We are a family of 4 adults and 2 children. We are thinking of renting a car (minivan) large enough to accomodate all of us for day trips from Vienna. Any recommendations on budget friendly rental car companies?
Kayak.com and pick the chepaest one that meets your needs.
Margaret; for day trips you might look into tourist transportation, puublic transportation of with 6 of you a private services that will drive you might be competitive in cost. I know, people think I spend too much, but sometimes the difference in cost between renting a car, parking a car, paying the tolls on a car, gas for the car, etc, can be very close to just hiring a car and driver for one trip or another. Then there is the lost time getting the car returning the car, paperwork, etc. The other benefit is you don't get lost and you can look out the window and enjoy the sights. I've been to Vienna a few times but it's not a destination I really know much about, but I bet that there are reasonably priced private or public services to most of the day trip locations. Always check for family fares or discounts on 2,3,4 etc tickets. I am also going to guess that you will be looking at taking a day trip to the abbey at Melk? Another suggestion if you are looking for a fun and adventure and I promise a memorable side trip out of Vienna, then take the train across the border to Gyor in Hungary and visit the Archabbey and Winery at Pannonhalma. 1.5 hours on the train, 30 minutes in a taxi and a remarkable baroque town and an amazing winery and abbey. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pannonhalma_Archabbey
I think it's more interesting than Melk but they are both beautiful. Neither would require a car rental.
I have really appreciated Gemut.com They are a travel service provider. Their son Andy handles the car rental division and is very helpful. he can compare rates and let you know what works best for your situation. (For example, one year we needed to have multiple drivers on the car rental. He could compare the costs between companies. We did not go with the lowest priced rental, because they wanted so much for the second driver. We went with a slightly more expensive one that only charged $45.00 for 5 weeks of a second driver. I could not find this information on the web sites of these car rental companies.) He also gave us some money saving tips. (by riding the tram into downtown Munich and picking the car up there, we saved enough to pay for the second driver and it was so easy to do!) I highly recommend them. They have 24 hours emergency numbers (for if you have any problems once you are in Europe) and are very service orientated.
Thank you for your reply.
I always rent from Auto Europe. 15 trips and no problems. Planning on a June 2 week trip with 4 adults and 3 small children. The van cost is $992.00 with basic insurance. I purchase CDW with American Express $24.95 per rental. Yes fuel is expense but I like the ability to go when I want and where I want. I pick it up in Frankfurt and drop off in Frankfurt.
I recommend considering public transportation based on some of your destinations. Salzburg, Bratislava, and other major destinations within a few hours of Vienna are serviced by trains and inexpensive bus companies several times a day. Westbahn and OEBB both listed a number of options. I've been researching the same and trying to determine whether a car is necessary, and it seems to be more hassle than help. Your own mileage may vary, but there's a number of excellent alternatives to a car.
Usually use Auto Europe also. My last trip a few weeks (6) ago to France I rented from Avis. Yep, an accident in St. Emilion. I did not buy the extra Insurance but used my credit card insurance provided by Citi. It is still pending but Avis has dinged my credit card $11,500 for the accident and a mountain of paperwork from me and "Chubb"(the insurance agent of Citi). We'll see what happens but I thought I would let everyone know about this type of insurance from credit cards. I don't know if the insurance of Avis would have been better but in hindsight, probably should have used them(Avis).
I hope this might help someone else.... John
I too rent from AutoEurope, and we often pickup cars at Hertz's offices. Vienna is a big city, and garages are quite expensive to keep a rental car in. It all depends on how far out you want to go on your day trips and what direction you're wanting to go. Have you considered staying in the city for a few days, and pick up your rental van on your way out of town? There are great tourist sites to see in any direction from Vienna, and you cannot go wrong with any of them. I especially enjoy Salzburg, Tirol and the Austrian Alps. My favorite route in Summer is across the Grossglockner Highway south of Zell-am-See to Lienz, Austria on the Italian border. In case you are looking for a place to stay, check out K&T Boardinghouse with two small B&B's in the best location in town. They're the cheapest price also.