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Pisa airport car hire and car seats

(16 Posts)
FuniculiFunicula Tue 02-Feb-16 20:47:23

Does anyone have experience of hiring a car and car seats from Pisa airport? I'll need a rear facing seat for the baby and a high backed booster for my then 4yo (he's still in a stage 1 right now but with an impact cushion - he's too tall for the straps in our other stage 1 seat).

I've previously used Sixt for car hire as you pay for car seats up front so they seem more guaranteed, but at Pisa they only seem to offer baby seats. Does anyone know of a car hire company which hires out high backed boosters?

If I can't find one I guess I'll have to work out the best way to take a booster with us so any suggestions for that would be helpful too.

rookiemere Tue 02-Feb-16 21:59:59

We used to bring a booster with us when DS was younger - fairly easy to fit a normal sized one in a biggish case, not high backed though but I'm always a bit dubious about the quality of car seats you get at car hire places so more comfortable with our own.

Re car hire, avoid GOLDCAR like the plague at Pisa - absolutely dreadful, 2.5 hr wait and used deeply unsavoury methods to try to flog unnecessary insurance.

eurochick Tue 02-Feb-16 22:03:36

I haven't hired car seats there but remember a looooong wait. The car hire terminal is a short bus ride from the main terminal. It is walkable and we would have walked if we had realised how long we would have to wait for the bus and then wait again for the car hire desk. I remember seeing a pile of car seats stacked behind one of the desks but didn't take much notice. We take our own. An extra piece of luggage usually costs about the same as hiring a car seat for a week and I'd rather be sure that mine hasn't been in an accident.

funiculifunicula Tue 02-Feb-16 22:17:12

Thanks for the replies. If you take your own car seat, how do you pack it to keep it safe from bumps? I had to replace the polystyrene shell on our baby seat after it must have had a knock somewhere and I found it broken when I removed the cover for washing, so would be anxious about that happening on a plane.

SalmonMaki Tue 02-Feb-16 22:20:24

Friends hired a car and high back car seats through Hertz in Italy a few years ago. But despite pre-ordering it all online, Hertz still faffed around for hours getting the right seat when they went to collect the car.

eurochick Tue 02-Feb-16 22:41:53

We had a car seat bag for it. We planned to bubble wrap it but ran out of time. There is always a risk that it could get damaged, like any luggage. We were OK with taking that chance.

cheerup Wed 03-Feb-16 06:50:43

Have always taken own car seats - very expensive to hire and no guarantees about what you'll get. Second the advice about walking rather than taking the bus to car hire at Pisa. The bus isn't air-conditioned and the car hire is only round the corner. It really is easier to walk.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Wed 03-Feb-16 16:54:04

I agree about the walking too, we hung around for ages waiting for the bus to take us a few hundred yards.

We took our own car seats too.

FuniculiFunicula Thu 04-Feb-16 22:04:52

We had a car seat bag for it. We planned to bubble wrap it but ran out of time. There is always a risk that it could get damaged, like any luggage.

Aren't car seats a bit different to other luggage though? Any impact from normal baggage handling could damage them, couldn't it?

I'm trying to weigh up the risks of using a seat possibly battered by baggage handlers versus a seat possibly battered by car hire companies or other users - at least the latter option leaves my own seats intact. If only I could hire the right seats.

I guess something like a Trunki Boostapak could make life easier for the 4yo but is it any better than a non-high-back booster?

FuniculiFunicula Thu 04-Feb-16 22:06:48

Forgot to say thanks for the tip about walking to the car hire place - is it a short enough walk for the 4yo and for us with all our luggage?

MamehaSan Thu 04-Feb-16 22:11:52

I came on here to mention about walking to the car hire place too. The queue for the bus was immense, and we would have waited if someone hadn't tipped us off about walking. It should ge doable for a four year old, I would think. If you google a map of the airport you should be able to get a sense of the distance involved.

No idea about the car seats though, sorry...

AliceMum09 Fri 05-Feb-16 09:43:54

I'm pretty sure you'd not get a high backed booster from a car hire company, I've only ever seen backed ones.

The best way to travel with a car seat is to wrap it in bubble wrap or towels and put it in a travel bag. Then check it in at the desk as oversized baggage. We've never taken a car seat abroad, but last time we took a pram we checked it in (rather than taking it to the gate) because our daughter was 3 so we didn't need to push her around the airport with it. There were all sorts of big and fragile items going along the oversized baggage conveyor when we dropped the pram off, they can't be too rough or else somebody would be forever paying out compensation! Our pram arrived fine at the other end, in contrast a couple who'd taken a big 2-piece fold I-candy pram to the gate at Heathrow got it brought back to the plane doors in Palma and it was so damaged the seat wouldn't slot into the chassis!

AliceMum09 Fri 05-Feb-16 09:44:50

^ that's supposed to say "I've only ever seen BACKLESS ones"

PurpleCrazyHorse Fri 05-Feb-16 09:50:49

We took our high back booster short haul and the risk of damage en route was worth it compared to using an unknown hired car seat of dubious quality and cleanliness.

I wrapped it in clear plastic so they could see it was a car seat and put fragile notices on it. Was carried for free with Ryan Air as oversized luggage.

FuniculiFunicula Tue 16-Feb-16 09:35:47

Thanks again for the replies - after eventually getting round to discussing it with DH we've decided to get car seat bags. Any recommendations for sturdy ones which won't add too much weight? We need them for both baby seat and high backed booster.

TwinsPlusAnotherTwo Wed 17-Feb-16 08:21:09

We have hired seats from Pisa - a full seat for a 3yo and a baby seat. It was either Hertz or Europcar. Agree with walking to car hire and be prepared to wait!

If you are ok with a backless booster, then you could take a trunki one as hand luggage. Then you could use Sixt and book the baby seat?

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