EurailDrive Pass Offers Rail, Rental-Car Travel

French Rail and Hertz are again combining rail and car travel throughout Europe.

The EurailDrive Pass offers any seven days of travel within a 21-day period. The seven consist of four days of unlimited first-class rail plus three days in a rental car. No days have to be consecutive. Also, you can alternate rail and car days.

The pass, which costs $229 per person, is for two people traveling together. It is good in all 17 countries covered by the standard Eurailpass: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and West Germany.

Although French Rail is a partner in the program, it isn't necessary to include France in your itinerary.

The rail pass includes free or reduced rates on ferries, lake and river steamers, ships and buses, including passage on the Rhine and Danube rivers, on some Swiss lakes and on some crossings between the Scandinavian countries.

The car portion of the pass covers all of the above countries except Hungary. You also get unlimited mileage and free drop-off of the car at a different station than where you picked it up, within the same country. Hertz has more than 1,000 locations throughout Europe, many close to rail stations.

Local taxes and the value-added tax are also covered by the price of the pass.

The pass has to be bought in the United States, and the first day of the car rental has to be reserved 14 days in advance. The other three car days can be set up in Europe. Cars will be in economy-class with manual transmissions. Upgrades cost extra.

You can also obtain five extra car-rental days and five rail days. Extra car-rental days cost $40 a day, with extra rail days $40 per person. None of the extra rail or car days have to be consecutive, but they do have to be used within the 21-day period.

These extra rail/car days have to be bought in the United States at the time of original booking.

Contact travel agents.

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