Crossing a border with that car? $634 (+VAT) please

So much for my big plans I posted last night about driving from Rome to Provence via Florence.

 I got the quote back from Kemwel. My $377 one-week car rental comes with a $634 (+ European Value Added Tax of 18 or 19%) fee for international one way.

 I checked Auto Europe — same deal. Hertz will kindly rent me a Fiat Panda for 1126.44 EUR. Can’t you *buy* a Fiat Panda for that price??

I thought I had an answer — rent a car in Italy and drop it at San Remo, 10 miles from the French border. Train to Monaco and pick up a French rental there. However. All the car rentals close at 12:30 on Saturdays and it’s a 4 hour drive from Florence to San Remo. No way.

So scratch the free hotel in Florence — looks like it’s back to the trains now. An overnight train would be a good trial to see if I could handle the TransSiberian next year.


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