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Auto rental fees are declining

Hello from Wisconsin,

I checked minutes ago for a 2-week mini car rental without CDW insurance. Why a mini? Have you driven the back roads and into the old cities and villages of France? Well, I have. Want to blend in? They don't much drive Buick Le Sabres and other road hogs in France. Why rent without Collision Damage Waiver (insurance)? Why pay $15 to $20 per day when a credit card will offer the same thing, free. I use a credit card that will offer CDW free of charge if I make the rental online and then use the same card when collecting the car at the rental desk while declining insurance from the rental agency.

A few days ago the best price was near $300. Today it was $176. That is more like normal. Currently that rate is only available from the Paris Le Defense office with a return to CDG.

This is good news for self guided tourists.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
541 posts

Thanks, Wayner. I've been looking at rental car rates, picking up the car at Gare d' Lyon and dropping off at Charles de Gaulle. The helpful people at auto Europe told me to wait a couple weeks or a couple of months because many companies is not yet listed availability for my travel dates. $176 rather than $300 does, indeed, sound much better.

Posted by
1004 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,
I should have added, that many cities that would have normally had rental agencies are off-line at this point. A favorite of mine is to pick up a car in Chartres. As of now, no car rental company is operating there.

Autoeurope is a great place to find rentals. Online or by phone.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
1631 posts

AutoEurope and Kemwell are rental car brokers. You can see their rates online. I then call them personally to make my reservations. Not sure if they still have a AAA discount. Using a credit card for rental car insurance is a good idea, however, call and make sure that company is still offering that service. Some are no longer providing it. Also, find out how extensive their coverage is: i.e., side mirrors, tires, undercarriage, theft. Coverage changes from year to year and it's good to double check. I rent my car using my credit card that offers rental insurance but then I also purchase a Travel Insured policy. Better safe than sorry. If another rental car company offers a less expensive rate, they will adjust and meet their rate.

Posted by
1297 posts

Rental rates are down somewhat from a month or so ago but still considerably higher than pre-pandemic rates. My cancelled rental from last September (Autoeurope.ca), which I booked the previous January, is still about 50% higher for the same number of weeks: at one point it was almost double.

As for insurance, I stump for the "Super Cover" they offer. It works out to be about $9.50 Canadian per day. It gives me peace of mind, and one less third party and headache to deal with if things go wrong.

Posted by
488 posts

Ive had great success with AutoEurope in the past and have used them exclusively (probably 12 European car rentals in the last 15 years) . Gemut recently came onto my radar and I though I'd try it out. The email I just received from Gemut today with the tentative booking has an attachment with an AutoEurope voucher like I normally get. The rate is in USD and when I convert it to CAD it's no different than what I can find on the AutoEurope site.

The interesting thing though is the email from Gemut explains that 'industry experts' are predicting rates will go up due to a shortage of rental cars from manufacturers that are experiencing a worldwide shortage of microchips. It all sounds rather bizarre and honestly I'm inclined to ignore it all and book with AutoEurope.

Posted by
3026 posts

Keep in mind some credit card insurance excludes certain countries, make sure France is OK with them. Apparently Amex on certain cards has an upgraded level of insurance you just sign up for.

Posted by
17 posts

“ while declining insurance from the rental agency.”

We had a devil of a time declining the rental car coverage at the Avis counter in Montparnasse.

Their English was very limited, but even speaking to them in French, we had trouble getting them to understand that we needed to decline the free insurance they were providing. Took a good 75 minutes to finally have that removed.