Renting a car in France

Old Dec 28th, 2003, 08:22 PM
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Renting a car in France

Can anyone recommend good sources of cheap car (automatic) rentals in France? Autoerope has a good selection, but they are not cheap.

Thanks.
-Alex
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Old Dec 28th, 2003, 08:30 PM
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I don't think you're going to find anything cheaper than Autoeurope in France. I've used them for more than 50 rentals and never found a better deal.
If you must have an automatic, no one is going to be cheap. Automatics are rare in France. Can you drive a stick? If you can, you can save a bundle.
AutoEurope will always match or beat anyone else's price. Good luck!
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Old Dec 28th, 2003, 08:35 PM
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i just used www.gemut.com in germany and they were fantastic....based in usa...set up with hertz for two rentals at prices i could not touch my self...one was almost 1/2 of what i booked...i think they do france too
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Old Dec 28th, 2003, 08:37 PM
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The last time I went (a couple of years ago) I rented through some consolidator that ended up being an AutoErope rental, but for about 30% less than their published rates. Unfortunately, I forgot the name of the site. I do need an automatic, and a full size, too. There will be 4 adults and a toddler.
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Old Dec 28th, 2003, 08:43 PM
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One seemingly very simple bit of advice which people keep missing. When you look at AutoEurope their quote will be in US dollars. Most other agencies will quote in euro. Be sure to do the conversion before jumping to the conclusion that the other price is cheaper.
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Old Dec 29th, 2003, 12:15 AM
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The best deal in France is through Sodexa-Peugeot. You get a brand new car and they start at only 20 Euros a day for a 206 manual with full insurance.

Pickup is in Strasbourg but you can drop off at Frankfurt near the airport, or at other nominated points without any surcharge.

All countries in Europe can be visited under this scheme, which is not quite your usual hire arrangement. But who cares.

And they follow up with a nice letter of thanks when you are back home, and Xmas greetings.

I can give you exact details here if you are interested, as I have kept the paperwork from two years ago.

Harzer
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Old Dec 29th, 2003, 06:12 AM
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Harzer, is that one of those lease/rentals for more than 17 days? I looked at their website, and I didn't could not tell. Also they were unable to give me a quote online. (something to do with the website)
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Old Dec 29th, 2003, 06:20 AM
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Yes, the Sodexa program is a 17 day minimum lease plan (tax-free plan), or at least ours was. Auto-France is a Sodexa program.
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Old Dec 29th, 2003, 06:39 AM
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In August we rented an automatic in France from ITS. It was much cheaper then Auto Europe. They are based in Florida. I checked out EVERYONE very carefully.
The price was quoted in dollars. You could choose to get the insurance from them or use your credit card for the coverage.
We picked up in Nice and dropped off in Marseille at no extra charge.
They were great to deal with and I would at least check them out if I were you as automatics in any country in Europe cost a premium.
The time of year and destination sometimes makes a difference on the price, too.
www.its-cars-hotels.com, I believe.
Good luck.
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Old Dec 29th, 2003, 07:08 AM
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Also look at Renault's Eurodrive program (www.renaultusa.com) - You can get a Megane with A/T for around US$1200 for 17 days, then around $20 per additional day. One very important consideration is that the "lease" rates (Renault, Peugeot) are fully inclusive of tax and comprehensive insurance, so when you're comparing their rates to the likes of AutoEurope or the majors be sure you're comparing apples to pommes. The 17-day thing is not a minimum rental period, it just means that the 17-day rate is the minimum, so if you rent for a shorter time your cost-per-day goes up accordingly. We've rented on this basis for 14 days or so, and even still it was significantly cheaper than the alternatives. Plus, as the other poster stated, you get a brand new car. No drop fees if you leave it in France, only minor fees if you leave it in some other country.
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Old Dec 29th, 2003, 07:39 AM
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"The 17 day thing is not a minimal rental period". That may be true, although I know that AutoFrance once told me it WAS a minimum; that the car could not be turned in until 17 days after the pick-up or the entire tax-free lease thing would be void. But in any case, I'd find it hard to believe that paying the 17 day minimum for a 14 day or less period would be less than a 14 day rate from someone like AutoEurope. While I've raved about the wonderful AutoFrance leases I've done at bargain rates for 2 or 3 months, when I compared doing a minimum 17 day lease to an AutoEurope rental for the same period, AutoEurope won. For 14 days, but paying the 17 day rate, I can't imagine it being a good deal.
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Old Dec 29th, 2003, 10:57 AM
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I've never gotten a quote from AutoEurope that was as good as the best I'd gotten direct from a rental company. Spring 2003 in France I rented from Avis, and spring 2002 from Hertz. AutoEurope couldn't even give me a quote for the spring 2003 itinerary (Perpignan to CDG).

Be sure to have a discount code ready to get the best online quote. If you don't know one, try 269339 for Hertz (NWA frequent flyer code). They never check to see if you qualify for the code; see http://www.flyertalk.com/milesfr.shtml under "Car Rental Programs" for other discount plans.
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Old Dec 29th, 2003, 11:28 AM
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Alex, maybe you are just being unrealistic in what price you are expecting to rent a car in France. I don't think you'll find any $15-20 a day deals like you might in some cities in the US, for example. That its company mentioned above sounds good, although Sher doesn't quote rates and I know rates will vary drastically depending on time of year and your rental period.

I've rented from Autoeurope, also, and couldn't find anything as cheap as them, although it was only once. I rented an automatic and it was not that much more expensive than a manual at all--maybe $5-10 a day, which wasn't much considering the alternative and the gas mileage was really good so I didn't spend much on gas. It had AC, also, of course, as I was renting in summer and I think that added on more than AT.
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Old Dec 29th, 2003, 12:10 PM
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Have you checked out Europecar? It has very good prices and is sometimes used by AutoEurope as a supplier. But we've done very well by going directly to the US web site.
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Old Dec 29th, 2003, 12:26 PM
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A word of caution... In an effort to ensure that everything would be arranged properly, we rented an automatic w/AC through our travel agent last May. Everything went off without a hitch (right size car, w/automatic & AC), but we discovered that we could have saved a lot of money if we had booked the car with AutoEurope directly. I knew we would be paying something extra, but the difference was considerable and not worth it. If you can make the arrangements yourself, you'll save a bundle. Bon voyage!
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Old Dec 29th, 2003, 12:55 PM
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Just an addition to the insurance coverage. Be careful with Credit Card insurance. It will not cover all aspects of the accident. Check at francevoila.com. Tony did an article on car insurance and CC companies but I can't remember the whole jist. It covered either the car or the property damage but not both so people were ending up with out of pocket expenses.
Happy new year to all.
Gerry
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