Renting a car in France- which company?

Old Aug 6th, 2022, 10:08 AM
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Renting a car in France- which company?

hi there,

I am planning on renting a car at the Avignon train station for a week in September. There are a few companies to choose from, any recommendations? Hertz, Europcar, and Sixt are the options I am looking at. All seem to be around the same price. Thanks in advance!
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Old Aug 6th, 2022, 10:52 AM
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I have used an Oregon-based travel firm/broker (gemut.com) for most of our 10 trips to Europe (incl France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Cz-etc, UK). First came upon them on a German trip.
Good/better rates, better-than-excellent customer service (incl guiding us thru the intricacies of a Slovak driver/accident reporting, resulting in $0,00 cost to us, and importantly, lubricating the international accident-reporting miasma).
My recall is that their rates for renting, say, an AutoEurope car are cheaper than the rates one would obtain directly from AutoEurope. In a sense, they're a wholesaler that sells to retail customers.
Every rental we had with them was hassle-free, and economical.
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Old Aug 6th, 2022, 01:50 PM
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They’re all the same, none better than others so take the one with the best price which you’ll get with Autoeurope or one of the other wholesalers. Rentals have been very expensive this year.
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Old Aug 6th, 2022, 02:53 PM
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Tomboy: You may have meant to post something like "My recall is that their rates for renting, say, an AutoEurope Europcar car are cheaper than the rates one would obtain directly from AutoEurope Europcar (or it could be Hertz, or Budget or whatever - but usually Europcar)

Autoeurope is a broker exactly like gemut - they don't have any cars . . .
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Old Aug 6th, 2022, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tomboy View Post
I have used an Oregon-based travel firm/broker (gemut.com) for most of our 10 trips to Europe (incl France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Cz-etc, UK). First came upon them on a German trip.
Good/better rates, better-than-excellent customer service (incl guiding us thru the intricacies of a Slovak driver/accident reporting, resulting in $0,00 cost to us, and importantly, lubricating the international accident-reporting miasma).
My recall is that their rates for renting, say, an AutoEurope car are cheaper than the rates one would obtain directly from AutoEurope. In a sense, they're a wholesaler that sells to retail customers.
Every rental we had with them was hassle-free, and economical.
You must mean Europcar. AutoEurope is also a broker, as is Kemwel, and I've had in the past cheaper rates from them than Gemut. But since the pandemic the rental market has changed, to the point that it is now just as cheap to lease a car in France for three weeks than to rent one with the collision coverage.

My suggestion to anyone wanting to rent a car is to find out what it would cost with Autoeurope, looking at and choosing the various options, going through the process but stopping before the final agreement to see what the actual rental price is, and then starting to compare the result with other brokers and car rentals agencies. Actually it does not hurt to reserve a car since one can cancel the agreement at anytime up to 48 hours before the contract time with no penalty.
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Old Aug 6th, 2022, 06:47 PM
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Michael and Janis, you could be right that I confused the two.
I consider myself a pretty astute shopper, and had about 6 or 7 quotes each time. The last time, 2017, I got 3 weeks for about $450 total. I guess that's just a fond memory these days.
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Old Aug 6th, 2022, 08:11 PM
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I would book through AutoEurope which has excellent customer service in case of problems and choose Europcar from the list of offers as long as the amount is reasonable.
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Old Aug 6th, 2022, 09:35 PM
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We often use Auto Europe, but might be worth checking your various memberships or credit cards to see if you have any privileges with rental car companies. I have a union membership that gives me 5% off Hertz worldwide if you book with them directly. It's not much but does sometimes edge out what we would book with Auto Europe. Otherwise they are much of a muchness. Don't forget to photograph your car from head to toe when you get it, that can save you much grief at the other end sometimes.

Lavandula
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Old Aug 6th, 2022, 09:45 PM
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Hertz is the only car rental company that has charged me a one-way drop off fee in France.
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Old Aug 6th, 2022, 10:36 PM
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I always use AutoEurope or Kemwel. For an upcoming trip this September where I’ll be picking up a car in Avignon (just like the OP), I also tried Gemut.com for the first time. The interesting thing was that their quote was issued through AutoEurope and was identical to the quote I’d already received from AutoEurope. Their attached letter even instructed me to pay for the car through a link to AutoEurope. Have AutoEurope and Gemut merged?
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 01:40 AM
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Autoeurope is a wholesaler/consolidator for car rental whereas Gemut is an agency and they sell Autoeurope rentals. They also have their own relationship with car rental companies so can sell those as well as being able to leverage AE offerings. AE & Gemut are not the same thing at all. That’s why you can book thru Gemut but the booking is made with AE. Nothing wrong with that, they sourced the best price for your requirements. This link explains their relationship.

https://www.gemut.com/car-rentals/wh...with-gemut-com

Last edited by balthy; Aug 7th, 2022 at 01:48 AM.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 07:36 AM
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". . . they sell Autoeurope rentals. "

AutoEurope doesn't have any rentals to 'sell'

Maybe its just a semantics thing . . . but both Gemut and AutoEurope (also Kemwel) are brokers with relationships with various rental agencies.

The wording in the link you supplied could just as easily be on the AutoEurope website (except AutoEurope is a much older company).

Long standing company (AutoEurope was founded in the 50's) - 24/7 toll free customer service - Handles post-rental issues - Self service on-line booking

Same-o same-o

(AE DID rent vehicles decades ago when they were based in Germany but they've been a broker longer than some of us have been alive)


Last edited by janisj; Aug 7th, 2022 at 07:38 AM.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 07:48 AM
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Actually, one of my colleagues used to always check the AutoEurope rates, which were cheaper than Europcar, and then she would call Europcar which would match the rate she had seen. That way she didn't pay extra and Europcar did not pay a commission to AutoEurope.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by kerouac View Post
I would book through AutoEurope which has excellent customer service in case of problems and choose Europcar from the list of offers as long as the amount is reasonable.
I completely agree with Kerouac here. We have rented numerous times through AutoEurope/Kemwel and they have always resolved any issues that have occurred, including:

1) After returning home from England, discoved a substantial incorrect charge for one-way rental. Credit was issued next day after notifying AE.
2) Additional charges added at Europcar counter when returning car in Perpignan. Used AE toll-free number and problem solved on the spot.
3) Several problems when returning car to Europcar at Aix-en-Provence TGV station. Contacted AE after returning home and two days later Europcar issued credit.

These are all examples of fairly common issues that arise with car rentals and can be very frustrating and difficult to deal with when traveling internationally or after returning home. AE/Kemwel have consistently proved their value to this customer.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
". . . they sell Autoeurope rentals. "

AutoEurope doesn't have any rentals to 'sell'
Yes they sell car rentals. That’s what they sell on their website. AE sell Avis, Hertz, Sixt and many other company’s car rentals inc local ones such as MABI etc. They sell & take payment for the car rental reservation, provide a voucher which you present at the car rental company’s desk when picking up the car, it has details of your car rental reservation inc any insurances or extras that you have purchased. Hope that helps!







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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by balthy View Post
Yes they sell car rentals. That’s what they sell on their website. AE sell Avis, Hertz, Sixt and many other company’s car rentals inc local ones such as MABI etc. They sell & take payment for the car rental reservation, provide a voucher which you present at the car rental company’s desk when picking up the car, it has details of your car rental reservation inc any insurances or extras that you have purchased. Hope that helps!
Uh -- that is exactly what Gemut does . . . down to the voucher bit. Let's move on -- nothing to see here.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 10:47 AM
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Hertz is the only car rental company that has charged me a one-way drop off fee in France.
Budget tried to do this to me Bordeaux to Paris but since it wasn’t in the reservation I argued it away.

People want simple “I always use AutoEurope,” “I always use Costco,” but there is no one answer.

Personally I dislike using a third party that requires prepayment like AutoEurope does. And if you don’t have cellular service the help desk in Maine is of little use, easier to deal with someone in France. And if they aren’t giving you the terms of the reservation and you want to just walk away— you can’t do that in a prepayment situation. You are stuck.

Last edited by tom_mn; Aug 7th, 2022 at 10:57 AM.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 10:52 AM
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Adding to above: Priceline is a third party I use but they don’t require prepayment, at least in the instances where I have used them. And with Priceline your reservation will show up in your Budget (or whatever) account, it won’t with AutoEurope.
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