Tip om Car rental in France

Sep 12th, 2012, 07:59 PM
  #1  
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Tip om Car rental in France

I am on my soon and booked a car. If a friend hadn't mentioned this it never would have occurred to me. Most cars online are manual transmission which I can't drive. It took a little effort to find an automatic in Avignon so I suggest book early!!!
thorspecken is offline  
Sep 12th, 2012, 08:13 PM
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Car rentals in Europe are usually manual transmission; automatics are much more expensive and more difficult to find.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Sep 12th, 2012, 08:36 PM
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You know that an automatic is just a request? Your odd of getting an automatic in Avignon should be pretty good. Avignon is a popular place for automatic only Americans to rent a car. This is not the case at smaller pick up locations.
greg is offline  
Sep 12th, 2012, 08:45 PM
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Nevertheless, I recommend calling the specific agency one day before you get the car. There have been many cases where the automatic transmission car is unexpectedly unavailable.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 12th, 2012, 09:14 PM
  #5  
 
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<< Most cars online are manual transmission >>

Most cars in Europe have manual transmissions, even if you reserve by phone. It really has nothing to do with on line booking.

You also usually get better rates if you book well ahead of the trip.
adrienne is offline  
Sep 12th, 2012, 11:20 PM
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Autoeurope (US) allows you to specify an automatic, and raises the rate of the rental accordingly.
Michael is offline  
Sep 13th, 2012, 05:15 AM
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Having a reservation for an automatic, for which you paid more, is not a guarantee that one will be available when you arrive. There is also special taxes, called an environmental tax, that is not included in Autoeurope quotes and is paid at drop off.

If having an automatic is important to you, I would follow kerouac´s advice and call the local rental office on the day before pickup to confirm availability. You may need the time to make alternate arrangements. (And not all Americans like to drive automatics.)
Sarastro is online now  
Sep 13th, 2012, 09:11 AM
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It really isn't difficult to find one if you just use a booking site like Kemwel or Autoeurope, I've never had any trouble in Provence finding a quote for one on those websites, nor getting one (but I rented in Marseille and Montpellier). I'm sure Avignon would be fine, also, being a big city. I've never called the offices ahead, maybe I was lucky -- I did call Autoeurope though and asked them if they had ever had complaints about someone not getting one at the stations I selected, and they said they never had, that I would have no trouble. And I didn't.
Christina is offline  
Sep 13th, 2012, 09:33 AM
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My advice comes from having worked for Avis -- in Paris at Gare de Lyon -- and not always having the promised automatic car available. This was never "our" fault of course, but because of other customers. Naturally, we always knew which day and at what time certain cars were due to be returned, and we really counted on it. When the car did not show up as expected, we were up the creek. Fleet management does not mean having 10 of every sort of car in the brochure "just in case" -- it means having as few cars as possible and moving them around according to demand.

At an office like Avignon, they have the TGV station office (by far the largest one) and the downtown office. But less than an hour away are also Nimes, Orange, Aix and a number of other cities. For an "important" rental (more than 4 days), the companies will not hesitate to bring in a car from another agency to meet the request if there is any sort of problem.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 13th, 2012, 10:24 AM
  #10  
 
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We have never had a problem getting an automatic, but

1) We always rent at large office, usually the airport - which tends to have a lot of cars

2) We usually rent a larger car - for which they usually have more automatics. If you want a small car that is automatic that can be more difficult -since that fleet tends to be heavier on standard transmissions.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 13th, 2012, 11:17 AM
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If you don't need any luggage space and only need two seats, all Smarts are automatic. Europcar has plenty of them, and I think that some of the other companies have started to provide them as well.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 13th, 2012, 11:21 AM
  #12  
 
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Europcar has plenty of them,

But neither Kemwel nor Autoeurope offer the Smartcar, and I would not take the two-seater on a major road.
Michael is offline  
Sep 13th, 2012, 12:23 PM
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My longest trips in a Smart have been Paris-Deauville and Paris-Calais, which is not really the length of the country, but they are quite stable on the autoroutes -- far more than a Fiat 500, a Peugeot 107 or a Toyota Aygo, to name a few. I was driving the new Volkswagen Up yesterday, and that one seemed pretty stable passing the huge trucks on the Autoroute du Nord.
kerouac is online now  

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