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what is "similar" to Audi 3 in rental car lingo?

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Sep 24th, 2013, 08:52 AM
  #1
TAW
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what is "similar" to Audi 3 in rental car lingo?

I am just curious...what could one expect if rental car was Audi 3 "or similar" and an Audi wasn't available.
I'm renting from AutoEurope in Strasbourg, FR and Avignon, FR
Thanks
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Sep 24th, 2013, 09:46 AM
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Something like a VW Golf, Ford Focus, Peugeot 308/Citroen C4 (or maybe even a 208/C3), etc.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 09:48 AM
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Whatever it turns out to be make certain you know how to get it into Reverse before you drive off.

Totally intuitive? Think again, believe me...depends on what the "similar" turns out to be.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 09:51 AM
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The "or similar" to the A3 will depend on which location in Strasbourg you're picking up from and where in Avignon you're dropping it off at. Europcar (booked through AE) has the A3 listed as a compact if picking up at the Strasbourg airport or Railway Office. It also lists the V.W. Golf as well as the Renault Scenic as a compacts. So those appear to be the three options.

If one of the compacts are not available, they would move you up into a midsize class vehicle. Just be sure it's something you like size wise. The Renault Scenic may be too large and is not a easy to drive. The Renault Laguna would be a nice upgrade (Midsize Class), but it and the A4 are only available for picking at the airport and dropping off at the Europcar office in downtown Avignon.

Availability of the A3 will also depend on what time of the day and day of the week you're picking it up. The earlier the better.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 09:51 AM
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>>I'm renting from AutoEurope<<

To be accurate you are not renting 'from' Autoeurope. They are a broker who is setting you up w/ a rental agency. So it depends on what cars that agency has in their fleet. But a compact like travelgourmet lists. Not super teensy.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 10:00 AM
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Autoeurope tells you what company you are renting from when you make the reservation, they have to or you wouldn't know where to go.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 10:55 AM
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A3 is actually a premium compact, so the cars listed by travelgourmet would be a definite downgrade. Equivalents to the Audi would be the BMW 1 series, Mercedes A class or Volvo V40. In Italy you might also get an Alfa Giulietta (although that could be viewed as a downgrade as well).

Hope this helps,
Andre
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Sep 24th, 2013, 11:48 AM
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"A3 is actually a premium compact". Sorry Andre, but the A3 offered by Europcar (which is the company TAW is getting the car from) is simply a compact class car, nothing more. We often rent A4s from Europcar and they are certainly not priced as premium cars.

Avis did give us a nice new BMW 325i in July after trying to put us into a Seat Toledo (based on the VW Jetta), saying it was the equivalent of the A4 we had booked (the Seat EXEO is the equivalent to the A4). You have to be very careful when dealing with AVIS.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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It's all a question of "category." If you know the actual name of your rental company, it is very easy to find the list of all of the cars that they might have in the same category.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 12:03 PM
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A3 is actually a premium compact, so the cars listed by travelgourmet would be a definite downgrade.

I don't think rental car companies would view it that way. Excluding specifically premium rentals, most rental car companies rent based upon size and transmission type, not perceived quality of the car. Unless the OP rented something specifically labeled as "luxury" or "premium", then I wouldn't read into the A3 being the car listed. Indeed, neither Hertz nor Avis seem to even have a "premium compact" category.

I rented cars continually in Europe for 5 years in the compact class and received cars that were all over the map, including the Audi A3, BMW 1, and the others I mentioned, as well as some random Fiat and a Toyota, IIRC. FWIW, I didn't find the Audi's I rented to be particularly "premium" compared to the others, at least in the stripped-down versions offered by most rental car companies.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 12:33 PM
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Travelgourmet,
If you speak some German, take a look here:
http://www.mietwagen-talk.de/index.p...onItem&id=1015
Sixt actually include the more powerful VW Golf models as well. I fully agree with you that in their stripped down fleet versions, there's not really any difference between an A3 (which is basically a Golf with an Audi badge), Golf, Focus, Megane etc.

But if you pay for a premium brand, you should get one - though I personally never would do so when renting. I have also been upgraded from my generic compact booking to a premium on occasion (and sometimes to considerably nicer cars than that ;-) )
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Sep 24th, 2013, 12:40 PM
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Yes they would TG.

An A3, is as Andre posts, a premium compact. The models you posted would peak at a Golf and go down from there.

A4s are premium mid size, you will usually pay a premium or be offered a Skoda or VW instead. Very few rental companies offer the choice of presecuring a specific model.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 12:43 PM
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Robert2533,

We actually only know that TAW booked through Auto Europe, not what company he's actually renting from.

However, for the sake of argument, let's assume it's Europcar. If you can deal with German, take a look at this:
http://www.mietwagen-talk.de/europca...-bei-europcar/
I rest my case
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Sep 24th, 2013, 01:00 PM
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P.S. Interesting that AE lists the A3, Golf and Scenic as "compacts" for Europcar in France! Looking at the fleet guide on europcar.fr (141 vehicles classified!), while the Golf is indeed listed as a compact, the A3 only appears as a standard in its larger "sportback" version, while the Scenic is not even mentiioned (no Renault is)! So I'd take any model name AE provides as an example with a large pinch of salt.

TAW: if your booking lists the car class, go on the website of the company you'll be renting from and look at their vehicle guide. That'll be more accurate than any advice you get from anonymous and opinionated posters on some website...
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Sep 24th, 2013, 01:06 PM
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That'll be more accurate than any advice you get from anonymous and opinionated posters on some website...

Using a mirror? But in fact, any posting is an opinion more or less backed by fact or experience, hence opinionated.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 01:12 PM
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But if you pay for a premium brand, you should get one

It isn't clear that the OP did pay for a premium brand. As I noted, unless you specifically rented something labeled as "premium" or "luxury", then I wouldn't read anything into it.

However, for the sake of argument, let's assume it's Europcar.

Europcar actually seems to be the only one of the major agencies that actually does differentiate between "grades" of compacts. Hertz, Avis, and Sixt (not recommended) don't seem to do so. And, FWIW, even Europcar doesn't seem to offer the same "elite" categories at all sites.

Frankly, differentiating between compacts seems like an incredibly inefficient way to run a car rental business. But if you are a tiny player like Europcar, you probably need to try something to compete.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 01:35 PM
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One of the reasons that I get excellent service from Europcar is because I have a 7 digit customer number (meaning that I am ancient) while nearly everybody else has an 8 digit customer number. It is always amazing the sort of pathetic little détails that make a difference. Europcar has sometimes given me a BMW at the price of a Corsa or Twingo.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 01:36 PM
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Knowing that TAW has booked through AE, then it's a simple task to see which agency is offering the A3, as AE list the rental companies at each rental location. In this case there is only one agency offering the A3, Europcar.

Not all of the cars listed on the AE and Europcar websites are available, which is why they are always show as "or similar". The A3 may no longer be available at the Strasbourg locations, having been replaced by the Renault Megane (compact), or some other compact.

The A3 comes in 3-door, 4-door and 5-door (the sport back). All are the same size.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 01:48 PM
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if you are a tiny player like Europcar
While their North American strategy has been a shambles for years, I'm not sure how the world's 4th largest car rental company after Enterprise Holdings, Hertz Global Holdings and Avis Budget Group, with EUR 2 billion in revenues a year, can be considered a tiny player

Using a mirror?
Yes, that was an attempt at self-deprecating humor - apparently a feeble one...
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Sep 24th, 2013, 02:05 PM
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While their North American strategy has been a shambles for years, I'm not sure how the world's 4th largest car rental company after Enterprise Holdings, Hertz Global Holdings and Avis Budget Group, with EUR 2 billion in revenues a year, can be considered a tiny player

Enterprise Holdings has revenues in the $15bn range, Hertz is around $9bn, and Avis is over $7bn. So, yeah, $2bn seems tiny to me.
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