Using Car2Move at Catania Airport Sicily

Some (I hope constructive) criticisms and helpful information for others who may follow in our footsteps.

We booked Car2Move through AutoEurope - providing estimated times and our flight details.

Our flight was delayed, our bag was the last on the carousel, and we then had to find the Car2Move Office.

Our voucher said Car2Move was in the terminal. It isn't. There are  a number of car rental offices in the terminal but many others (including Car2Move) are in another building a 10 minute walk away. There are no signs in the terminal  pointing to this other building and the staff on the information desk in the CTA terminal are rude and unhelpful. We finally found out where to go from a kind and helpful man in the "Tourist Information Office".

So we arrived at the Car2Move desk about an hour late. There was nobody there. We waited for about 45 minutes. Nobody came. Nobody answered the phone. We rang AutoEurope in the end - who did answer and who offered to inquire and ring back - which they did. Whether because of this or just because he had decided to come back anyway in case somebody showed up wanting to hire a car, the man at the Car2Move desk finally reappeared.  He was unapologetic – blaming our lateness for the situation (as I’ve pointed out, our lateness was not our fault and could have been reasonably anticipated by a car rental firm operating from an airport).

Anyway, he was still able to find us a car – which I think was a slightly better category than what we had ordered (though I’m not a car person :-). It was covered in scuffs and scratches, but these were all properly recorded.

He explained how to get out of the airport and stressed that we would have to return it on time. Since I would be driving myself (rather than at the mercy of an airline) I indicated that this would not be  a problem. He did not explain how to return the car. I suppose we should have asked.

All went well with the rental and the day before our departure I looked online and amongst the various bits of paper we had been given for return instructions.  There were none. So we just drove to the airport and hoped for the best.

As you drive in, there are mysterious signs for “R1” and “R2” but no indication of whether Car2Move is R1 or R2.  In any case. These signs soon stop and you have to choose between “Arrivals” or “Departures”. We chose Departures – we were, after all, departing from CTA.

I then just followed my nose – trying to avoid any signs for car parks and follow any signs for car rental (which were all other firms) - and suddenly saw a turn off to the Car2Move office, which I took.

The same chap was there and he was behind the counter this time. His demeanour was again one of politeness and friendliness - mixed with insouciance and slight arrogance. He took me outside and showed me a several-meter-square sign for “car rental return” which did have the Car2Move logo on it and which indicated the turn off just before the one we had taken.

Later I stood in the position our car would have been as it came off the roundabout just before this sign and realized that the sign was almost completely occluded by a portakabin. The huge sign you can see from the roundabout exit position points to “VIP Parking”. We were clearly not the first to make this mistake and will not be the last.

I was able (by ignoring the “one-way” signs) to extricate myself from the carpark in front of the Car2Move office and drive to the correct drop off area.

The chap met us there and dealt with us perfectly professionally.

Armed with the knowledge I now have, I suppose I would use Car2Move at CTA again (just). They were good value, supplied us with a working car, and didn’t try to fleece us in any way – something I’ve sometimes had with other firms. But there is scope for improvements to their operations at Catania Airport.

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