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Can't find any reputable car rental companies in Spain

I have read horror story after horror story of people getting ripped off from all the main car rental places in Spain. Does anyone know a trustworthy company without hidden fees or scam tactics? I need to pickup a car in Seville and drop off in Granada. Anyone had any good experiences? Would love to hear!

Posted by
9 posts

As I suggested to another person, my advice is to go with Auto Europe. I worked there almost a decade, and I know they are very customer service orientated. They will set you up with a local company and are there to advocate for you in the event something happens either during or after the rental period. They are 24/7, can be reached toll free, and you will get assistance in English. It's always best to deal with the rental agency first, but they are great to have in your corner.

Also, pay the extra money and get the zero-deductible insurance. In most cases, the difference isn't that much and you can avoid an argument upon the return over a scratch or ding that you may or may not have caused. Also, may be worthwhile to get the insurance for glass and tires which you usually purchase at the counter. Always read the terms and conditions on your rental voucher. Sometimes the person at the counter will try to sell you insurance that was already included in the package.

Usually domestic one-way rentals are free of charge, unless you are renting some kind of specialty car. So Sevilla to Granada should not be a problem.

Posted by
24 posts

While in Spain I rented from Europcar, and had no problems. I've also used Sixt in the past with no issues.
FYI: In my experience if you are arriving in the airport from the US, everyone on the flight will be using familiar US rental companies(Hertz, Avis) etc. and the lines will be long. That's why I go with a Europian company and usually walk right up to the counter.

If you can do without a car, you might want to consider a bus(3 hours) or train to get from Seville to Granada.

A little off topic but the Granada airport is really convenient. I flew from Barcelona to Granada(Vueling Airlines) and Granada to Madrid(Iberia Airlines). There is a bus waiting for arriving flights which takes you right to the center of Granada. The flights, bought in advance were $50 to $60 dollars each.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks to both of you. I checked out sixt and auto europe and read so many bad reviews and horrible experiences. I was hoping to find a smaller local company, but web searches havent turned up much. I contacted a company called ATA and am waiting to hear back.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks Jill. Glad to hear about your positive experiences. I wont be renting from any of the big american companies. I need the car to go from Seville to Ronda and to explore the white hill towns before flying from Granada to Barcelona. :)

Posted by
3127 posts

I’ve always rented from Avis in Spain and have never had any problems. No idea where you got your information.

Posted by
7513 posts

We've been using AutoEurope for twenty years, well over twenty rentals. Not only do I have no complaints, but in fact, I have praise for how they have ironed out issues for me. I would never go with a smaller local company that could tack on charges after I've left the country. A consolidator like Kemwel or AutoEurope has got your back. As stated above: get AutoEurope's full insurance when booking on line and you can walk away in peace. Personal experience.

Posted by
12 posts

@jaimeelsabio - Glad to hear you had good luck with Avis. My information came from online reviews from the car rental places themselves along with tripadvisor reviews. I guess most people feel compelled to leave negative reviews, hence why it looks very bad and unbalanced.

@bets - That is wonderful to hear! I will prob use auto europe then and get their insurance. Thanks for your insights!

Posted by
7513 posts

I've heard of so many bad incidents too, so consider that homework. Sometimes the renter hasn't done the basics to protect themselves.

Don't accept a car with any damage/scratches/marks of any kind unless it is noted on your contract. If it's not, get an employee outside to the car with you to note the damage. That includes keyholes on a car with a fob--as one person has just posted on the General Europe questions. Look closely at everything. Check the level of the gas. If anything feels wrong, brakes, gear shift or ?, ask for a new car.

If you take the full insurance from AutoEurope, you don't have to take photos at pick up and drop off, but I do anyway. I've read too many bad situations consumer advocate website.

Wheels and windshield won't be covered. A new windshield is 500 euros; do you want to self insure for that, or do as suggested by the former AutoEurope employee?

Posted by
268 posts

I've used Sixt and Europcar several times each in Spain with no problems.

Posted by
2262 posts

imreallybusy, in 2018 I rented a car through Autoeurope in Spain, pickup in Cuenca, drop-off at the San Sebastián airport. I actually dealt with Avis in Spain, the major rental office in Cuenca. Very happy with all aspects of the car and service at both ends. I had Zero Deductible Insurance, which was fortunate as I incurred minor damage to the side of the car, and was told by Avis: “No problem, you have Zero Deductible Insurance”.
I just this week reserved a two-week rental in Italy through Autoeurope, this time using Europcar.
By the way, Autoeurope is providing me with a free GPS, the size of a smartphone, for the duration of my entire trip. There is a $40 Shipping fee, including to me and back to the company. Hope this works well, I am trusting the company and their staff about that. Adding a GPS to the Europcar rental would have been $150 just for the duration of the car rental.

Posted by
818 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,

No rental company will have what I would call, 'good reviews'. few people who have a good rental experience spend the time to explain why it was good. But if a renter were some how slighted, well the report can go on for paragraphs. Some people feel they were 'ripped' when told GPS is an extra charge. Or that they have to pay a road fee or environmental tax.

Go to Auto Europe and see what they can find for you. They are a consolidator. When I have phoned them and asked what charges I should expect, they are most careful to explain what I will encounter. (The good news is that after this spring several nations will require that road fees will be included in the offer price.) Most often Auto Europe's low offer is from Europecar. I have nothing but great things to say about either of these firms. I've rented cars in Europe since 1988. My biggest complaint is they often give me a larger car (not huge) than the rental agreement lists. No extra cost, but if I wanted a larger car, I would have reserved one.

We were in Spain last spring. Rented a car in Cordoba and returned it Seville. Everything was excellent, however the car did have a scrape that was not noted on the rental agreement. They took care of it in a couple minutes.

When you pick up your car. Do a detailed examination of the car. ANY dent or scratch should either be on your rental agreement as preexisting or be reported, before you start the car, to the desk. Take photos of all panels of the car with your camera or phone, including odometer. Do the same with your camera/phone once you return the car. And keep the gas station receipt showing your refueling near the return parking lot for posterity. It is great evidence if there is a disagreement about the condition of the car. I have never had to make use of this precaution.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
12 posts

@bets - Thanks for your help! I reserved a car through auto europe and paid for the zero deductible. I will document everything and potentially get some extra insurance for the wheels and windshield. Thanks for that tip!

@larry - Wonderful to hear about your good experience with the company! ps..imnotthatbusyanymore

@wayner - Thanks so much Wayne! From what I can tell, I will have to pay an extra surcharge for picking up and dropping the vehicle at a train station. Maybe I should follow your lead and make a quick call to see if there are any other extra costs. And thanks for all the tips about what I should document!

Posted by
4344 posts

I've been visiting Spain several times a year for many years. I have always rented a car and never experienced any problems whatsoever (other than Hertz removing the SD card from the on board sat nav and demanding a daily fee to have it placed back in in the same manner that you would if renting a dedicated stand alone device from them). I typically use Hertz, Avis, Budget and Sixt. I never use the ones such as Goldcar, Firefly etc as those companies offer the attractive low prices but then sting you with the add ons. They also feature highly amongst complaints.

I have never written a review about a car rental because I've never felt compelled to. However, if I had experienced a problem I may well consider writing a review. Most people feel the same and therefore the number of bad reviews skews the reality.

Posted by
14267 posts

Others have reported here that they've had good experiences using, another consolidator. They have some great tips on their website here whether you use them or not.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is an automatic transmission. Most European rental cars have manual transmissions. If you need an automatic, you are better off renting from a large company and picking up the car in where they are likely to have a larger fleet available. Even if you reserve an automatic, if they only have a handful of cars and the one reserved for you isn't there (they gave it to someone else the day before, someone was supposed to return but kept it longer, who know why, maybe just a clerical error), you may be out of luck or obliged to take a much larger car (and pay the difference) which will be difficult to drive if you're going to villages.

Posted by
100 posts

I highly recommend
They use europcar and auto europe. They gi e excellent advise and theybare there to handle any issues if you have them. Weve worked with Andy at Gemut many times over the last several years.
Your credit card may offer certain coverage for your rental also.

Posted by
3 posts

I`ve used centauro before, a few years back though. All their cars appear to be very new. No high pressure insurance sales at check in just the facts & made fully aware of the excess.