by Melinda Gallo

Finding a car to rent

I would normally shop for the best price for noleggiare una macchina (renting a car) on the Internet, but because in Florence almost all of the agenzie di autonoleggio (car rental agencies) are on or near Borgo Ognissanti I decided to get a preventivo (quote) in person. I rode my bicicletta (bicycle) down to Borgo Ognissanti, parked it, and went from one agenzia di autonoleggio to the next.

Some of the larger agencies are on the Internet, but quite a few smaller ones aren't so it was good to get a preventivo from all the ones I found.

I walked into each one saying basically the same thing, "Volevo un preventivo. Vorremmo noleggiare una macchina per cinque giorni. (I'd like a quote. We'd like to rent a car for five days.)" They always proceeded with the same question, "Che tipo di macchina volevi? (What type of car do you want?)"

I wasn't really sure what type of car we wanted, but I usually said, "Tipo una Fiat Punto. (Like a Fiat Punto.)" Which is the car that I was offered at the first agenzia di autonoleggio.

The prices ranged quite a bit, but I realized that the big difference was in the assicurazione (insurance). The lower the price was, the higher the franchigia (deductible) to pay in case of danni (damages) or furto (theft).

I hadn't heard of the word franchigia, but found myself forced to use it over and over after going to the first agenzia di autonoleggio to be able to compare similar products with each place.

I showed Alessandro all the preventivi and we decided on the best one without a franchigia. I was happy that the agenzia di autonoleggio that we chose was also where the nicest woman was. A few of them were quite formal with me while others didn't seem to care if I picked them or not. I'll be going back tomorrow to make my prenotazione (reservation).

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