I just recently rented a car for a couple of weeks during my trip to Italy from Hertz Rome-Fiumicino Airport (FCO). This was my first time renting in Europe, so I was unsure what to expect and reading reviews only created more hysteria, so I decided to submit myself to the process and see how it worked out. I was initially worried about getting nickel and dimed by the rental car agency for minor dings and scratches, but I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth everything went.
Booking and pick up
Booking the car was relatively painless, though it still baffles me how unfriendly Hertz’s website is for booking rentals. At the time of booking, I was told the cost was going to be EUR 422, to be paid at the time of renting. Easy enough.
Once we landed at FCO the walk to the rental car agency was a bit further than expected but not bad at all. Prior to arrival, I received an e-mail confirming my Gold Canopy rental with the parking spot number of the vehicle I was assigned.
Typically with Gold Canopy pickups you just walk to the spot assigned, hop in the vehicle, and drive away. This wasn’t the case here in Rome. When I got to the parking spot, the car was locked, so I had to go wait in line anyway. Fortunately, it was early morning and the line was short.
Make sure to inspect the vehicle before accepting
After I picked up the keys from the desk I received an e-mail with the pre-existing damages to the vehicle. My job was to then take an inventory of these damages and then see if there were any others that were not accounted for. If I found any additional dings or scrapes it was then my job to let the attendant know before driving out of the lot.
This is important, folks.
Make sure you inspect the vehicle heavily, take pictures, and report anything you don’t agree with.
Returning the rental car to Hertz FCO
When it was time to return the car to Rome I made sure to fill up completely with gas to avoid the ridiculously high re-fill charge of EUR 100. I should take this moment to point out that gas is not cheap in Italy. It cost me EUR 47 to fill up my little Renault.
Anyway, dropping off the car to Hertz was seamless. I want to emphasize that. I parked the car in a random space, got in line at the check out counter, and pointed the attendant in the direction of my parking space. The attendant then did a quick once over, checked the fuel, and printed me a receipt.
Final total… EUR 422
This experience was proof of the cliche “your mileage may vary”, but this time I was thrilled to have had a good experience.