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We are planning a trip to Germany/Austria and Northern Italy this summer. I was wondering which is the better choice to rent a car directly from a car rental company or through a broker like Argus, eurocar etc. Are the inclusive insurances that the brokers offer any good(real)?

Thank you


Posted by
7577 posts

You've got to just compare prices and terms of consolidators vs. direct with the rental companies. i would think that their insurance packages are actually those of the rental car companies they're working with.

I've gone through, a New England company, and selected pickup locations that I knew belonged to Hertz. And AutoEurope beat Hertz' price somewhat.

Remember that if you're going into Italy, you're going to have CDW insurance by law, and you certainly want theft insurance on the car for there.

Remember that not all familiar rental car companies are the same in Europe. I've read horror stories about another big name rental company in another part of Europe. Sometimes the rental companies in Europe are franchise operations, and you may not like dealing with them.

I've had good luck with Hertz and There are other consolidators that I'm sure are good at what they do.

Your Germany/Austria/Northern Italy is my favorite part of Europe to just ramble from town to town looking at the mountains by auto. You will have a great time.

Posted by
48 posts

Thanks David. Much obliged. I've rented cars in Germany through brokers before but the trouble with them is that you dont know which company you get.I like driving in Europe you can see much more and you are not restricted by bus or train schedule.Do you have a favorite route in any of these countries?

Posted by
9376 posts

I have always used Auto Europe, and it's true that you don't know what company it is until after you book it. If it turns out to be a company you don't want to rent through, just call the 800 number and change it to something else. They are very helpful.

Posted by
48 posts

Thank you Andrea. Do you have a favorite rental company?

Posted by
9376 posts

Not really. I've gotten cars through Avis, Hertz, Europcar and Budget using Auto Europe and had no problems with any of them. The only time I called to request a change was when a car was with Europcar and I had heard that whichever I country I was renting in on that trip that it wasn't a good idea there. I'm thinking it must have been Ireland. I don't remember the specifics though.

Are you planning to drive the same car in all the countries?

Posted by
1878 posts

We always rent through Autoeurope, they always seem to have a better price than going direct. The only thing is, their pricing is geared toward a full week rental. If you want the car for five days you are still going pay the same as for a full week. The CDW also carries a high deductible ($1500-$2000) for rentals in Europe, but I think that is driven by the rental company not Autoeurope. Super CDW tends to be pretty pricey. We almost always go with American Express premium coverage, so far with good results, but that's because we have not had an accident.

Posted by
1071 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,

I have just spent 10 or more days playing with car rental web sites for a car in Spain which I plan to dead head. I tried directly with the "big" agencies. I tried consolidators I had never heard of before (elephant hire). I tried local/Spanish companies. I got what I thought was the best deal, as near as I could tell. Then I called, they do have an 800 number, Autoeurope and told them what I wanted. Minutes later I had a car. It was so quick and efficient. I gave the operator the location of our Barcelona apartment rental and the city where we want to drop the car off (Santiago de Compostela). The operator was able to get a pick-up location a few blocks from our apartment, calculate drop off charges due to the deadhead, and avoid railroad/airport pick-up charges. AND get me a great price. Lower than I could find on my own.

I have used them before and have always been satisfied. I plan to try the official company we are renting with directly as Autoeurope has no fee for cancelation. But that is just me being really cheap.

Two years ago I rented a car from Autoeurope and was happy until February 14, when they offered a sale. I rented the "same" car for about $75 less. So keep your eye out as the date of the contract approaches.

Make sure to tell them what countries you plan to be driving in.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
31748 posts


For the countries you'll be visiting, I'd suggest having a look at Gemut for car rental information. If you have any questions, contact them via E-mail or toll free number for details.

Happy travels!

Posted by
48 posts

Thank you VS, Wayner and Ken you all have been very helpful.

Posted by
1 posts


It's a brilliant idea the countries you're planning to visit ;)

It's a lot better to hire your car via a broker, it's very much cheaper...

I rent my cars with Ooloc during my summer or winter holidays, I'm very satisfied with the service, the cars and everything...

For the insurance, I think that it's better to have it directly with the agency, Avis, Alamo, Budget, Nationale citer or others, it depends on your destination, your car choice, or the milleage...

Have a very nice trip ;)

Posted by
29709 posts

This section of the helpline has been closed for some time now and desupported. The original question was asked last year.