 19, 12:27 am
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Any one way which is cross-border in Europe is going to zing you with a massive one way fee. At least €500, probably more.
I've never had a sticker on the windscreen with a country restriction list - but it is printed in the rental documentation that you'll be given. Going against those rules would mean you were driving without valid insurance cover - which if you had an accident opens you up to criminal prosecution, let alone the costs you'd be liable for.
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Old Aug 28, 19, 12:31 am
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Additionally, your plan would require you to drive across France. Depending on route, you may need a "Crit-Air" certificate. A rental car registered in France will have this - if it's registered elsewhere (such as Germany) it won't have it. Probably won't matter and this would be a risk I'd probably accept - but I'm making you aware of it so you know what you're dealing with.
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Old Aug 28, 19, 12:49 am
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You should also be aware that, in all likelihood, the car will be fitted with a tracker that will show where you are or have been. Your insurance is also likely to be invalid if the car is damaged or stolen in a country where it wasn't allowed in the first place. By all mean ask at the counter when picking up the car, but it's not a risk I would take.
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Old Aug 28, 19, 3:04 am
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It has to do with their regional insurance policies.
One can rent fun cars like BMWs in Italy - they are covered there locally.

I see 2 options:
Both Sixt and Avis allow drives into Italy

If you use your credit card for insurance you have to comply with the rental agreement. Since Hertz insurance is not involved, Italy shouldn’t matter for them in this case.
I suggest you communicate with Hertz in Germany in advance about the possibility of endorsing your drive into Italy if you use your CC insurance. Inquiring at the time of rental might be too late as the local reps might not have the authority to do so.

Keep in mind, that if you use the basic CC insurance that covers up to $50K you can easily exceed that limit with a simple car like Audi 5 convertible or a boring E-class Mercedes due to ridiculous European taxes.
Always check the total loss price of the car visible before they hit the print button for the contract
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Old Aug 28, 19, 4:37 am
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Which ridiculous European taxes are you referring to?
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Old Sep 2, 19, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by 91StealthES View Post
You are correct. They will specifically ask you if you are leaving Germany (for example) and will adjust the car they give you on where you are going. Also, depending on where you are going, you won't want a 5-series or E-Class due to the size of the road/alleys.

I am trying to recall what vehicles I was given on my holidays to Italy (picked up in Germany), but they weren't BMW or Mercedes. I do believe I had an Audi A4 Combi on the trip that I took my parents on a tour of Europe.

Good luck. I personally wouldn't chance taking the car into Italy if it is not allowed there. To much can happen and you are liable. I also believe there are stickers on the windscreen stating what countries the vehicle cannot go into, but I may be crazy.
Thank you for the info. So they will lower the rental class based on that? How do they handle the price, etc - they refund you? I get why they do it, but seems deceptive. I hear you on the car class, and we wont be driving into cities or restricted areas - we are driving all the way to Madrid, so we are just driving through and wanted to stop in a few areas roaming the coast. And yes im aware i could go around through Switzerland and France - but that was not in the plan. This has been an unpleasant surprise.

I wouldnt mind an A6 avant if i could secure it.

I have no plans to take it without their permission, its not worth the risk. Hence why I am asking if anyone had any luck getting that waiver.

Originally Posted by rcspeirs View Post
Any one way which is cross-border in Europe is going to zing you with a massive one way fee. At least €500, probably more.
I've never had a sticker on the windscreen with a country restriction list - but it is printed in the rental documentation that you'll be given. Going against those rules would mean you were driving without valid insurance cover - which if you had an accident opens you up to criminal prosecution, let alone the costs you'd be liable for.
It is pretty brutal, i have looked at several companies it goes from as low as $800 to as much as $1800 - we are ok with this fee, it is the price of doing the trip the way we want to.

We have no plans on violating the rental agreement, hence asking about how to get a waiver.

Originally Posted by rcspeirs View Post
Additionally, your plan would require you to drive across France. Depending on route, you may need a "Crit-Air" certificate. A rental car registered in France will have this - if it's registered elsewhere (such as Germany) it won't have it. Probably won't matter and this would be a risk I'd probably accept - but I'm making you aware of it so you know what you're dealing with.
Hmm, i was familiar with vignettes for Austria for example, but i had not heard of this one. I'll have to look it up - it must be something that you can get at a store or gas station like a vignette - or how do EU residents from other countries do it?

Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
You should also be aware that, in all likelihood, the car will be fitted with a tracker that will show where you are or have been. Your insurance is also likely to be invalid if the car is damaged or stolen in a country where it wasn't allowed in the first place. By all mean ask at the counter when picking up the car, but it's not a risk I would take.
Not planning on violating rental agreement - it is a risk that im not willing to take either. My issue is that a change in vehicle class or a restriction at the time of pickup would screw up all the plans. I would like to just have it settled ahead, or find alternatives to do the trip as we want to.

Originally Posted by Firstboss View Post
It has to do with their regional insurance policies.
One can rent fun cars like BMWs in Italy - they are covered there locally.

I see 2 options:
Both Sixt and Avis allow drives into Italy

If you use your credit card for insurance you have to comply with the rental agreement. Since Hertz insurance is not involved, Italy shouldn’t matter for them in this case.
I suggest you communicate with Hertz in Germany in advance about the possibility of endorsing your drive into Italy if you use your CC insurance. Inquiring at the time of rental might be too late as the local reps might not have the authority to do so.

Keep in mind, that if you use the basic CC insurance that covers up to $50K you can easily exceed that limit with a simple car like Audi 5 convertible or a boring E-class Mercedes due to ridiculous European taxes.
Always check the total loss price of the car visible before they hit the print button for the contract
Yes and both Sixt and Avis have the highest one way fees - its Hertz for around $1300 or SIxt/Avis for upwards of $3k for the same time period. If those are my only options then so be it.

My plan was on using my cc for insurance - but my issue is that a restriction from the CC policy is that you must stick to the rental terms. And the rental terms explicitly exclude Italy - so it would be a violation of the rental term unless i have an explicit waiver. I am trying to figure out how to do that. I tried reaching out to Hertz but nobody could help me. Do you have any suggestions on how to reach Hertz right at MUC?
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Old Sep 2, 19, 11:58 am
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Try booking a one way rental into Italy and see what the website spits out. I suspect there will be a restriction one the available cars it shows you. That should be your first clue. Then try calling Hertz central.
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Old Sep 2, 19, 5:59 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Try booking a one way rental into Italy and see what the website spits out. I suspect there will be a restriction one the available cars it shows you. That should be your first clue. Then try calling Hertz central.
Thats the frustrating part, they show all available classes for an 1-way to italy.. If i didnt read the fine print I wouldnt have known. If the difference with sixt (which allows Italy) wasnt over $1,000 then I would just book there.
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Old Sep 4, 19, 3:13 am
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Hello, I rented when I was in Romania a car from Premium Rent, they allow people to travel outside the country by car, but for these, there is a small additional charge. You can try
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Old Sep 7, 19, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Which ridiculous European taxes are you referring to?
The kind of taxes that make BMW 3 series with a small engine cost in The Netherlands approximately as much as a BMW X5 in the USA.

Germany and the UK are more humane.

But in any case, always remember to check the European total loss price (listed on your contract) and match it with the max coverage provided by your credit card
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Old Sep 14, 19, 10:20 am
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Hertz have just updated their Gold terms, so I've taken a moment to review this.
The general rule across all Europe is:
" Unless stated below or in the Country Specific Terms or with the prior written consent of Hertz, Cars may only be taken into the following countries:
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Italy (but see paragraph 5(g)), Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, San Marino, Spain (not including the Spanish Enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla), Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland)."
The specific 5g rule is
"Mercedes, Porsche, BMW or other prestige cars and convertibles of any make must not be taken into Italy"
I would suspect that they'd call an Audi A6 a prestige vehicle, so would not be allowed into Italy
The specific rules for Germany adds on permission to go into certain additional countries (former eastern block), but the Italy prestige restriction still applies.

The only way I can see that you can make this work with a Hertz premium car is to actually start the rental in Italy. Though as others have said, in Italy you want the smallest vehicle that you can fit in. I was upgraded to a Mondeo (Fusion in N America) on my last Italian rental and it was a nightmare in crowded streets and narrow parking bays.
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Old Sep 15, 19, 1:08 pm
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If you're renting in MUC,, at least, they love to upgrade and have an abundance of Mondeos. I currently have one sitting outside that I'm not using due to being sick and stuck at home (cancelling my plans) but it has an autobox,190hp diesel engine, AWD, heated Alcantara seats, sunroof, nav and CarPlay, self parking, radar cruise, and a backup camera. On a group B reservation! Of course I'd rather have an Audi A6 with the same spec, but if there was even the slightest concern over insurance or authorisation then this car can do absolutely everything, for all practical purposes, that the Audi can do.
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