Reasonably priced car rental in Europe

Maki

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Hi all,

we are planning a trip to Germany for a wedding in late July next year, hopefully covid doesn't stuff up the plans this time around. Apart from Germany we'd be travelling through Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia, so we are looking for a car rental with no km restrictions and no restrictions on which countries we can drive through. All up we'd need the car for 3-4 weeks.
I had a look at a couple of online quotes and got overwhelmed with all the details, the quotes varied much between different countries( example Swizerland vs Germany) and companies, the capped kms, the restrictions..Why are there such discrepancies in price in the first place ?

Do you have any recommendations on which company to go with? Are there countries where it's cheaper to get car rental compared to others?The flights are not booked yet and we are flexible with which country we fly into if there are significant savings to be made.

I also don't have status with any of the car rental companies. Thank you in advance for any tips.

Cheers,
Maki
 

OZDUCK

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As you will be using the car for such a long time it could well be worth your while to have a look at leasing a car from the French car companies under the scheme for foreign visitors - it saves the company paying the equivalent of GST. We have done it twice when we had cars for similar periods and it was cheaper than renting a car as there are no mileage limits and you get a brand new car of your choosing. Some of the other advantages included full hassle free insurance included in the price and no problems with an extra driver. The only extra we had to arrange after picking up the car was to get a permit to drive a diesel car in certain parts of Germany.




 

Maki

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Oh wow, I feel like I've been living in the dark ages. That looks like a good deal compared to your normal rant a car. I'll dive into the detail and will come back if any additional questions.
Thank you.
 

OZDUCK

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Oh wow, I feel like I've been living in the dark ages. That looks like a good deal compared to your normal rant a car. I'll dive into the detail and will come back if any additional questions.
Thank you.
If you want any further info about our experiences feel free to drop me a message.
 

Jacques Vert

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In addition to the car leasing mentioned by @OZDUCK, which can be a good deal for longer periods, hiring a car in France can be significantly cheaper than Switzerland.

For example, if you fly into Geneva as we did in 2019, picking up the rental on the French side of the terminal saved a few hundred Euro compared to renting on the Swiss side: see here Ouzo, Schnapps, Rosé & Prosecco

We booked through Qeeq which IME is one of the few sites that gives the option of which side of the terminal to pick up from: Cheap Car Hire ,- Free Cancellation | QEEQ.COM

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Maki

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In addition to the car leasing mentioned by @OZDUCK, which can be a good deal for longer periods, hiring a car in France can be significantly cheaper than Switzerland.

For example, if you fly into Geneva as we did in 2019, picking up the rental on the French side of the terminal saved a few hundred Euro compared to renting on the Swiss side: see here Ouzo, Schnapps, Rosé & Prosecco

We booked through Qeeq which IME is one of the few sites that gives the option of which side of the terminal to pick up from: Cheap Car Hire ,- Free Cancellation | QEEQ.COM

View attachment 268338

Hi Jacques,

thank you for the tip! QR to GVA is on the radar😁 but doubt any availability will come up.
It's good to have different options available. how did you find qeeq as a service?
First step is to tailor that perfect flight itinerary that will be covid proof and then book all the other services and accommodation. What could possibly go wrong 😂😂😂
 

Jacques Vert

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Hi Jacques,

thank you for the tip! QR to GVA is on the radar😁 but doubt any availability will come up.
It's good to have different options available. how did you find qeeq as a service?
First step is to tailor that perfect flight itinerary that will be covid proof and then book all the other services and accommodation. What could possibly go wrong 😂😂😂
Qeeq used to trade under the name of Easyrentcars. I've used them many times in a number of countries, Europe, Noumea, Japan.

As an aggregator, the service you get at the airport/pick up location depends on which rental car company's deal you choose, obviously. Could be Budget, Sixt, Times, National or Dodgy Brothers.

As for the service from Qeeq itself, I've had no issues. Recently had to cancel two bookings in NZ after QF cancelled the flights due to you know what. As the booking was over 6 months old they couldn't refund to my Credit Card for some reason so I had to send them bank details; the refund appeared in about 10 days (and I got to keep the points!).

Overall, they've been good and their online "chat" works well. I have no hesitation in using them again.

As for QR to GVA, you'll need to fly to somewhere in Asia and pick up QR from there. Highly unlikely to find J seats on QR ex Aus. RJ, BA, AY, IB and AT also fly into GVA but not in the same league.
 

Maki

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Qeeq used to trade under the name of Easyrentcars. I've used them many times in a number of countries, Europe, Noumea, Japan.

As an aggregator, the service you get at the airport/pick up location depends on which rental car company's deal you choose, obviously. Could be Budget, Sixt, Times, National or Dodgy Brothers.

As for the service from Qeeq itself, I've had no issues. Recently had to cancel two bookings in NZ after QF cancelled the flights due to you know what. As the booking was over 6 months old they couldn't refund to my Credit Card for some reason so I had to send them bank details; the refund appeared in about 10 days (and I got to keep the points!).

Overall, they've been good and their online "chat" works well. I have no hesitation in using them again.

As for QR to GVA, you'll need to fly to somewhere in Asia and pick up QR from there. Highly unlikely to find J seats on QR ex Aus. RJ, BA, AY, IB and AT also fly into GVA but not in the same league.
Thank you for all the info Jacques. I'll share my car rental experience once this trip becomes reality.

As for flights, you're right, there's decent availability for QR from Asia either direction for now. Ofcourse flights from Doha to Europe are either RJ or BA. This is for July and I'm booking a QF OWA.On the way back there's better availability, e.g. I found a HEL-DOH-HND connection and plenty JL availability to Syd. The only issue is QR arrives to HND late in the evening and Syd connection is next day only.
I'd book this straight away if I knew a day or two layover in Tokyo would be possible without all the covid drama and hoops. Anyway, I can't complain much, it's first world problems.
 

Jacques Vert

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While QR are excellent, their taxes are very high. On a recent Oneworld award, booking ICN-DOH-HEL with QR vs ICN-HEL with AY, the taxes quoted were almost $500 dearer, per person, than flying AY. Even allowing for the extra distance and two flights versus one, that's a lot of extra $$$. AY has reasonable availability at present to HND with a 4 hour connection to JL51.

Of course, the choice is yours.
 

Maki

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While QR are excellent, their taxes are very high. On a recent Oneworld award, booking ICN-DOH-HEL with QR vs ICN-HEL with AY, the taxes quoted were almost $500 dearer, per person, than flying AY. Even allowing for the extra distance and two flights versus one, that's a lot of extra $$$. AY has reasonable availability at present to HND with a 4 hour connection to JL51.

Of course, the choice is yours.
The QR leg would be for the experience if it works out. We never flew in J on QR.
 
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Plenty of good advice so far, probably from those who know more than me...
Personally, I have used rentalcars.com a few times and had good value and also good service.
I had an issue with a swiss rental where they helped me a lot.

This may affect flight bookings, and you may have already noted, but one way rentals across borders generally add significant expense.
Best to return at least within the same country, if not the same location if possible.
 

drron

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Have just booked my car for Spain in August. Qeeq didn't have the car I wanted. rentalcars was just $5 a day cheaper than Alamo but the discounted the GPS so basically no difference. So I booked direct. Avis though were much dearer direct and Qantas were no where near the lowest rates.
 
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Have used Kendall car rental when flying into LHR on numerous occasions. Kendall do not have a desk at any airports, but have meet and greet service at LHR and LGW. I was quite hesitant to use them on the first occasion as they are not one of the big names, but have been going back to them every year since 2014 (apart from Covid years). They have offices at Woking, Guildford or Chertsey for meet and greet service from LHR. I am using them again this year in an 11 week rental. Very happy with their prices and service.
Phil
 

prozac

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Oh wow, I feel like I've been living in the dark ages. That looks like a good deal compared to your normal rant a car. I'll dive into the detail and will come back if any additional questions.
Thank you.
Car lease (French cars) becomes cost effective for periods over about 40 days. You can lease for a maximum period of 176 days when the car must be returned. You do not pay insurance or registration but you are liable for servicing which should not be an issue with long period between services which could be 15,000km.
 

andye

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I looked up a number of aggregators for my recent LHR hire.
Budget was consistently the cheapest recommendation and I booked direct with them for no extra
Could have got a free extra driver via rentalcars.com but not needed
 

Maki

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I was able to rent, last week, a vehicle at CDG at nearly half the going rate via Auto Europe.
In fact it was so cheap I thought it might be a mistake. EUR460 for 7 days. It was an automatic
SUV from Avis.
We have finalised most of our trip for August, we'll be renting a car in Croatia only, a car like a VW Golf, manual, is in the range 1700-2000 AUD for 11 days. I have a reservation with AVIS while I look for more affordable options. Worst case I leave the AVIS reservation and maybe that Presidents Club delivers class upgrade.
 
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