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

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Sep 24th, 2013, 02:20 PM
  #21
 
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Holding companies mean that they have strayed from car rentals. I prefer companies that are focused on their profession.

Enterprise started operations in France just this year and chose the "tiny" Citer rental company operated by Citroën to represent them. Citer used to work with National, which immediately went back to Europcar where they used to be.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 02:47 PM
  #22
 
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I'm looking into renting a car for part of our trip to Germany next spring and was wondering if I should be asking about renting a car that uses diesel fuel instead of normal gas? is that a common thing? Do they even give a choice? Would there be significant savings? We'll probably be driving less than 700 Km.

Thanks!
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Sep 24th, 2013, 02:53 PM
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if I should be asking about renting a car that uses diesel fuel instead of normal gas? is that a common thing?

I do not think that one can specify the fuel for the car. In France it is more common to get a diesel than in Germany. It is unlikely to be a diesel if ordering the smallest car available (Hundyai I10 or Fiat 500).
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Sep 24th, 2013, 02:59 PM
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Holding companies mean that they have strayed from car rentals. I prefer companies that are focused on their profession.

In these cases, the holding companies hold multiple car rental brands, they don't run disparate businesses.

Enterprise started operations in France just this year and chose the "tiny" Citer rental company operated by Citroën to represent them.

Enterprise bought Citer from Citroen.

Citer used to work with National, which immediately went back to Europcar where they used to be.

National is owned by Enterprise. And they only began working with Europcar in 2007 when Europcar bought the European operations of Vanguard (Enterprise bought the US operations).
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Sep 24th, 2013, 03:01 PM
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Thanks, Michael. I wasn't planning on renting the smallest... but don't necessarily want a large one, either. I was wondering about something with AWD or whatever they call it in Audi speak.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 03:29 PM
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AWD = 4-wheel drive or 4x4
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Sep 24th, 2013, 03:35 PM
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You do not need AWD in the spring and summer; just slow down in downpours.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 03:43 PM
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AWD = 4-wheel drive or 4x4

Not quite. In 4-wheel drive, both axles are powered, but the axles rotate at the same speed. In AWD, each axle can rotate at different speeds.

I was wondering about something with AWD or whatever they call it in Audi speak.

Audi calls it Quattro. I suspect that trading up to an AWD vehicle would be expensive and would possibly require getting an SUV rather than a car.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 04:02 PM
  #29
 
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Thanks Travelgourmet. We'll be there the first week of March and driving in the Harz mountains. I feel sure that they keep the roads pretty well cleaned off if it snows... that's been our experience, but I was under the impression that Audi had 4WD in cars and not just SUVs...They're rather famous for it, aren't they?
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Sep 24th, 2013, 04:17 PM
  #30
TAW
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WOW, what a lot of responses!

I am getting the car at Europcar at the rail station in Strasbourg, and the second car at the rail station in Avignon, also Eurocar(not driving to Avignon from Alsace).

I will look on Eurocar website and check out their compacts, since that's what I reserved (A3 Audi = compact)

Thanks for all the advice!

In 2009 I got a rental car in Germany and was supposed to get an Audi w/GPS but ended up with a Mercedes SUV (small one) with a portable GPS. And only because I wouldn't shut up & leave until I had a car w/GPS...they didn't have any Audis that day. Didn't cost me any extra.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 04:18 PM
  #31
 
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Travelgourmet,

You provided a good overview of the craziness in the rental car industry in your most recent reply. But I will still add my 2 cents to this part:
"National is owned by Enterprise. And they only began working with Europcar in 2007 when Europcar bought the European operations of Vanguard (Enterprise bought the US operations)."

It's actually even crazier than that. Europcar acquired the EMEA operations of Vanguard AND the righs to the Alamo and National brands in that region. As a result, when you rent a car with Alamo or National in Europe, the Middle East or Africa, you are actually either renting directly from Europcar, or from a Europcar franchisee (such as Maggiore in Italy)!

When Entreprise (which had acquired the remaining Vanguard business shortly after the Europcar deal) (re-)entered the European market by acquiring Citer in 2011 from Citroen, they either decided that they didn't want to pay franchise fees to Europcar for the Alamo and National brands, or Europcar had the right to strip them of their franchise. As a result, when booking a car in France on the Alamo or National websites that are operated by Enterprise, you will actually end up with Europcar, not with Enterprise's own subsidiary Citer.... How screwed up is that?

Re: Europcar being "tiny", let's just agree to disagree. I believe that "2nd tier" would be a more appropriate designation for a company with several billion EUR in revenue and thousands of employees. Fact is that the global market leader Enterprise only has an anecdotal presence in Europe, where Europcar and Hertz are the clear leaders, with Avis Budget a distant 3rd (with the exception of Sixt-land, aka Germany). Europcar completely missed out on the consolidation process that took place in the US by focussing on its home turf with the Vanguard EMEA deal. It is now owned by one of those LBO rackets, so the most likely outcome is a trade sale, with Enterprise the natural buyer.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 04:43 PM
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Oops... Got Hertz and Avis Budget mixed up in my previous post. Avis Budget is the strong nr. 2 in Europe, with Hertz the distant 3rd. Time to go to sleep...
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Sep 24th, 2013, 04:53 PM
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Anyway, all of these companies are reliable -- that's what really counts. I am most comfortable with Europcar, which was owned by Renault at a certain time and owned by Volkswagen later. Now it is part of a French company again.
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Sep 25th, 2013, 06:10 AM
  #34
 
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I was under the impression that Audi had 4WD in cars and not just SUVs...They're rather famous for it, aren't they?

Audi does make AWD cars. The question is a) whether the rental car agency has any in their fleet, b) whether you can actually pre-reserve them, and c) how much they would charge you for the privilege.
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Sep 25th, 2013, 11:27 AM
  #35
 
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It is also good to know that 80% of the cars in France, Belgium and Luxembourg are diesel. However, the winds of change have begun to blow, so this will not be the case 10 years from now.
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Sep 25th, 2013, 12:14 PM
  #36
 
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Audis have 4 wheel drive in both cars and SUVs both are death traps in the factory fitted tyres which we learned to our cost. Supplying 19 inch sports tyres negates the benefit of AWD in the snow. Our Audi got stuck 3 times, our current Volvo eats snow for breakfast.
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