Advice on Car Rental Companies

Jan 11th, 2010, 12:49 PM
  #1  
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Advice on Car Rental Companies

Can you tell me your experience with Car Rentals in France. We are looking at Kemwell and Renault Eurodrive. Wanting to rent for 21 days + and travel in France, Italy, Switzerland... Are there any other companies travellers have had a good experience with?
thanks.
cathsomm is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 12:59 PM
  #2  
 
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Make a close comparison between a rental and a lease (I assume that the Renault Autodrive is a lease). Many prefer the lease because you know what you will get and it is a brand new car. But I believe that for periods less than 50 days or so, the lease is more expensive than the rental, at least with a standard shift car. Kemwel is a reliable company. Remember that when you rent for no more than 31 days, you can take the car without CDW coverage if your credit card will carry it. It will make the rental cheaper.

Return the car in France if picked up in France. A cross-border drop-off adds considerably to the price of the rental, and also adds to the price of a lease.
Michael is online now  
Jan 11th, 2010, 07:26 PM
  #3  
 
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I am so sold on Renault Eurodrive...I've both rented (Avis was best, I got a great discount) and leased and there is no price comparison.
I'm arriving Paris 3 April, departing 30 April. Renault offeres the new Twingo with diesel (almost 60 mpg hiway--4 litres=100 km) standard transmission, wonderful little car in its previous incarnation, supposedly even better now--picking up and returning in Paris...total US$1133.
What hits you with a rental is the VAT and while the credit card companies may cover damages, it's not the full coverage you get with a lease plan.
The lease program starts at 21 days--you can take it for less (return it early) but you still pay for the 21 days.
The Twingo is great for two people (and also great for driving in narrow streets, etc) but they have a full range of vehicles.
I know Citroen offers the same sort of lease program but since I had rented Renault cars (Twingo, Clio) I thought I would stay with a vehicle I was familiar with. I Was very happy with Avis, used Budget once...ok...but Avis had better cars.
You'll need to reserve the car well in advance (2 months). What you're getting is a car direct from the factory...only driven to road test it (5 km or less on the odometer). When you reserve it, you'll give your airline flight info, so they'll have the car---YOUR car---waiting. You call them (if they haven't advised you to go to a certain location), they send a van to pick up you and your luggage, take you directly to the car place (Citroen is in the same compound), 10 minutes for the paperwork and you're ready. They provide a small amount of fuel to get you going, and a map for the closest station. Fill up and you'll be on your way.
NB: Plan ahead. Buy fuel from a station next to a supermarket...prices are lower and during business hours you can pay cash. US credit cards do NOT work...you'll save 5 to 10 centimes per litre over the stations on the highways. Diesel is cheaper than petrol at this time, usually is.
The complete coverage you get from Renault does NOT cover running out of gas or flat tires. Everything else, but not those.

I read someplace that they now require you to have (and pay for) one oil change but haven't seen anything on the website yet.
What else I like about the Eurodrive programs: You pay upfront in dollars so the currency shifts don't affect your travel budget. It's paid for before you leave and once there you only pay for fuel.
The people at RenaultUSA.com have been super helpful (including the time when I booked late and had to pick up the car in downtown Paris).

If you don't already have an unlocked phone, don't go for the 'phone with the rental car' deal, it can tie up a lot of credit on your credit card.
Read Rick Steves's advice on this....

I've never used a satellite system in a car, I trust maps more than electronics so don't pay extra, just plan the driving before you hit the road.
Three more things: Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
sfgirl42 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 09:30 PM
  #4  
 
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If price is an issue, Kemwel rents a sub-compact for $800 (VAT included, CDW carried by the credit card)for the dates listed by sfgirl42.
Michael is online now  
Jan 11th, 2010, 10:21 PM
  #5  
 
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If you decide on a normal car hire, we have used Hertz all over the world and always been happy with them.

Kay
KayF is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 09:38 AM
  #6  
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Thank you so much for all your information. Very helpful.
cathsomm is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 10:18 AM
  #7  
 
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Like Renault Eurodrive, Peugeot Open Europe is a lease program. You can book it through www.autoeurope.com or you can book a standard rental on the same site. Auto Europe is a consolidator and finds you the best rate from among the companies with which it has contracts. AE has a toll-free US phone number.
TimS is offline  

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