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Topic: Car security in Europe.  (Read 888 times)

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birdrunner
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« on: May 08, 2012, 01:02:36 AM »

Here's the situation.

We're spending 2.5 weeks driving around Europe with another couple.  Since a month's worth of luggage is accompaning us, I'm thinking of renting a small station wagon type car,   specifically a Ford Mondeo or VW Passat diesel as it combines lots of luggage space and rear seat headroom.

My friend is worried about leaving the luggage exposed while were site seeing, coming back to the car only to find all our stuff gone.

Is there an problem with theives breaking into tourist's cars?  Do the sedan versions have enough rear space for 2 adults (6 ft.tall) do their trunks have enough space for 2 large suitcases, 2 small ones, and assorted junk?   Also,  any reason not to rent a diesel?

We're going from Holland through, Germany, Switzerland, a bit of Italy, France, Barcelona, France (Paris), Belgium, and Holland.  (4500 km in 19 days  ... 300 to 400 km /day.)

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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2012, 01:19:54 AM »

My answer: Force all travelers to pack light so everything fits in the trunk.

Official STN answer: Plaster the rental car with NRA stickers.
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coho
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I see what you did there.




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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2012, 01:27:22 AM »

Rent four bikes.
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birdrunner
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2012, 01:52:08 AM »


Rent four bikes.


at 6x the price of one car,  plus have you seen how much some people pack for a month away????
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2012, 03:15:00 AM »

A couple of years ago, I met a young couple from Germany who were traveling the western U.S. for rock climbing.  They were shocked how they could leave a car full of stuff for a day of climbing and come back to find it undisturbed.  They said that in a similar setting in Europe, they would leave the car unlocked because thieves would just break the glass to get inside.  For what it's worth, they blamed the French.
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Martin K.
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2012, 03:52:22 AM »

We rented (from Avis) a BMW M3 twin turbo diesel for a week, out of Munich. We reserved the car online from the U.S. Avis website before the trip. We saved about $50 by not picking up the car at the train station (or an airport.) because of hidden surcharge. Instead, we took a bus to an Avis location about a mile from Munich's central station to save a few bucks.

Drove around Bavaria and Austria mostly. (Don't even think about driving on Austrian autobahn without getting a temporary toll sticker, available at gas stations)

I can only speak about the area we drove in, but diesel was everywhere, and the price wasn't as bad as I expected. As for security, I never felt like there was a high risk of theft. I think it's like in most parts of the world, in that I would have more concern if I was leaving the car in a sketchy area of an industrialised city. But in the tourist areas we mostly traveled, I didn't worry at all, though we kept most stuff out of sight in the trunk.

The other thing was that for the few larger cities we visited, we stayed outside of the main part of the city, or even better, in a nearby small town and took a commuter train into town. Many benefits to doing that.

Specifically for Italy, Spain, France, etc... I would ask at www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline where there are some very experienced travellers.
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coho
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I see what you did there.




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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2012, 04:29:17 AM »




at 6x the price of one car,  plus have you seen how much some people pack for a month away????


1. What price fun?
2. Which way would make the better slideshow?
3. If you go tour yurrup in a car what's in it for S-T.n?
4. It's not my money, I say go for it.  Bigok
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2012, 06:39:27 AM »

Just one data point, but when I was traveling to the UK on business regularly in the 90s, I had my rental car (and most other cars in the same lot) broken into at our hotel overnight. Many of the pub parking lots had signs about not leaving any valuables in the car. As mentioned above, they broke the glass to get inside for a quick look. I took warnings to heart, so they didn't get anything from me. Not sure if things are still that way or not.
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2012, 07:35:00 AM »

It all depends on where you're going, of course.  But in general, it's like the US.  Get into the cities and expect problems.  Stay in the sticks, life is generally good.  Go where there are lots of transients, expect problems.  Don't leave stuff in sight.  We go to Germany regularly and stay with family in a small town.  Most problems turn out to be drug related.  Or it's the French.   Wink

Agreed on the packing issue.  I'm continually flabbergasted by how much stuff people take (and how much they pay the airlines for all that extra stuff).  

Diesel is regulated to be priced below regular.  However, getting a diesel out of the rental people seems to be very much a gamble.  Europeans are seriously resisting E10, which makes it a win for price-conscious buyers.  Look for it when price shopping for gas.  

In April, gas was running around 1.63 / liter or 6.52 / gallon or about $9.45 / gallon (assuming $1.45 / 1.00).  Diesel was slightly under that but figure still over $9.00 / gallon.  Plan accordingly.  

Austria requires a toll sticker for access to the autobahns.  Switzerland does, too.  The good news is Austria has the sense to sell stickers that cover only a few weeks.  The Swiss only sell annual stickers, at IIRC about SFr 35 (about $38).  Cheat on either one and expect to pay.  A lot.  BTW, the Swiss have sliding speeding fines - the scale moves with your income.  

Speed cameras (and anti-grid lock traffic light cameras) are everywhere.  They are not advertised.  They are often concealed (even saw a German team literally hiding in the bushes).  France has just passed a law making GPS POI databases with fixed speed cameras illegal.  And they now require drivers to carry a small breathalyzer.  DUI anywhere, if you're caught, is serious business.  

Have a nice trip.   Bigsmile

EDIT: corrected SFr / USD conversion, corrected typo
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 07:45:42 AM by RBEmerson » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2012, 05:49:02 PM »


It all depends on where you're going, of course.  But in general, it's like the US.  Get into the cities and expect problems.  Stay in the sticks, life is generally good.  


In England crime has found its way into the sticks.

I just got back from visiting me Mum.  She lives in a village called Little Paxton in Cambridgeshire.  The local church had signs posted warning that thieves were actively looting its roof of copper.
The local convenience store, while I was in town, was robbed by some people driving a stolen LandRover through the front window.  They took the ATM.
I also noticed many low life looking people with pit bulls.  I had never seen these dogs before in England.
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2012, 06:59:04 PM »




In England crime has found its way into the sticks.

I just got back from visiting me Mum.  She lives in a village called Little Paxton in Cambridgeshire.  The local church had signs posted warning that thieves were actively looting its roof of copper.
The local convenience store, while I was in town, was robbed by some people driving a stolen LandRover through the front window.  They took the ATM.
I also noticed many low life looking people with pit bulls.  I had never seen these dogs before in England.


Pit bulls were originally bred in England. Please don't be breedist.  Bigsmile
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coho
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I see what you did there.




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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 01:55:47 AM »




In England crime has found its way into the sticks.

I just got back from visiting me Mum.  She lives in a village called Little Paxton in Cambridgeshire.  The local church had signs posted warning that thieves were actively looting its roof of copper.
The local convenience store, while I was in town, was robbed by some people driving a stolen LandRover through the front window.  They took the ATM.
I also noticed many low life looking people with pit bulls.  I had never seen these dogs before in England.


Undoubtedly pikeys.
A wily lot they are.
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