Car rental at Madrid Airport

Old Jan 16th, 2008, 12:03 PM
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GBC
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Car rental at Madrid Airport

We need to rent a car for 26 days upon arrival at MAD.

I know Hertz and Europcar are there. Any good or bad experiences with these that you could share? Are they right in the terminal? Are there others that I should check? Note: we will be traveling in Portugal as well as Spain. Is that an issue?

Our trip ends in Madrid. Should we take the car right to the center city hotel for two additional nights or turn it in at the airport and use public transportation?

I know this is several questions. Your advice is appreciated.
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 12:46 PM
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GBC,
We do several rentals a year at Madrid airport, usually with Europcar (booked through the wholesaler AutoEurope), and we've been pleased with our experience. AutoEurope's preferred supplier at the airport is Europcar. We've also used Avis.
Yes, the counters are in the terminal.

If you pick up and return to Madrid, driving the car into Portugal is not an issue. We drive our rentals into Portugal and France frequently.

I would never, ever drive the car into a Madrid city center hotel unless it couldn't be avoided. (The only time I drive in Madrid stress free is on Sunday mornings in August, when the streets are deserted! We had to do this last year.)

I would strongly urge you to turn it back into the airport (which is very easy) and use public transportation to your hotel.
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 12:47 PM
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With 26 days you are the perfect candidate for the Peuguot or Renault buy back program. Very good deal and you can do it at Madrid airport as well. See the details at www.kemwel.com
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 12:49 PM
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Yes to what bob said! I forgot to focus on your 26 days.
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 01:11 PM
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If you will consider a lease, probably a 30% saving, you should also compare rates with AutoEurope, which also may offer a greater choice of vehicles than Kemwel.
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 05:53 PM
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Thanks to all of you who have shared their experiences.

Maribel: Thanks for your thoughts and for your ideas that I've found on your website. I will contact AutoEurope. It have checked Europcar, (and Hertz) directly, too.

Bobthenavigator and Jeff: Thanks to you also. We have traveled in Europe for approx one month for the past several years. I must be doing something wrong because when I check out a lease I find that the pick up/drop off charges push the price of a lease up to the price of a rental or higher. And then there is always the question of what to do if you break down half way into your trip (far from Madrid, Paris, etc.? That said, we love a bargain and will check out kemwel.com and AutoEurope regarding leasing.

Again, thanks to everyone.
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 06:33 PM
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But the road service and insurance coverages are comprehensive.
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 06:35 PM
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I agree with Maribel , I wish to put my grain of sand saying that we have found ideal to return the car in the last city we are visiting before going back to Madrid. This way we return it earlier usually the moment we get to this city and then we take the train to the heart of Madrid.
This way we avoid the driving into Madrid which as Maribel says can be very annoying.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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Graziella....I take your meaning. A good idea. In that way you arrive in the center of the city and avoid the travel from the airport to downtown. Sad to say, our prior stop is Cuenca. I don't think that there is rail transport from there into Madrid. Thanks for a good idea. Perhaps we can use it on a future trip.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 02:09 PM
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there used to be trains to cuenca from madrid.

otherwise there are good buses. easy to put the luggage underneath.

you can also go to aranjuez to see the royal palace there and royal boat musuem, and take the train from there.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 03:13 PM
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GBC,
There are trains and busses from Cuenca to Madrid, as lin says. You could turn in your car in Cuenca and take either, if a departure fits your schedule

I've taken the Auto Res bus. It takes 2 1/2 hrs. except for the 7:30 am and 2:30 pm express taking 2 hrs. Fares are 12.20-13.70 The Auto Res busses now arrive in Madrid at the Estación Sur de Autobuses.
See schedule at
www.auto-res.net

The train is a Regional, 4 daily departures, at 7:05, 1:20, 4:20 and 6:55. Train takes 2 1/2 hrs.
www.renfe.es

Or as lin says, you could check if you car rental agency has an office in Aranjuez, drop the car off, see the Spanish summer "Versailles" palace and take the commuter train into Madrid.
You would take a cercanías train, line C3 with constant departures. Trip takes 42 min. See the schedule at www.renfe.es and select Madrid from the Cercanías options, then put in Aranjuez as your origen and Atocha as your destino.

Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 04:17 PM
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GBC,
I thought when I wrote the above that there probably wouldn't be a major car rental agency with office in Aranjuez, so I just checked, and I see there is not. So that wouldn't be an option for you.

Avis and Europcar do have offices in Cuenca, if you want to avoid taking the car back to the Madrid airport.

But the drop off at Barajas airport is not a difficult one. We drop off there 4-5 times a year. We use Terminal 1 for our drop off. It's actually fairly well signed.
You can then taxi to your hotel, about a 20-30 min. ride.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 10:41 AM
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To all of you who have been so kind sharing your experiences with us. I thought I would report what I've learned and what we've deicded to do.

Leasing - There is a $440 fee for drop off/pick up in Madrid. This makes a lease of 26 days considerably more expensive than a rental although the leased car would be new and totally insured.

Rental - I checked with many companies and several brokers. Europebycar provided a pretty competitive price - just slightly more than the others. Kemwel was very high. Hertz, with an AAA 10% discount, and AutoEurope (using Europcar), after a little searching, were about the same price. About $1000. for the 27 days using our credit card for the CDW, inclusive of everything, we hope. We went with AutoEurope/Europcar. It was a toss up but we've had some 'issues' with Hertz in Ireland and Greece. Our experience with Europcar has been good. I prepaid it to lock in the price and to pay in dollars avoiding any further euro/dollar conversion fees. I have said I would never prepay another rental but 'times change'.

You folks were very helpful. We appreciate your support.
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