Europe Inexpensive Auto Rentals

24 Heures du le Mans, 1961

24 Heures du le Mans, 1961 Art Print
Beligond, Michel
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By all rights, the subject of auto rentals has no place here. For, unless you're a party of three or more persons who can split costs, traveling by car is not the cheapest way to travel through Europe. Proof for that statement? Assume that you've bought a round-trip air ticket to Amsterdam. You can extend that ticket to Rome and thereby obtain extra-city stopover privileges in such widely-scattered spots as London, Brussels, Paris, Zurich, Geneva, Nice, Rome, Milan, Frankfurt, Hanover and Bremen.

Furthermore, car travel will necessarily limit the number and variety of your stops in Europe. For, while distances on a European map may seem short, they are deceptively short. Excepting only a few major highways in France and Germany, the normal European road will not permit you to travel as fast as you might in the United States. And if you're to cross mountains on your ride, you'll crawl. The route from Munich to Venice may seem like a short one-but it's over the Alps!

Finally, to complete this recital of horrors, European auto rental agencies are not normally geared to permit the free exchange of cars from city to city. In the United States, a tourist may drive a rented car from New York to Chicago, for example, and then leave the car with the agency at Chicago, where it'll be rented to someone else. Under the European system, you would, in contrast, have to pay a driver to pick up your car in Chicago and drive it back to New York. Though there are some exceptions to this role, normally you must add a stiff pick-up charge to the cost of renting a European car.

But having painted the foregoing gloomy picture, and having conceded all the drawbacks, I can now with good conscience assert the following stubborn proposition: no one has seen Europe who has not traveled in it by car. The life of the continent from an auto window is a closely-felt, personal experience. It should be tried:
not, perhaps, on a first trıp to Europe, when you'll want to see a great many cities, in a number of countries-but ultimately, when you 're content to examine at leisure a particular country or area through which you've earlier passed. How can that be done at the least cost? There are a number of alternatives.

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