CAR RENTAL -Arrange Spain or U.S.

Old Oct 9th, 2000, 08:04 AM
Paul S
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CAR RENTAL -Arrange Spain or U.S.

Trying to find out if there is any advantage price wise to arranging a car rental from US or is it the same once I get there; and any company recommendations one over the other would be appreciated...It would be a last minute rental with only several days lead time -thanks.
Old Oct 9th, 2000, 08:34 AM
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Although not as sure for last minute rentals, I would definitely rent from the U.S.--either Avis, Alamo, Hertz, etc. Spain is one of the cheapest countries in Europe for car rental. Shop around. Why the last minute constraint?
Old Oct 9th, 2000, 12:58 PM
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I would also recommend renting the car in the U.S. We made arrangements here for a car rental in Madrid last November and drove all around Portugal and Andalusia. Everything went very smoothly. I believe we used Avis, and the prices were very reasonable. Driving around Spain is wonderful. Hope you have a fantastic trip.
Old Oct 9th, 2000, 01:01 PM
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Do both. Arrange here in the US before you leave with a no-cancellation penalty deal, then shop the counters real quick upon arrival.
Old Oct 9th, 2000, 03:13 PM
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Not sure about the "last minute" constraint. However, in general, you are much better off to rent from the US. Hertz, Avis pre-pays are fully refundable in my experience, and I expect others are also. If you are not comfortable with a manual transmission, it could be fairly important that you reserve ahead since automatics are not always available for walk-ups. I cannot say that I think much of Rex's advice to "do both." Even in the US it is hard to intelligently compare prices for car rentals on the spot. Unless you are entirely fluent in Spanish and familar with various car-rental fees [and your question implies that you are not] -- then I don't think a reasonable comparison would be possible. How would you get the rates once there? Wait in line at each counter, and then go back to the lowest? Or, read the signs and hope there is no "fine print" that changes the bottom line result? The frustration would not be worth the small amount of money potentially saved.
Old Oct 9th, 2000, 03:38 PM
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Bo - - I agree that my suggestion to "cruise the counters" will not apply to many people very often. One example that paid off for me very nicely was when i saw a hand letterd sign in Lisbon saying "Spanish cars available" - - I don't remember if it was in Portuguese, Spanish or English (or multiple) - - but it was exactly what I needed, and streamlined my itinerary and saved me money. I had the luxury of changing my plans (eliminating a train ride) and avoiding the drop charge, since I was headed to Barcelona anyway. I think I was able to take advantage of an unusual deal - - spelled out reasonably well, again in a hand lettered sign - - in amsterdam once (I was traveling solo that time also), but I don't remember the exact details.

My point was that one SHOULD arrange prior to your trans-atlantic destination - - but that you should NOT feel that you have to accept any terms that lock you into a cancellation penalty - - in case you find a better deal.

Best wishes,


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