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Renting a car in Germany

Recently I posted an itinerary that involved flying from the U.S. to Frankfurt; renting a car at the airport; driving through Bavaria, including the Bavarian Alps; staying outside of Munich (taking the train into Munich); and, finally, staying in/around Nuremberg where we would drop off the rental car before taking the train for multi-day stay in Berlin before heading back to the U.S.

The hope is that the drop-off fee, if there is one, will be minimal, since we wouldn't be returning the car to the Frankfurt Airport. Questions:

  1. So far, I've been looking at SIXT and AutoEurope. Are these my best bets for a good deal?
  2. We're AAA, AARP, and COSTCO Travel members, along with CapitalOne. Any thoughts/experience on going through them for a better deal?
  3. We plan on having the car for 10 days. It's only the two of us plus relatively small luggage, so we won't need a big car, but it needs to be an automatic. Can anyone ballpark what the cost should be? I would get insurance with it and probably want a GPS.


PS- Re: my prior post, several folks were extremely helpful, so much so that it impacted the itinerary. Thank you again! (I'm also closely reading Rick Steves' Germany book.)

Posted by
20310 posts

It costs you nothing to get a quote from Costco, rather than asking for other people's guesses. Sixt is the biggest German rental car company, used them myself.

Posted by
679 posts

We are renting a car through Sixt later this year. Picking up at the Berlin airport and dropping off at the Frankfurt airport. The rate was very reasonable (not sure there was any fee added for dropping off at a different location). It was adding insurance that increased the price. But I just consider that part of the cost of the overall experience we will have.

Posted by
1240 posts

Hi. "Can anyone ballpark what the cost should be?" Easy to just check yourself; each company has a website where you can enter your pick up and drop dates and locations and choose car type. Hertz, Avis, Sixt, Europcar, Costco, others. Just give it a try and in a few minutes you will get some good info. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
6819 posts

I rented a car in Germany last year through AutoEurope, and it worked out very well. The car I had came from Avis, and I had no problem picking it up and returning it. I've been using AutoEurope since the mid-1990's and I almost always book rental cars with them because there are never any surprise fees or problems. And since they're a broker, you can pick and choose the price, the car and so on.

Posted by
32 posts

We're going to Germany in late October for 23 days and renting a car thru you might check them out. You can fill out your info and they will email you back with a quote in 24 hours.

Posted by
136 posts

All: thanks for your responses. I know I can get quotes. I was curious to see what others paid. No worries.

Posted by
6738 posts

"...renting a car at the airport; driving through Bavaria..."

Just a word of caution... if your Night #1 is both distant and pre-booked, and you're dependent on the car right after your transatlantic overnight flight, you'll be mostly out of good options in the event you end up jet-lagged and less than fit for the driving task. It would be my choice to catch a train in the direction of Bavaria from one of FRA airport's two train stations to Frankfurt, or Steinheim (Hanau), Würzburg - or some other town that appeals to you - for your first night.

Steinheim, a Main-river community with handsome historic buildings, is one of several stops on the German Half-timbered House driving route, which passes through this area and includes part of northern Bavaria. It's just 30 minutes by direct train from FRA. There are several rental outlets nearby.

Photos of handsome Steinheim:

Half-timbered House route:

Miltenberg is another lovely - and Bavarian! - town on this driving route. It is also served by train. But like the other towns, it's apparently unknown among North Americans, who tend to rush on to routes and places with strong name recognition that are heavily targeted by international tourists (Rothenburg and the Romantic Road, for exxample.)