I'll be spending a week in The Netherlands, then off to Germany for a couple more weeks. I am told that picking up a rental car in one country and dropping it off in another comes with hefty drop off fees, so we will wait to rent when we get to Germany. Does anyone know a car rental company that would let us pick up & drop off in different cities in Germany without an additional charge? We were able to do this in Spain last year. (Picked up in Seville; dropped of in Granada) Many thanks!
Hi Kat, For rental cars in Germany, we've used Andy Bestor at www.gemut.com. I've never heard of additional charges for picking up and dropping off at different cities in a single country. You could always ask. Paul
Back in 2009, we also used gemut.com. Got a really reasonable priced Mercedes that we picked up in Frankfurt and dropped off in Munich. The drop-off was after-hours, in a multi-level parking lot. Not my ideal choice of a way to return a rental, but it worked out fine.
I always rent from AutoEurope or Kemwel who are brokers for companies such as Hertz, Avis, Europcar, etc. As long as I pick-up and return the car in the same country, I do not incur additional drop off charges. You can check their prices online.
I also use Auto Europe and have had no trouble picking up in one city and dropping in another, as long as it's the same country.
Sorry to interrupt this meeting of the AutoEurope Fan Club, but Kat asked for the name of a car rental company, not a consolidator/middleman. The two big rental car outfits in Germany are EuropCar and Sixt. Neither charges extra for picking up at one location and dropping off at another in the same country. Since you have rented abroad before, you probably know the online process for renting. Two brands to avoid in Germany are Thrifty and Dollar, which are usually the cheapest in the bidding wars. See the Germany forum on TripAdvisor before considering either of them or allowing a consolidator to book you with them.
If you do decide to use Auto Europe you should know that canceling is easy. One of the times I used them the car ended up being with a company I didn't want to use. I just called them and they switched it to a different company. No problem. You can cancel any time without penalty.
Kat, the advantage of using the broker Autoeurope is that they have great service, great prices, and a fantstic website. They let you pick and choose the rental agency that suits you best; best prices, location, car, etc. Their web site is so darn friendly, and it presents you with lots of options. If you just check one rental agency, you may miss another agency that has a better deal. AE gives you a great "baseline". And they stand behind everything they sell (just like Gemut). Once you pick out some options you can go elsewhere (Gemut, etc) and do more shopping. Some people like to use sites like Kayak to do their baseline shopping. All of them are tools; AE just seems to have more "good" tools in their toolbox; that's why so many people recommend them.
Out of curiosity, I checked the web sites for Sixt, EuropCar and AutoEurope. All three look and work similar and are easy to navigate. To compare the sites, I checked a compact sedan (VW Golf or equivalent)two weeks in mid-June, p/up off-site near the Frankfurt Airport and return at the Munich AP. Rates listed were $341 for Sixt, $381 for Europcar and $365 for AutoEurope (which listed EuropCar as the dealer). Edit: The numbers shown here are adjusted from an earlier post. I checked again with pkickup locations farther from the airport and some of the numbers came down to the levels shown here. Servioe cuts both ways. It can be dealmaker or dealbreaker. You pick up and return the car to the rental company; if you have a problem that is who you will deal with. On the plus side AutoEuorpe or other consolidator can be your advocate if you have a problem. On the minus side, your chances of actually having a problem increase when you bring in a middleman to handle a simple business transaction.
Almost all companies will let you pickup and dropoff in the same country for no additional charge. Drop off fees can be fairly drastic for dropping in another country regardless of who you rent through. I'm not committed to one company, on any given day one is likely to be better than the next for a specific rental. I price them all, then pick the one that seems to fit my needs best. Avis, Hertz, Sixt, Autoeurope come to mind but I'm sure I've shopped (and probably rented from) others too. I've also leased, which can be a good option for longer than 17 days rentals. My personal experience is renting is better for small basic cars, leasing is better for bigger/nicer cars.