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Has anyone used AtlasChoice for a car rental?

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Jan 12th, 2011, 06:13 PM
  #1
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Has anyone used AtlasChoice for a car rental?

Looking at car rental prices for our bi annual ,one month trip to Portugal has me shocked at the higher than usual car rental prices. Even with the dollar now about 1.30/Euro we have rented for less when it was about 1.60 USD for 1 Euro.

I stumbled upon AtlasChoice which I am sure is out of England and the prices are much more in line with what we have been paying in the past. I hesitate to ditch AutoEurope, but this company is about $250 USD less and with we would be paying in advance in dollars on our credit card. We would avoid the credit card fees and terrible exchange rates that we would incur with paying at pick up which is the deal with some of the other rental companies I have checked out.

I know Auto Europe will match any other valid rental price but ATlasChoice would charge a cancellation fee.....maybe worth the price. Just agonizing about going with this unknown (to me) consolidator. Does anyone have any experience with them? Thanks.
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Jan 13th, 2011, 05:20 AM
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No idea on Atlas but I've been pricing rentals in France for myself and GB for a friend lately and am finding http://www.economycarrentals.com has the best deals and they include zero CDW. (Note... if you type in the url you need to use the WWW or it won't work)

I have used them in the past for a rental in Athens through Avis and all went well.

Rob
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Jan 13th, 2011, 06:34 AM
  #3
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ParisAmsterdam,

Thanks for the reply. I have seen the quotes from economycarrentals and they are quite a bit higher than Atlas. Overnight I was thinking....if I go ahead and book with them I will be protected by my charge card from fraud and when they reveal the car company the rental is with I will call over to Lisbon a few days ahead of arrival to be sure they have me reserved a car for us. Or I can speak with Auto Europe about a price match.
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Jan 13th, 2011, 07:14 AM
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I used Atlas Choice last year for rental in Hungary, and they were fine. Except that the initial booking through them didn't reach the rental firm in Budapest (I found out accidentally when emailing Hungarian operator for some details). I went back to Atlas Choice (they are based in London, part of Atlas Insurance and quite legit) and they re-sent the details and confirmed they have received. I then re-contacted local operator and all was well. The rental itself was competently handled. It was perhaps one of those mishaps that could happen anywhere anytime - what would have happened had I turned up at Budapest Airport and there was no sign of a car I wouldn't want to speculate. At least I found out months before the actual rental.
I have no hesitation in using them again, but next time I'd contact the local rental operator (you are told which one) as soon as booking is confirmed to make sure they have your details on their system.
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Jan 13th, 2011, 07:47 AM
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lowcountrycarol. I haven't used them but recently we tried Economy Car Hire LTD and the rental was actually lower than AutoEurope for my rental.
I have had good luck before with Economy Car Rentals but lately they have been higher than some other companies or they haven't had the car that I wanted available.
AutoEurope came down on the price for the price match but they would not come down enough to include the extra driver which Economy Car Hire does.
I guess AE met me part way.
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Jan 14th, 2011, 08:04 AM
  #6
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Alec, thanks for sharing your experience with Atlas. Now I feel much more confident about booking with them.

A few years back we arrived at the airport in Lisbon, went to the car rental desk, provided our Auto Europe voucher and found out they had no record of us in their system. All turned out OK but now I call the company a few days in advance to confirm that they have the booking. We were lucky they had quite a few cars that day.

Sher, I think I will take a look at Economy Car rental just to see how they compare. I was going numb the other night trying to compare who offers what insurance, 2nd driver etc.
I have noticed that the car selection for the economy rate that we always choose is much smaller. Fewer cars and not the Opel Corsa or Ibiza Seat that we find a good size.
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Jan 14th, 2011, 03:20 PM
  #7
ira
 
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Hi low,

We were going to book with Atlas, but when we asked them if there was a car available, Atlas Shrugged.
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Jan 14th, 2011, 03:24 PM
  #8
ira
 
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Hey low,

Have you tried any of the international sites, Spain, Portugal, etc, for AutoEurope. Sometimes they are much cheaper.

Also try www.kemwel.com.

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Jan 14th, 2011, 08:35 PM
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Carol. I don't blame you for going batty trying to decide between the companies.
We are going to Italy and there you have a real problem as the insurance is very tricky. And also, the car rentals are expensive.
Our dates are far off. When I checked Economy Car Rentals for my dates they do not have a small automatic available. When I called, they told me that those prices have not been loaded in the system and will not be until March. I put in dates in Feb, just to see what they are offering now and they do have small automatics but the extra driver is not included but all insurance is.
You can go crazy trying to decide what is what.
Let us know how you make out.
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Jan 15th, 2011, 05:54 AM
  #10
 
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Don't forget Economy includes zero CDW... don't know if Atlas would or not. I have used both Economy and AutoEurope in the past and have been happy with both.

Calling ahead no matter who you use is a good idea though.
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Jan 15th, 2011, 12:51 PM
  #11
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Ira....too bad Ayn is not alive to share some of her thoughts on this.

I have tried so many companies for quotes among them, Kemwel, Auto Europe UK, Economy Car Rentals, Car Rentals, Expedia even went to Guerin a Portuguese company with whom we have gotten cars through AE.

Think most likely we will go with Atlas but as a last resort for better pricing (wish I was not so cheap but I would rather spend money on wine and food and we are only driving around locally with the car) I have phoned a friend who works at the local hotel near where our place is. She will see what the car rental provider for hotel clients there can do for us. Since we go in mid April when it is a quiet time and we would rent for 4 weeks maybe we can get a lower price. That would mean taking the the bus from the airport (dreaded 3+ hour slow trip to our town) which we will survive and only doing a 3 day minimum rental with a consolidator for 62 euros... found a company with no one way premium ...for the return drive to the airport.

Will never arrive again anywhere in Europe without calling directly to the company that a consolidator has placed us with to confirm the booking....everyone should do that. I believe that I have often found the phone number right on the booking voucher from Auto Europe in the past.
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Jan 15th, 2011, 01:33 PM
  #12
 
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LCC. Why take the bus from the airport in Lisbon? Why not take a taxi which is quick and pretty economical. I believe it was no more than E15 with luggage and tip. Now this was to Baixa. I don't know where you are staying.
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Jan 15th, 2011, 01:43 PM
  #13
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Sher, we are 2 hours south (by car) and taxi drivers are always eager to do the drive ....for 250 euros. Thanks for the thought though.
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Jan 15th, 2011, 03:08 PM
  #14
 
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Sher, economycarrentals lost their competitive edge in Italy for us because of the Italy rentals include cdw in their rates and economy not being able to provide the additional driver without an extra charge. Kemwel came with the best rate for the small car we wanted, just fyi. Deborah
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Jan 15th, 2011, 08:05 PM
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Carol. I didn't realize you were so far south. I would like to communicate with you about long term rentals in Portugal. I would appreciate when you have time if you would email me as I am hoping to spend a month in Portugal in the future. So far we have only spent two weeks at at time and moved around a lot. [email protected]

Deb.
I looked at Economy Car rentals for Italy and found that they have cars available in the Spring and they are including the extra driver and full insurance. But they have not listed anything for late Summer that is small. Kemwell(although they are basically the same company as Auto Europe) for us when I looked is rediculous for the time I need them AutoEurope is less than Kemwel but still much higher on their US site than on the Italy site but will not let me pay the price on the Italy site although people have said when pushed they have agreed. Auto Europe will not provide the extra driver with this rental. And they are making me prepay.
I am hoping to come up with something in the interim.
If you discover anything new I would appreciate your telling me.
I guess it takes the star to align for the exact days at the right time to get a deal.
Sherry
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Jan 17th, 2011, 01:08 PM
  #16
 
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You don't say what prices you've been getting on a one month rental but I checked Carjet and there's a small manual tranmission car for E500 for the month. I plugged in an arbitrary date of mid April to mid May. Hope this info helps.
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Apr 9th, 2012, 06:11 AM
  #17
 
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I am topping this to find out if anyone has actually used Atlas Choice car rental broker?
Thanks
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Jul 3rd, 2012, 12:30 AM
  #18
 
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Atlas is a scam. Do not rent from them! I was given automatic insurance although I was not eligible because I am over 75. At this affront I immediately cancelled my car rental along with the insurance. I got my money returned on the insurance bit Atlas kept $47 USD which they did not return!
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Jul 3rd, 2012, 03:39 AM
  #19
 
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Having had a look on your mentioned company, my fear is that this is an agent working for a company becoming known in Portugal, Spain and Italy. On Tripadvisor, one can find hundreds of negative reviews about their practice and how they handle customers. I know I am repeating myself, but if you are planning to rent a car in the Algarve, take a local company like algarvissimo.com
Personal experience: Car was where ordered, price was normal for what we got (every thing included and no excess at all) no credit card needed at reservation/pick-up, which nowadays is a great plus, because nobody can charge anything (fees etc) onto it afterwards. And they offered a lot of insight on the region and recommendations to save money once we were in their sight.
!When in southern Europe, you want full insurance cover with no excess. Park your car, go shopping, come back, and you have a 500€ damage, and no one left a note saying sorry, here are my details!
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Jul 3rd, 2012, 04:03 AM
  #20
 
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alsacekid. I did not rent through the broker Atlas Choice. I am not going to the Algarve so I cannot use algarvissimo.
Thanks anyway.
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