Car Rental for Croatia

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Nov 4th, 2018, 05:11 PM
  #41
 
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Originally Posted by cindyjo View Post
Just to add to the pot: i was told by Dollar that the rental age limit in Croatia was 70 and being 71 we could not hire a rental from them. I then called Auto Europe and Kemwel and was basically told the same information although Nova will rent with a daily surcharge. So I do not know your age but if it applies, br sure to inquire about age limits.

For a good laugh - while researching this I found a website with driving age limits outside the U.S.

Finland. - age 97!!!!
Cindyjo, what did you do about renting a car? I ask because we will be in Croatia in April/May for 13 nights. We plan on renting a car for at least 6 or 7 nights. We do not want to travel by public transportation. The problem is that my husband will be 72 in February, and he does all of the international driving. I will be 69 in January, but I really don't want to drive. Do you know what the surcharge is for drivers over 70? Is Nova a broker, and are they my only choice? I was going to wait a few more months before renting the car, but based on this post, I will start doing my research tomorrow. I have always used Kemwel in the past, and have received good rates and good customer service from them, so I will start with them tomorrow.

Thank you.
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Nov 4th, 2018, 06:27 PM
  #42
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Karen- go to the Nova website. I believe their age is over 75.
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Nov 4th, 2018, 09:02 PM
  #43
 
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Originally Posted by yestravel View Post
Karen- go to the Nova website. I believe their age is over 75.
Yestravel, thank you! Have you used Nova before? Are they reputable? I haven't heard of them until I read your post.
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Nov 5th, 2018, 02:29 AM
  #44
 
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Karen—Despite being long time AutoEurope customers, we used Nova in September because they got by far the best reviews on TripAdvisor’s forum. We had no issues with them. However, there are 2 different Nova’s. Be sure to use the one based in Split. Their website is novarentacar.hr.
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Nov 5th, 2018, 04:45 AM
  #45
 
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Karenwoo, we wonít be picking up our rental until May. I am away from my desk now (knocking on doors for Beto in Houston) so donít have access to my notes. We are headed home Tuesday and I will reply to your question. The clearest information was given to me by both Kemwel and Auto Europe with a phone call. If you are leaving soon or worried, I would call them directly. It seems to me that there was one company (maybe Fleet?) that had a higher age cutoff but they have had a preponderance of bad reviews on forums that I visit. I plan on a rental from Nova in Split.

We will be paying the surcharge as our travel plan involves a month and a car rental will be necessary to make the most of it.

I appreciate this thread. It seems like there is always important information to be gained re auto rental dependent on the part of the world we are visiting.
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Nov 5th, 2018, 09:22 AM
  #46
 
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cindyjo, we will be in Croatia and Slovenia from April 23 to May 6. So we aren't leaving soon, but I want to reserve the car rental this week. It never occurred to me there could be an issue with our ages I will call Kemwel today because I have lots of questions.Thanks!
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Nov 5th, 2018, 09:41 AM
  #47
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Karen -- no, I never used or even heard of Nova before planning this trip. They get good reviews on TA. Of course there are a few negative reviews thrown in there. I also don't think Auto Europe would use them if they had lots of problems with them. I researched a variety of car rentals for our trip to Croatia et al and they consistently had the best rates. I am booking thru AE so will have their support should there be an issue, but I'm not expecting one.

cindyjo -- good for you, campaignng for Beto. Hope he can pull it off. When are you in Croatia? We arrive in Zagreb on April 29 and will be away until June. I'm ending up doing 2 car rentals for our trip. Both rentals I used AE and they use Nova. As I mentioned above AE lowered my rate so the overall price is the same as Nova directly.
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Nov 5th, 2018, 05:32 PM
  #48
 
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I guess I travel differently than most of you. I made/changed a few advanced reservations for my car in Croatia for my May 2015 trip but wound up making the final booking a few days before picking it up. ;-) Prices do fluctuate and may get cheaper than they are now. I'd just book one now that can be changed/canceled and check prices again in a few months. EconomyCarRentals worked out fine for me with Oryx (except for my Amex fake credit card insurance not covering damage I had to the rental car, but that's another story).
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Nov 5th, 2018, 05:40 PM
  #49
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I always book a rental once my plans get finalized. But I continue checking until right before I leave. I have found lower rates once in awhile and then I just change. Auto Europe sends me sale notices which helps. I like doing the basic research on what the options might be and put that behind me.
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Nov 5th, 2018, 08:49 PM
  #50
 
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For some reason, I never thought of checking car rentals after I have made my reservation. But I will start doing that now. Thanks for suggesting that, Andrew and yestravel. My reservations with Kemwel can be cancelled up to the day we pick up the car, so i can continue checking until we leave. Thanks for the tip! I called Kemwel today, and they quoted me a good price, and they claim the price will increase after November 30, which may be true, but who knows, the price could decrease at some point.
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Nov 5th, 2018, 11:46 PM
  #51
 
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My husband tends to book our car rentals. He definitely rechecks the prices. Also, we tend to find a coupon for rental cars. When we can't find a coupon, we use the frequent flyer miles portal to open the car rental's site and pick up miles.
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Nov 6th, 2018, 08:47 AM
  #52
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5alive -- do you find that foreign local car rentals are available thru the FF miles portals? I never thought about using them for foreign rentals.
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Nov 6th, 2018, 10:59 AM
  #53
 
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Yestravel, good question. I didn't even know about Nova and Kemwel until this thread. But partners are always being added to these programs--so they might be in the future. Europcar and Sixt are on a lot of FF programs. I haven't used either one but I would consider it. Also, other airlines around the world have their own affiliates.

As to AutoEurope, they are not on a portal. Their website advises you to ask at the desk where you actually pick up your vehicle if they can add your mileage number. I don't honestly remember if they did that for me or not. I can check....

I used AutoEurope a few years ago.I lucked into a "booking 90 days out or more sale" at AutoEurope. As Andrew advises, prices do fluctuate. And I did go back and compare other brands of car rentals and different incentives, including the FF portal, to see if I could do as well or better. Nothing else came close on that go-round.

I looked at Gemut and I ran a price check, and it didn't do better. I do have to say the very dated look of Gemut's website makes me a little gunshy about putting my credit card in there. I just opened it up again, and they have a coupon code on their home page called Gemut2014. That doesn't make me feel very good about how often they update their security either.

In the UK, we rented at an Budget Car Rental directly, so in that case, yes, we used the FF portal. On top of that we had a code my employer allowed (even encouraged) me to use that lowered the drop fee. And that is also a point: Randomly over the years, we have gotten car rental coupons for various things and those can be used on top of the portal link. And by random, I do mean random. For example, on one trip, I had a bill insert from our credit union. For a while, one of my kids was still selling Entertainment books for her school (did you know those were still a thing?) and those books had excellent coupons. I would always suggest looking at Costco online if you're a member. Stuff like that.
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Nov 6th, 2018, 11:36 AM
  #54
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Kemwell is the sister company to Auto Europe. They do sometimes have lower rates than AE. AE & Kemwell are consolidators for various rental car companies so I am not surprised they are not in any of the portals. Good idea to ask the car agency when picking up the car to add FF#. As I have mentioned we tend to end up with AE with our foreign rentals esp in Europe. On this rental, I called them with my lower offer from Nova. AE beat the lowest price I could find at Nova which was the lowest rate of all the many places I checked. On a number of rentals they have come down in price to be equal to or better then the prices I could find. I've checked Costco and either they don't rent where we need or their prices are not any better which surprises me because so many people sing their praises on rates.
The points you make about Gemut are ones that have concerned me too. They have never beat AE and in fact often use them, so of course booking through Gemut would cost more than AE. Plus they can be slow to respond when I'm doing my first hunting around. I'll have to remember to check portals when we book directly with a main brand. And it definitely pays to check back on the rates. No, I didn't know the Entertainment books still were around!
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Nov 6th, 2018, 01:00 PM
  #55
 
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Originally Posted by yestravel View Post
Kemwell is the sister company to Auto Europe. They do sometimes have lower rates than AE. AE & Kemwell are consolidators for various rental car companies so I am not surprised they are not in any of the portals.
Good to know!
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Nov 6th, 2018, 05:13 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by yestravel View Post
Gemut .. [has] ... never beat AE and in fact often use them, so of course booking through Gemut would cost more than AE.
Again, don't use gemut if you don't want, but they once beat AE for me and have always at least matched it -- giving me an extra layer of service above and beyond the services I obtain through AutoEurope for the same price. I've never booked through their on-line option, but have instead always worked with people on the telephone.
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Nov 8th, 2018, 10:15 AM
  #57
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Over the years esp the last 8 years when we travel 4-5 times a year I have gotten the car rental deal down pat for me. My standard for car rentals is to send off requests directly to multiple car rental companies and the consolidators like rentalcars.com etc. This site and TA are great in identifying the reputable local agencies. Whichever company comes in with the best rate including any extras that are needed is typically the one I will choose. The last few years I have taken the lowest rate and asked AE to match it and they have.
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Dec 5th, 2018, 03:11 AM
  #58
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Hi again, yestravel!

Although I know you have long-since made your arrangements, I finally found some journals that I had misplaced and – for anyone who consults this thread in the future -- wanted to correct and supplement some information I posted earlier.

∑ Of the nine times I have rented with gemut, gemut offered me a lower price than AutoEurope (and lower than any other company I consulted) three times. (Gemut's prices have never, IME, been higher than AutoEurope.) The first time was the first time I rented a car in Europe, and I spent a LOT of time on the phone with numerous car rental companies when planning that trip. (I should note that I don't work with just any old car rental agency -- as a solo traveler, I want some assurance of quality!) Since then, I readily admit that I don’t do a lot of back and forth negotiating once I get offers from gemut, AutoEurope, and any companies with which various memberships give me a discount – just enough checking to give myself confidence that I’m gotten a low-cost offer with a reputable company and guaranteed service. I envy the time and energy you spend nailing down your options!

∑ My one source of dissatisfaction with gemut is that it has not typically responded to my inquiries about pricing immediately or with careful attention to the specifications I provided. For example, I usually name specific pick-up and drop-off locations, and their initial response – which might be several days after I place my request -- always identifies the right cities, but not the specific locations of my choice. But once they have sent me an offer, they have always been responsive to my questions / comments / corrections, and I have always ended up with the specific locations and vehicles I wanted.

∑ While abroad, I have encountered reason to contact gemut 3 times, and have always received prompt, thorough, and fully satisfactory responses:

1. I once realized that I didn’t have the right maps on my personal GPS and emailed gemut for suggestions, even though it wasn’t their responsibility at all. Within an hour, I received a detailed and extremely helpful response with my options for both my personal GPS and for the car I was to pick up the next day, complete with estimated costs for all options.

2. Upon arriving at an AutoEurope office in Paris to pick up a car, I found that there had been an error in the paperwork that had clearly been at AutoEurope’s end, and as a result, the car I had requested was not available. AutoEurope tried to convince me to take a larger vehicle than I wanted. Gemut resolved the problem promptly, arranging the relocation of a car of the type I had requested to the office where I was waiting. I left the rental agency (mid-day on a Sunday) with the type of car I had requested with a delay of less than an hour.

3. And the really big one: After spending a night in a tiny town in central Istria (Gračišće), I was awakened by an observant gentleman who had noticed that oil had been leaking from my car. I checked, and found that the car had absolutely no oil left -- it was bone dry. I was miles from any place with a car rental office -- at least at that time, Gračišće didn’t even have a gas station! With just a phone call, gemut immediately began working with AutoEurope to address the situation – they literally split the work between them to identify a workable solution. It took a few hours, but I ended up with a replacement vehicle of the same type I had been using. And I never heard a word about any costs associated with the damage to the original rental vehicle.


Again, I’m not saying that anyone should rent from gemut if you don’t want to or find a better offer elsewhere. I’m just making it clear that gemut does, at least sometimes, offer better prices than AutoEurope and IME, they add a separate layer of service above and beyond that provided by AutoEurope, an extra layer that has proven very helpful to me on at least two occasions and that is cost-free if the offers are the same price. While I agree that their initial replies to requests for information are not always prompt or responsive, I have found their follow-ups and their responses when on the road extremely attentive and helpful.

I hope this additional information proves helpful to current or future Fodorites, and again offer my kudos to yestravel for the time and effort spent to ensure a rental that meets their travel needs.

Enjoy your time in Croatia and thereabouts!

Last edited by kja; Dec 5th, 2018 at 03:33 AM.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 02:24 AM
  #59
 
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Hi Kja,
I don’t believe AutoEurope has an office in Paris, as they are not an actual rental car company, just a middle man. Also, if you rented through Gemut, I’m not sure why AutoEurope would be helping with your oil issue in Istria. I’m wondering if you are confusing AutoEurope with Europcar?
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Dec 6th, 2018, 06:25 AM
  #60
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Digbydog - when I have looked at using Gemut for various trips, they book thru AutoEurope, a consolidator. So Gemut has a relationship with AutoEurope who then has the relationship with the actual car rental company such as Hertz, Europcar etc. AE is a consolidator & as you say, does not rent the actual cars. AE books you with a car rental company. As you suggest, kja may be confusing the car rental company such as Europcar with AutoEurope. AE would not be on site. Their offices are in Maine.

kja, thanks for the good wishes. Our trip is pretty much set. I'm sure as we get closer to spring I will be back with more questions. Again thanks for all the help with the car rental and on my other planning thread.
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