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Car rental or train?

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Car rental or train?

We will be in Gavi Italy for a wedding and want to travel to Santa Margherita and then on to the South of France. We had planned to turn our rental car in in San Remo, but the office isn't open on Mondays, the day we leave. It is prohibitively expensive to keep the car and turn it in in Nice on our way home. The other option is to take the train down to Santa Margherita and then back over to Nice. This doesn't look easy either. It looks like we train to Genoa, then Genoa to Ventimiglia and then Ventimiglia to Nice.

Does anyone know if there are better options for car rental/drop off or whether this train trip is easier than it looks?

Thanks so much for your help.

Brussels, Belgium
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1. Re: Car rental or train?

If I understand correctly, you are leaving S. Margherita on a Monday, but you don't say when you are going there from Gavi. If you have to leave the car somewhere before Monday, then you will indeed be taking the train (I presume, from Genoa) to S. Margherita, and if you are then without a car, you would also be taking the train back to Genoa and on to Ventimiglia and Nice.

But wouldn't the simplest solution be to either extend your stay in S. Margherita by 1 day (so leave on Tuesday) or drive to S. Remo on Monday, stay overnight, return the car on Tuesday, and THEN continue by train to Nice (via Ventimiglia)? Is there some reason why you have to be in Nice on the Monday?

In any case, I think for someone to advise on alternatives for dropping off the car, they may need to know which agency you would be renting from.

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2. Re: Car rental or train?

Thanks for the prompt reply. I have tried many car rental sites and Avis was the only company who would allow me to drop the car in San Remo. Sixt has a drop off in Genoa, and this is maybe what we should do after our visit to Santa Margherita, and then train to Ventimiglia and on to Nice. We wanted to spend at least 3 whole days in the south of France, so dropping the car on Monday somewhere in Italy and then on to Nice to rent another car for our 3 day tour of the French Riviera makes the most sense. We are sort of novices, so I am just nervous about all the train changes, with 4 of us traveling with luggage, but obviously people do it all the time!

Imperia, Italy
Destination Expert
for Italian Riviera
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3. Re: Car rental or train?

Hertz in Alassio is your best option, and the rental office is conveniently by the train station.

Otherwise, Savona has all the major rental companies, and is an easier place for drop-off and transfer to the train station than Genoa and considerably nearer to the French border..

Rentals to Savona are reportedly also sometimes cheaper than those to San Remo and Alassio.

Edited: 15 March 2014, 09:52
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4. Re: Car rental or train?

I live a few kilometres far from Gavi if you need some advices on the area. You know how to reach genoa from gavi?

5. Re: Car rental or train?

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