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Renting a car in Europe by the hour

The biggest news in European car rentals: short-term hires. Last summer, Hertz introduced Hertz 369 (800/654-3001; hertz.com; from $45 per hour, including taxes and insurance), a program that allows travelers in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K. to rent cars in three-, six-, and nine-hour increments—perfect for a jaunt to the countryside, travel between neighboring cities, or a one-way commute to the airport. This past winter, the company also launched a car-sharing program, Connect by Hertz (877/654-4400; connectbyhertz.com), with a fleet of Mini Coopers and Ford Fiestas. Members, who pay a $50 annual fee, can pick up vehicles at various convenient points in central London and Paris, starting at $5.12 per hour. (Rates include fuel, insurance, and roadside assistance.)

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