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Auto Europe vs. Avis for car rental in France

Is there any advantage to using Auto Europe vs. Avis for a car rental in France? Picking up in Avignon and dropping off in Dijon? Rates seem to be similar. Most people on this forum are talking about Auto Europe and I wondered why.

Posted by
4132 posts

Auto Europe is a consolidator, so sometimes there are more choices than just one rental company. Quite possibly for your route the auto you would rent with one or the other would be the same car.

Posted by
1 posts

Auto Europe will beat Avis's rates if asked. I've always had a good experience with them.

Posted by
1064 posts

Judy, I have often wondered the same thing. Why the obsession among people here with AutoEurope? And why at no other travel forum? Edit: I am not anti-AutoEurope, but I see no reason for a third party for a simple rental. Introducing a third party without a good reason always increases the risk that something will go wrong. Check Kayak. They (AE) are not even always the cheapest, even when you eliminate the bottom dwellers.

Posted by
7078 posts

I think people here mention Auto Europe a lot because they use it a lot. When I compared rates for Hertz Europe, Avis Europe, Gemut.com, and Auto Europe for my rental this summer Auto Europe had the best rate. You need to check all options and compare rates before deciding which to go with. Auto Europe is a consolidator and you may end up with an Avis car or a Hertz car, or some local brand, etc. If you feel more comfortable with a known entity like Avis or you use them a lot and like them, then go with it. I didn't care so the lowest price was the way for me to go.

Posted by
9110 posts

I'm with Roy. And am about to post a lengthy reply in another thread. The consolidators offer nothing special. I use kayak and go with the cheapest, period. Kayak will spit out AE if it's in the running. The problem is, if you have a problem on the road, you're right back to dealing with who ever they foist you off on - - AE is out of the picture. And, if you go to everwho AE gives you to and they don't have what you were promised - - walk over to the next counter and ask those guys to match you deal - - it always works.

Posted by
1167 posts

gemut.com, a US based company guarantees to give you the lowest price. I know this works because when I found a lower rate and told them they credited me for the difference.

Posted by
9110 posts

Credit for the difference doesn't make it the lowest, it makes it equal. And if you'd gone with the one not mentioned, you'd have had that rate to begin with without the need to haggle.

Posted by
84 posts

I just booked car rental in Austria with pick up and drop off at different cities in Austria and NO one (Sixt, Gemut, eurocar, Avis, etc) was even close to the rate I am getting from Hertz. I actually called the Hertz office in Salzburg and the gentleman that answered was able to get me an even better rate than the website. I don't know if that is any help to you but I thought I would pass my experience along. Good Luck.

Posted by
6898 posts

I agree that Kayak may find you the best rate but our requirement was to pick up the car at a train station in France and drop off the car in a train station in France. AutoEurope does that. We picked up our very nice new VW Passat in Nimes in the parking garage below the train station and we returned it to the train station in Dijon as you wish to do. Again, the rental car area is in the train station. Worked great. At Nimes, there were only two rental car agencies in the station. At Dijon, I believe there were three. Judy, are you coming from Barcelona as we did? We too stayed in Avignon but picked up our car in Nimes for three reasons - 1) There was an hour wait time for the train change at Nimes to Avignon. 2) We wanted to put that extra hour to good use and we began our touring at 2:00pm. 3) We arrived a couple of hours later at Avignon than the train would have got us there. We did get some extra touring done. As a side note, we had a wonderful French dinner at a very small restaurant called Piedoie. Type in Piedoie Avignon on the internet and you'll see it. A bit above average prices but for our first night in Southern France, it was great after a day of train travel and touring in the rental car. Also, there is a nice large parking garage near the Avignon train station. About 20E/day but you pay for parking everywhere.

Posted by
42 posts

Thanks all for the replies, I have my question answered. I plan to stay with Avis, prices are comparable to Auto Europe but I have Preferred status with Avis and have been renting with them for years, so there is a loyalty factor.
Larry, we are coming from Paris to Avignon. Thanks for the restaurant tip, will look into it.

Posted by
7 posts

The major reasons are service and low price guarantee. If you arrive at the rental car counter only to find the rental car company doesn't have a rental for you that is per the terms promised you can call Auto Europe's 24/7 toll-free-from-Europe help line. They are your advocate and will insist that the terms and conditions of your booking are adhered to. If, worse comes to worse, they will re-book you with another rental company. If you booked direct with Avis the best you can do is talk to an Avis supervisor who will support his counter agent. Auto Europe has huge leverage with these companies because they send them so much business. Same if you have a post-rental problem such as an overcharge. Auto Europe is your advocate with the supplier and you don't have to deal with Avis, Hertz, Europcar, etc. Gemut.com is a smaller company that offers more personalized service and works entirely with Auto Europe so you get the same service/price advantages with them. It's either you vs the rental company or you AND Auto Europe vs the rental company.