Car Rental in Spain

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Sep 5th, 2002, 10:06 AM
  #1
prwood
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Car Rental in Spain

Greetings,

I am traveling to Marbella, Spain for my honeymoon. We will be flying in to Malaga Airport, and we will be staying at the Atlantic Club in Marbella.

My first question is: should we rent a car? Our budget should allow us $400-$500 to use on a car rental for the week we will be there, otherwise, we could use that money towards some other form of transportation.

Second, if we do rent a car, what would be a good company to facilitate the rental? I have looked at some deals on Orbitz and Expedia, but I have also looked at Autoeurope.com, which seems to have some better prices.

What should we look for when making a car rental reservation? Should we get basic or inclusive rental terms? Should we avoid renting any certain type of car?

Thanks,

Peter
 
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Sep 5th, 2002, 10:54 AM
  #2
prwood
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bumping
 
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Sep 5th, 2002, 01:18 PM
  #3
Maira
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Congratulations!!!

DEFINITELY rent a car. I can't truly imagined a better transport alternative for a leisure vacation in Andalucia, specially around Malaga/Marbella area. Rent from AVIS aka Auto Europe (oftentimes). They have an outlet right at the Malaga Airport. Weekly rate for an Opel Corsa should not be more than $300-350. Rent from the States, gas is expensive but is seems to go a loooong way, if time allows, a AAA International Drivers Permit is not a bad idea for Andalucia, a region where the roads are excellent and where police does road check at random check point quite frequently. An IDP helps tremendously in getting over the hump of language barriers (hubby's experience). Do not miss a visit to some White Towns, Ronda, Seville, Granada; Have a great time!!
 
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Sep 14th, 2002, 06:05 PM
  #4
prwood
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Hi Maira!

Thanks for the advice.

Another question about rentals: should I go with a basic rental or should I get 'inclusive' which includes extra insurance?

Also, I am 23 years old - will I actually be allowed to rent a car in Spain at my age, and if so, will I be charged a surcharge as I would here in the States? I have found that in the USA, I am typically charged $10-$15 extra per day because I am under 25.

Thanks Much.
 
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Oct 3rd, 2002, 02:49 PM
  #5
cooter
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Can't answer re. the surcharge, as I am long past 23....check with the company...

Speaking of which, I have gotten the best rates from AutoEurope. There's a lot of threads about inclusive vs. not inclusive, if you have some credit cards they may cover any damage, etc. My feeling is, I'd rather pay the additional cost for the rental (which is a known, budgetable expense) than face the possibility of covering the entire cost of the vehicle out of my pocket and waiting for my credit card to reimburse me....personal preference, though.
 
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Oct 3rd, 2002, 03:29 PM
  #6
Patrick
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I agree with cooter. I'd rather not have to worry about damage I may have caused and put it on a credit card, then spend the rest of my vacation worrying about how it will be handled.

One post above suggests that Avis is sometimes called Auto Europe. Renting from Avis and renting from Auto Europe are two totally different things. Although Auto Europe is a consolidator and you may end up getting your car from Avis or Hertz, or nearly anyone else, to get their rates and benefits you must rent from Auto Europe. I agree, other than a one day rental in the UK I once did with Hertz, I have never been able to beat Auto Europe's quotes. The only exception is a lease plan with a 17 day minimum available from Auto France for a new Peugeot or from a similar plan with Renault -- but that doesn't seem to be right for you this trip with only a one week rental.
 
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Oct 3rd, 2002, 05:22 PM
  #7
Maribel
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prwood,
After exhaustive comparison shopping every summer, I had been an "Avis only" customer in Spain until this past summer, when I gave the wholesaler/consolidator Auto Europe a chance. They not only matched but even beat just a tad the Avis rate for both of our 2 week rentals, and they booked our rental through Avis and gave us an upgrade both times from category C to D (from a Ford Focus to Seat Toledo/Renault Megane). We picked up our "Auto Europe" rental at the Avis office both times and everything went extremely smoothly. I'm now an Auto Europe convert.

The initial Avis quote was $298 including VAT for 2 weeks. Auto Europe charged us $288 including VAT, their "Instant Sale" price which required a $63 deposit, again for 2 weeks, not 1.

For a one week rental in Spain, Avis quoted $185 including VAT this July. Auto Europe's "Instant Sale" price was $170, plus the additional CDW.

For our annual two rentals in Spain I always check Hertz, Avis, Auto Europe, Europcar/National, Eurodollar/Sixt, Kemwell and Budget and always arrange the rental before we leave, I also like to call rather than do this on the internet, because I need quick and detailed answers to my questions-prefer to talk to an agent.

For southern Spain, we're much more comfortable with a category C compact, as the streets are tiny, extremely narrow and the parking spots miniscule. A large car is a distinct liability (were given an unwanted upgrade once to a Renault Scenic "mini" minivan, which was a true albatross), particularly in the white hill towns of Andalucia, such as Arcos de la Frontera, Ronda, Frigiliana, well, almost in any of those maze like Moorish towns.

The Auto Europe agents are very pleasant to work with and quite efficient. I was most impressed.
 
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Oct 8th, 2002, 07:26 AM
  #8
prwood
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Hi all,

I ended up renting a Renault Megane Coupe through AutoEurope. Total was $290.50 for an inclusive rental, including 16% tax, and inclusive insurance (CDW, fire, theft). Pickup is at the AVIS counter at the Malaga airport.

I booked the rental online at AutoEurope's website and had a great experience there. Everything was clear and easy to figure out. After I placed my order, I got confirmation emails, including a travel voucher in PDF form, which was very classy. I also got a personal follow-up email from Trey who let me know that I would be subject to a young driver surcharge of approx. $9USD per day.

Very nice service... hopefully the car will be just as nice.

18 days til the wedding...
 
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Oct 13th, 2002, 06:51 PM
  #9
Maira
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Patrick, in 1994 I rented a car with Avis (US) to be picked up at the Malaga Airport. Which out handled our rental? Auto Europe. In 1997, we traveled to Germany and rented from Avis (US). We got to Germany and what agency handled our rental?...you guessed it.... Auto Europe. Sorry Patrick, you are mistaken. It may not be the case anymore, but I can assured you Avis oftentimes used Auto Europe as their European outlet.
 
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Oct 20th, 2002, 01:49 PM
  #10
Ali
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My wife and I are flying to Madrid and taking the AVA train to Seville. I want to rent a car in Seville and kind of make a loop arround Costa Del Sol, we are thinking of droping the car off in Cordoba to take the train back to Madrid. Does anyone know if this is posible. Will it be expensive? Also are there any Car rental places close to the Train stations in Seville and Cordoba?

I've found some the best all inclusive rates for Avis on Expedia.co.uk funny since Expedia.com was more expensive.
 
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Oct 20th, 2002, 02:08 PM
  #11
chris
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One thing hasn't been mentioned,can you drive a shift? If not you need to make sure an automatic will be available.I can't imagine learning to shift on the roads in Andalucia!
 
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Oct 20th, 2002, 03:56 PM
  #12
Maribel
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prwood,
Glad you're all set on your rental and found your Auto Europe experience pleasant. And best wishes for a wonderful wedding & honeymoon.

I just booked a 6 day rental for Nov. with Auto Europe, picking up/returning to Barajas airport. This time they've subcontracted with Europcar (National) instead of Avis.
Why, I don't know.
But I first called all the multinationals on my list plus the other consolidator, Kemwell. (Eurodollar/Sixt has temp. stopped serving Spain).
Europcar's quote, strangely enough, was $70 HIGHER than Auto Europe's final price, with the same 16% vat and airport surcharge included, but yet Auto Europe is giving me a Europcar vehicle. ?

Once again, Auto Europe gave me my AAA discount, their famous upgrade to a Renault Megane and not only matched but beat just a tad the lowest quote from my comparison shopping, this time the lowest price being from Kemwell. So, every rental is different.
I usually find Avis to come in cheapest, but not for these particular dates to and from the Madrid airport.

Ali,
I highly recommend the comparison shopping, either by phone or on line, contacting Auto Europe last, as the rates I was quoted from 8 sources varied by $100 for this short rental!

Yes, there are car rental offices at both Seville's Santa Justa station and at Cordoba's. Hertz and Europcar have locations at both. Avis has an office in the Seville station but their office in Cordoba is located at Plaza Colon, just up the Avenida de America, not far from the station.

I've found the pick-up to be easier in Seville than the return because of the congestion around the station. Your idea of picking up the car upon leaving Seville and returning it to Cordoba after finishing your loop sounds like a good plan.

Hope this helps.
 
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