Best Car Rental Deals In Europe – Nationally renowned reporter, author and consumer advocate Ed Perkins focuses on how travelers can find the best deals and avoid scams.
He is the author of Internet Travel (2000) and Business Travel: When It’s Your Money (2004), the first step-by-step guide written specifically for small businesses and solo travelers. He is also a writer for the annual series of Best Travel Deals by Unia Konsumentów.
Best Car Rental Deals In Europe
Perkins’ advice for business travelers can be found on MyBusinessTravel.com, a website dedicated to helping small businesses and individual professionals find the best value for their travel dollars.
Europe Rental Car
Perkins retired in 1998 as editor-in-chief of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, one of the nation’s leading travel publishers.
Perkins’ travel experiences have made numerous television appearances, including ABC’s Good Morning America and This Week with David Brinkley, The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, CNN, and numerous television and local radio station.
Prior to co-founding Travel Agents, Perkins spent 25 years consulting on activities ranging from travel research and national tourism development strategies, to computer tourism model design.
What is the best website to use for car rental? The quick answer is that there is no best car rental company out there, but there are some great places to compare prices. And what’s best for you depends on what you’re looking for in your rental car.
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As with many other travel deals, such as the best hotel reservation sites and the best airline ticket booking sites, you need to surf the internet to find the best car rental deals. However, some sites work better than others, at least occasionally.
Some of the links in this story are affiliate links that may earn a commission (free of charge) if you make a purchase through them.
Here’s a short list of the best car rental locations in America and Europe, based on car rental searches. (Read more about the pros and cons of each below.)
I tested car rental rates looking for economy cars or small cars, for a weekly rental period, for pick-up and drop-off at major airports for several major US and European cities. All rates quoted (except for dark rates that hide the vehicle’s condition until you buy it at a lower price) are fully refundable, although some ask for an upfront payment and a refund option when cancel it. Some providers have lower non-refundable rates. All payments are in the air and all US payments are automatic delivery; European book rates.
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In most cases, the search and purchase process is the same at all car rental companies. No one came out of a very easy installation or failed too much. Therefore, my comparisons are as close as I can to finding the best deals.
Overall, AutoRentals.com is a great place to start your search. This is a metasearch engine that shows a price matrix for 25 different models available from twenty different sources, including a mix of other metasearch sites for car rental booking sites, online travel agencies and rental company locations. Prices include the daily rate and the total cost of the requested rental. The display also shows which, if any, off-airport rental locations there are – which is important. This matrix feature is very useful for quickly comparing options.
Good: Reading of the world’s cities. After selecting the payment option, AutoRentals will connect you to the seller’s reservation websites and many rental companies and search engines you may not have heard of.
Problem: some of the “best offers” mentioned are not all worth it; exclude any taxes and fees. Some are non-cancellable – non-refundable or require a cancellation fee. This information is not revealed until the book is made, and then you dig into it.
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Rentalcars.com paid the best prices for my search, although it didn’t win all tests. The website includes rentals in 160 countries around the world.
Pros: Like AutoRentals.com, Rentalcars.com has a meta search engine that makes it easy to compare offers. In some cases, if you don’t remember not knowing the type of car, you will be sent the chip rates at low prices.
Cons: As you may not be familiar with some of the booking sites managed by Rentalcars.com, the site displays user ratings for each one, so you can decide if it’s worth it. you have your book. However, some of them do not have a high rating (in one search, most of the products on the first page received only 5.9 points out of 10).
Hotwire car rental companies offered the lowest prices due to the “clear” rate in many of my US tests. Opaque means you don’t know about the rental company until the payment is made and it’s non-refundable. However, given the consistency of the engines, you won’t be disappointed by the insane speed.
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Pros: Hotwire’s leadership in small spaces is confirmed by the AutoRentals matrix, which always turns out to be a great buy.
Like Hotwire, Priceline Car Rentals lists unrated rates as the cheapest option in many U.S. cities. Although Hotwire posted the lowest price, Priceline won in some cases. So if you are looking for the least you should try both.
Pros: It’s possible to get very low prices. If you use this site for hotels and airline tickets, it’s easy to add it to your cart (like other search engine sites).
Expedia offers the same or even lower prices, as do Priceline and Rentalcars.com. Also, the option to combine a flight or hotel ticket is easy, and you can save money (as with other price comparison websites) if you use Expedia, as most people do.
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Pros: In almost all cases the rates are the same as the rental system. And if you use this website to buy a hotel or plane ticket, it’s easy to add it to your car.
Cons: Expedia doesn’t offer fixed rates which is really wrong if you’re looking for it.
Overall, prices from low-cost renters like Alamo, Payless and Thrifty are cheaper than popular rental companies, usually by $100 or more per week.
Problem: The trick is that smaller outfits and third-party agencies don’t often include the bells and whistles that offer high-fidelity programs. I have also found cheaper prices on meta search sites like AutoRentals.com or Rentalcars.com when booking directly through cheap car rental sites.
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For European cities, the six-point bid is an indication that sometimes leading companies offer better prices than other sources. During my search, the German company operated a “special” in some cases that turned out to be the cheapest unit, but the rental company was not mentioned.
Problem: The black and orange color scheme of the product page makes it a little hard to read.
If you qualify, the AARP car rental alliance and the Avis group (Avis, Budget and Payless) promise discounts of up to 30 percent, and in some cases have been found to offer lower prices than other locations.
Disadvantage: Even if it’s a “price” you won’t get the lowest rate, so you have to buy it anyway.
Rent A Car Template Stock Vector. Illustration Of City
In Europe, Auto Europe has combined all other sources, including self-proclaimed “replies”, to offer the lowest prices. Think of it as a European AutoRentals.com or Rentalcars.com.
Pros: I have used Auto Europe in the past and found their customer service to be excellent. They can also help you with complex rentals in Ireland, such as finding a rental agency that accepts drivers over 70 years of age. This is a great place to start looking for a rental in Europe.
Problem: As you might expect from its name, Auto Europe is best for applications in Europe. This car rental site offers rentals in the US and other countries, but most don’t have good prices.
Rentcars.com is another metasearch engine that shows the same results as the search engines in my initial tests. Like everyone else, he’s always looking for a good deal.
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Pros: Checks over 180 car rental companies and narrows down the search screen to the best deals.
Cons: Like many other sites, the best deals can sometimes be found to be expensive, including full or partial refunds, so make sure your plans are clear in advance if you don’t. want to lose one of your advances.
Kayak is best known for its flight search, but it also offers a great car rental product. It searches many car rental agencies and booking sites and finds the best deals in my tests. It contains confusing ad options
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