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Car rental - very confused

Old Jul 27th, 2012, 01:54 PM
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Car rental - very confused

I am looking to hire a car at the city office in Vienna and return it to the airport. As I compare rates across multiple companies, the T&Cs are completely confusing...

a. Is the tax for a rental pickup or return to an airport included in the quote they provide?
b. I don't need CDW as my credit card provides it - will it be mandated by the car rental at the time of pickup? The website allows option to book the rental without CDW.
c. Any recommendations for a hassle free car rental experience?

Last qtn : I have a US driving license since 2001. But I dont reside there now and can't get an International Driving license from there now. I have a local driving license in Dubai - but they make a distinction between manual and automatic - and I have an automatic license. The IDP will be for this license - will it cause an issue with a manual car hire? I am very comfortable driving manual.....
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 02:04 PM
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I just pulled up Hertz to see what they say. for the places you've chose.

The insurance is optional. I went as far as them wanting CC information and cut the link.

BTW: I do like to deal with Hertz. I suggest you check them out.

I do not know if there are Austrian laws requiring the insurance, but Hertz had them as completely optional.
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 02:12 PM
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I went to the Hertz website and while they say that the CDW for example is optional, there is no place to not choose it in the quote!!

In fact, both CDW and Theft protection are mentioned as optional but the quote includes them.
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 02:56 PM
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Check out both www.autoeurope.com and www.gemut.com. You can get quotes on AutoEurope w/o insurance and with insurance

Both companies are well known to Fodorites and are dependable. They are not car rental companies themselves but brokers. You will pay in US $ at the time of your rental BUT you can cancel at any time without penalty.
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 04:26 PM
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If there is a fee for airport pick-up, it will be a separate after the fact charge, at least it is in France with Autoeurope and Kemwel contracts.
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 06:46 PM
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You don't pay airport tax when you return a car to the airport -- only when you pick it up -- and it should be included in your rental car contract.

When we fly into Frankfurt Airport, we try to pick up our rental car at Avis in Kelsterbach, a short taxi cab ride away. We save the airport tax on the car pickup and then return it to Frankfurt Airport without paying any additional airport tax charge.
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 07:13 PM
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kram - It might be because I have an account with Hertz.

If you had gone farther, there is a place to decline the option.

There is a road tax, but it is included in the price, but the expense, as bettyk points out, from renting at the airport.
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 12:53 AM
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I finally decided to make the booking with Avis. Cheaper than Hertz, gave me the option to not select CDW and Theft Insurance and best of all, make a reservation without submitting credit card information.

I asked for a pickup from their city location and there is still a 20% tax on the overall trip cost. It was cheaper on the base rate than an airport pickup - but the tax rate was quoted at 20% on both the options.

Not sure if that is the way it works for Austria.
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 01:35 AM
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I have had a similar experience and am currently favouring Avis over Europcar, Hertz etc.

I have also found here in Australia that Amex and Mastercard Platinum and Diamond cards have discount priveleges and upgrades with Avis that are worth considering.
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 08:39 AM
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I asked for a pickup from their city location and there is still a 20% tax on the overall trip cost. It was cheaper on the base rate than an airport pickup - but the tax rate was quoted at 20% on both the options.

Hoe does this compare to Autoeurope's or Kemwel's comprehensive (tax included) pre-paid rate?
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 09:02 AM
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Auto Europe for the same car type is 690$ with insurance.

Kemwel is in the 800s

vs Avis's 545$.

Also, looks like the 20% is Austria's VAT and is applicable on all car rentals....
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 09:24 AM
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Still unclear. Are you paying $545 with tax or $653 on your Avis rental. When you say that AutoEurope comes with insurance, is that the "basic" rate where the CDW is carried by the credit card? Are you aware that both Autoeurope and Kemwel include taxes in the price listing--i.e. the VAT?

Just trying to clarify for others who might be trying to navigate the ins and outs of car rentals.
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 09:44 AM
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Hi Kram,
Something I would most definitely recommend is to bring proof of your CDW insurance coverage through your credit card. I have never been asked to provide it except when we rented from Hertz in Zell am See in Austria in May of this year. I was caught off guard and actually it took nearly two hours at the rental place, with numerous phone calls back and forth to the US in order to have the proof that I needed.
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 10:06 AM
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Hi Michael, Avis is 545 and it is the option without the CDW and Theft insurance.

AutoEurope and Kenwel include both these insurance covers and those rates are what I have provided.

All the rates include the 20% VAT - and the same 20% seems to be applied whether I pick it up from Vienna airport or a downtown location.

Michele, thanks - that's a good point. I will take a printout of the card contract or T&Cs....
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 01:15 PM
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Don't forget that you need a vignette to drive (maybe just the autobahn?) in Austria - road tax. I'm in Germany and can get them at ADAC (like AAA but seriously better). Rental cars here don't have the vignettes but if you rent in Austria, it may be included. Be sure to check in advance.
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 02:25 PM
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kram, AutoEurope always provides two quotes -- one WITH INSURANCE and one basic price WITHOUT INSURANCE. It would be interesting to see what the comparison would be if you showed us the AutoEurope rate without insurance.
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 11:42 PM
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OK, I have no idea why I could not view the AutoEurope quotes without insurance earlier.

I checked again and got some interesting outcomes :

For an airport pick and dropoff, the quote for the same car type (Ford Focus wagon), the rate without insurance is only 504.

But my preferred option is a downtown pickup and drop at the airport. For this, the car shown is Opel Astra Wagon and the quote without insurance is 688!!

The airport option has a 15% airport charge included and both options have all taxes included.

I plan to write to AutoEurope if they will give me the same 504 quote that I get for an airport pickup. The advantage is that AutoEurope downtown location is closer to downtown than Avis's office.

As to credit card details at the time of reservation:

- Avis does not ask for credit card details and hence can be cancelled anytime.

- AutoEurope says card info. is optional but they wont confirm a reservation till a full refundable payment is made using a card. It is fully refundable with a 3 day notice.
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Old Jul 30th, 2012, 07:20 AM
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Try Kemwel. At times its rates are lower than Autoeurope's even though they are sister companies and use the same telephone personnel in off-hours.
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Old Jul 30th, 2012, 07:20 AM
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Have you contacted Gemut.com by phone? They are a great company to work with and you can talk to a live person with any questions you have.

Andrew Bestor, Auto Rent Manager
800-521-6722

[email protected]

Also, their website is full of many helpful tips on car rental and other topics.

http://www.gemut.com/rental-car-tips...w.gemut.com%2F
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Old Jul 31st, 2012, 01:59 AM
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OK, more confusion.

Avis has confirmed that there will be a 7.27 euro per day charge for taking the car into Czech republic. They have not replied to my question on whether this is applicable for the entire rental period or just for the days I am in Czech Republic. Also, there is fine print that seems to suggest that I need to sign up for CDW and Theft Protection - they are yet to come back with a clarification on this.

AutoEurope is getting a quote from Avis itself and it looks similar in cost. Since this is one step removed from the car company, there are more questions I have about the T&Cs that I have asked them to clarify. As of now, I will most likely not be going with them.

Gemut came back with a quote of $ 765 for the same car from Avis!! Don't have the time to tell them they are 50% more expensive.

The dark horse is Hertz - their quote is $627 - there is no surcharge to take the car into Czech Republic. And it gives me a downtown pickup from a location in Vienna downtown and with Club Gold benefits!! The quote seems to be clean with no 'ifs and buts'.

Does anyone know if Avis includes Vehicle Licensing fee - apparently, this is 4.8 Euros per day and AutoEurope quote says it is additional.

All in all, the process so far has been very cumbersome and confusing.....
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