Yay! After striking out yesterday on getting an affordable convertible for our tour of Tuscany I followed one of the recommendations from the Fodor’s message board and checked with Kemwel in the US. Kemwel appears to be a sister company to AutoEurope and they still had the Peugeot 207 CC listed online.
Their reservation line is 24×7 but when I called in last night I was told that the Peugeot is a specialty car and I’d have to call back during east coast business hours. I decided to ask all of my questions while I had the rep on the line. The person I spoke with was very friendly and answered all of my questions about cancellation policies, insurance, and prepayments.
according to them full insurance was mandatory for rentals in Italy and was already included in the posted rate for the car I was looking at. Furthermore the included insurance has no deductible, or “no excess” as their website states. The full amount of the rental would be charged to my credit card but I can cancel with a full refund with at least 48 hours notice prior to my pickup time.
Fast forward to this morning. I called the line again and spoke with another very friendly rep. He took down all of my information and double checked the rates and fees, noting that there is a 3.50 euro per day road tax not included in the quoted rate. He also noted that the car I was looking for was “by request” and that they would have to contact the provider to confirm the reservation.
2 hours later I received an email with the voucher for my “Economy,Convertible,Manual,With A/C Peugeot 207 Convertible or similar”. I’ve never rented a car via discount voucher before and have rarely rented with anyone other than Avis so I’m still a little nervous. Will they have the car I want when I get there (I’m told all agencies are notoriously bad for that), and what car will I get if they don’t? How much leeway is there on the “or similar” clause anyways? Oh, and it better be left hand drive because I’m not looking forward to driving stick on the wrong side! I’ll update after the trip.
About the Peugeot 207 CC
Now for the part that I’m really excited about. Before I set my heart on picking up a convertible (or coupe cabriolet in Europe, hence the CC) I needed to do some research on the car. My biggest concern was about luggage space as we plan to be hauling two medium sized suitcases. Searching the Peugeot website and some of the review sites offered little help as knowing that the trunk space goes from 350 litres with the top up to 204 litres with the top down didn’t actually tell me if our suitcases would fit.
Searching Google images for Peugeot 207 CC did turn up some pictures which seem to tell me that we might get one or both suitcases in the trunk, but that we could use the tiny backseats for luggage if needed. Backseat storage is a nice option to have as the last time I rented a convertible it was a Pontiac Soltice with no back seat. Any time that we wanted to haul our two small suitcases (it was only a weekend trip) we had to drive with the top up to maximize trunk space. We’ll just have to try to get to the hotel to drop off our suitcases before we do too much touring to avoid having them as obvious targets in the backseat.
Now I just have to cancel my Hertz reservation and keep my fingers crossed that my car is there when I get there.
Update: We ended up driving the car around Tuscany and loved it. Below are some pictures and thoughts about the car.