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Renting a car in Spain - agency suggestion?

Greetings

My wife and I are soon heading to Spain and interested in renting a car when we are there. Our plan is to rent a car from Valencia, drive to Granada, then Gibraltar, then drop the car off in Seville

I have checked the Google reviews for the major car rental agencies in Valencia, and they all seem to have incredibly negative reviews (Avis, Enterprise, Hertz, etc). I am interested if anyone could recommend a good car rental agency where I could pick up in Valencia and the drop off in Seville. I would prefer to use a North American agency as I feel I would have better ability to connect with the agency if any issue occurred after our trip rather than using Sixt or Europcar, but would be happy to go with either of these agencies if their customer service is better. Also, our Spanish is very minimal, so having a agency that can speak English and have English paperwork would also be ideal if that is possible.

Any suggestions on a decent car hire would be welcomed. I do have a preferred Avis account, so ideally would like to use Avis, but their reviews were pretty poor in Spain.

Gracias!

Posted by
2270 posts

Greg, I rented a car in Spain last year through Autoeurope, which is an American business which deals with various rental companies all over the world, and are experts. My rental actually ended up with Hertz, the only company renting in Cuenca, I believe. The Autoeurope web site will get the information about your rental needs, and then give you quotes from different rental companies, sometimes for very different amounts. You can complete the rental either online or through Auroeurope’s toll-free number and staff.

Posted by
4058 posts

We rented thru Autoeurope in Spain and have rented from them in other countries, as well, and never had a problem. In Spain, the agency was Europcar. We picked up in Sevilla (Santa Justa station) and returned in Granada. If you will be driving thru the mountains and/or pueblos blancos, I highly recommended springing for full coverage insurance. We have never had damage on a car we've rented anywhere, and sadly, we returned the car in Granada with very minor scrapes on each side! There was no issue what so ever with Europcar/Autoeurope. You would want to elect the full coverage prior to pick up.

My recollection is that the quote from Autoeurope for a car from Europcar was less than if we would have rented directly from Europcar.

We had a bit of a difficulty finding the return in Granada which can be an issue with one way rentals. At Sevilla Santa Justa, Europcar and their rental vehicles was located right at the train station, so that would work well for you.

Posted by
156 posts

We have used a company with an American company called Gemut and their website is gemut.com. They arrange the rental for you and select the company. You have them to rely on if something goes wrong.

Posted by
5193 posts

With many trips to Europe, renting a car for all or part of many of them, Spain back in 2002 was one of the two times we used “Big #1 Hertz.” Price has often been the major factor in deciding from whom to rent, along with pick up and drop off convenience, and ability to return the vehicle in a different place than where we got it. On that trip, we actually picked up in Portugal and returned in Spain, which carried a big multi-country return fee, but it was convenient for our needs. Confirm it, but I’m pretty sure Hertz wouldn’t charge you if you picked up and dropped off in the same country - Spain.

Overall, Europcar has been our most frequent rental company throughout Europe, and we’ve booked directly thru their Website. Compare prices, including whether you want an automatic or manual transmission, extra insurance, GPS navigation or other accessories. The Europcar cars have been in excellent shape, and checkout and return usually very fast and efficient. In Sicily last November, with a very rare problem, we needed to have them collect the car and trade us a fresh one. Having a tow truck come to get the car and bring the new one required waiting an extra night where were stranded, and we paid for a pre-reserved night at the hotel we were heading towards that day, plus for the hotel where we had to book that night, not part of the original itinerary. But we’d rented in big city Palermo in the north, and were stranded near a small town way south. Since you’re planning on major metro areas in Spain, that probably won’t be as much a concern.

Sixt has been fine, too, when their prices were competitive, and they’re a professional company. In Scotland and Greece, we’ve even used smaller, local companies, who were great, with excellent prices. So there may be a lot of options, and we’ve been lucky to not have many issues to resolve while on the road. Hertz was good in Spain 18 years ago - I should think they’d still be a good choice now, and now have 19 more years of experience! ☺️

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you so much for the replies and suggestions! I will definitely check out Europcar as well as AutoEurope. I will also get full insurance. I just want the whole process to be hassle free.

Cheers,

Greg

Posted by
4450 posts

I've been renting in Spain for years and never had an issue. What are the negatives being written?

I typically use Rentalcars.com which is a consolidator and I've found the prices there to be the cheapest even when comparing with the agency themselves. Typically I end up with a car from Hertz or Avis/Budget. The cars have all been very new or on occasions, completely new.

I used to use Sixt as they were very good but a few years ago they inexplicably raised their prices to Avis level (the most expensive agency in my opinion) but with no change in service so they're last on the list for me unless I can find a favourable deal.

The only complaints I'd have with Hertz, Avis etc is sometimes the queue is long particularly at popular times such as school holidays, public holidays etc.

Posted by
5 posts

If you look at the Google reviews (just do a Google search for car rentals Valencia, scroll down until you get a Google map with the car rental locations, you can see the star ratings and then you can read the reviews), a lot of the reviews list very rude staff, customers getting dinged for extra fee's such as charges for additional rental days that did not occur, extra charges that wasn't requested or mentioned about, and charges for damage to the car that occurred before pickup as staff did not do a vehicle inspection prior to handing over to the customer

Posted by
3424 posts

I’ve never picked up a rental in Valencia, mostly from Madrid, and have never had a problem with Avis. It’s the only company I use. In any country overseas, always inspect the car yourself before driving off the lot, and it wouldn’t hurt to take photos. If you spot damage, bring it to their attention and get it annotated on the contract. Europe used to be notorious for nitpicking any little ding. Not so much any more, a few years back, somebody backed into my rental in a parking garage in Sevilla, putting a grapefruit sized ding in the fender. After turning it in, in Jerez, I never heard anything about it. Liability insurance is mandatory in Spain and included in the rental car price. Seems I always get an upgrade with Avis preferred and it’s always appreciated.

Posted by
630 posts

Help! Renting a Vehicle Through Europcar Drove Me Crazy!

When we first solicited reader stories of travel disasters, we immediately received four individual emails concerning Europcar, the rental car company that operates in 140 countries. Although anyone renting a car from any rental company on Earth might find themselves in the situations below, we felt that strength in numbers might be valuable here, so we packaged the disasters as a quartet and sent them to Europcar for comment.

Posted by
4058 posts

I've rented through Europcar on a number of occasions. Once directly thru them and quite a few times thru AutoEurope. I've never had an issue. I do think that it is much safer and more convenient (and usually cheaper) to work thru AutoEurope. Autoeurope has a strong presence and has been known to help out the consumer in any disputes.

Posted by
11275 posts

If you want to rent via a consolidator, look at Kemwel in addition to AutoEurope and Gemut. Kemwel is now under the same corporate umbrella as AutoEurope, but can have different rates.

Posted by
2496 posts

Whatever you do, avoid Goldcar (which sometimes shows up in Autoeurope / Kemwel). They are known for many shady practices that let them post artificially low prices, such as forcing folks to purchase insurance at the counter, pushing their "flex-fuel" system (basically making you pay for the full tank of fuel in the car when you pick up), etc.