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I'm currently planning a trip to Finland for one week, and think we will go to the following places:

  • Arrive in Helsinki
  • Step to Tampere
  • Step to Jyväskylä
  • Step to Kuopio
  • Step to Savonlinna
  • Step to Lappeenranta
  • Back to Helsinki

I'm currently looking at the car rental possibilites, and there are several possibilities:

Citroen C1 Sedan

  • Citroen DS5 for a total of 695$

Citroen DS5

  • BMW 1 series auto for a total of 632$

BMW 1 series auto

We are two travelers without any children. I think we will spend 2–4 hours a day in the car. Is they any reason, except maybe for comfort, not to take the cheapest car (426$)?

Any other advice of where to find better prices or general advice about car rental?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Roads in Finland are good, although not luxurious. Helsinki-Tampere is all motorway, as is the last part of Lappeenranta-Helsinki, the rest you'll be driving on two-lane country highways. In short, any of those cars should be just fine.

There are a few quirks to driving in Finland explained in detail at Wikivoyage, the main one being that you always need to keep your headlights on. Winter driving can be sketchy, so four-wheel drive is a plus, and winter tyres are required by law from December to February, but if you're driving, the rental agency is responsible for this... and if you're a tourist, you're probably not planning a driving trip for mid-winter anyway!

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Mid-winter driving is some of the nicest driving I've had. great scenery and surprisingly easy to drive (as long as it's been way below zero for a while) –  dsample May 14 at 22:07
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Yeah, it's the classic combo of above zero during the day and below zero at night that's dangerous, slush and black ice everywhere. –  jpatokal May 14 at 22:42
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The C-1 is a very small car; if you can deal with that, go ahead. Other people take much longer trips with this type of car.

If you want more comfort, definitely go for the DS-5.

And if you want a Beemer, well, you won't have to ask further.

However, normally, the car model is not guaranteed; you pay for a specific category.

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You mean the car model is not guaranteed, even if you have a reservation? –  iHaveacomputer May 13 at 11:07
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The only addition I'd make to the first statement by @jpatokal (that any of those cars are fine) is that whatever rental company you go for I've found it best to get the level up from the cheapest.

The lowest usually have smaller engines (not always a problem) but will most likely have very limited features. I've found that often now if you get the next level above the cheapest you get air conditioning, electric windows, auxiliary/line-in 3.5mm jack for audio and now even Bluetooth, which is great. Just be sure to take a male-to-male audio lead to connect your phone.

The extra bonus which I've managed to get a couple of times is cruise control. It's certainly not a common occurrence, but for the long monotonous roads at slowish speeds it's nice to be able to stop yourself speeding.

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