Car rental&#59; National/Citer and Sixt in France

It appears the French car rental situation is in a state of flux, as my recent research for a trip next year revealed, some of which was explained by recent email exchanges with Andy of gemut.com. For 25+ years I've always used a broker for France rentals, usually AutoEurope or Kemwel. There have been a few little glitches, but nothing much and nothing that wasn't fixed within days if not hours. The agency used has always been either Europcar or Citer. But now when I go to AE and Kemwel and look for an automatic for my trip, I see only Hertz. Because of glowing reviews here, I contacted gemut.com. Andy replied with a quote through Hertz, and mentioned that Europcar would be a lot lower but they don't allow one-way rentals of automatics in France; he confirmed, in answer to my reply about renting one-way through Europcar this Spring, that this policy is only 3 months old, and may be only if you go through a broker rather than directly to Europcar. Going directly to Europcar, I can get an automatic one-way, and at a lower price than gemut and comparable to AE/Kemwel. But the real thrust of my post is National/Citer and Sixt. Going to the N/C site directly, the rate is so much less than anyone else. Which makes me suspicious, especially since my research revealed so many horror stories about them, including some obvious scams. On the other hand, I also checked Sixt, and their rate is substantially less than anyone except National/Citer and I've read many glowing reviews on this site about Sixt (with a big negative from Ed). Any comments, particularly recent experiences with Sixt or N/C?

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
2276 posts

Rented a car from Sixt for 2 days at Geneva airport last month. Their computer was running slow that evening, so it took a little longer, but other than that I was completely satisfied. Surprisingly, I found a better price by renting through Orbitz than the quoted price from the Sixt site.

Posted by Robert
Portland
629 posts

The major change may be only with automatics. I have not checked manuals since I don't/can't drive one.

Posted by Henry
Porter Ranch, Ca, United States
6 posts

We rented a car in June 2013 from Sixt online for 11 days to be picked up in Paris Italie National BP gas station and dropped off in Nice, France. First, when we showed up to pick up our car, the Sixt rep did not speak English or French well. Second, our car was not available and they gave us a cheaper car which we had no choice but to take as we had checked out of our hotel and were ready to leave Paris. The biggest problem for us was the lack of enough cargo space to place all our luggages. We had ordered and paid for a BMW Touring (station wagon) and we received a BMW 3 series with little cargo space. So our kids had 2 luggages under their legs for 11 days. Third, Sixt car rental company was unable to replace our car along our trip with contant emails going back and forth and refused to refund our money for the price difference at the end. Their claim was you signed for the car you picked up, now deal with it. To make matters worse, they filed an accident claim against us after we dropped off the car and placed a dispute with American Express. Luckily, we had kept our drop off receipt which showed that the car was in perfect shape when we dropped it off and they dropped the accident claim. I'm not sure who owns the Sixt rental company but their customer service is nowhere near the service that American companies provide. They cheated and deceived us throughout our trip with errors, false promises, bad customer service, fake accident claims, and price overcharge by providing cheaper car and refusing to refund the difference.

Posted by Henry
Porter Ranch, Ca, United States
6 posts

We rented a car in June 2013 from Sixt online for 11 days to be picked up in Paris Italie National BP gas station and dropped off in Nice, France. First, when we showed up to pick up our car, the Sixt rep did not speak English or French well. Second, our car was not available and they gave us a cheaper car which we had no choice but to take as we had checked out of our hotel and were ready to leave Paris. The biggest problem for us was the lack of enough cargo space to place all our luggages. We had ordered and paid for a BMW Touring (station wagon) and we received a BMW 3 series with little cargo space. So our kids had 2 luggages under their legs for 11 days. Third, Sixt car rental company was unable to replace our car along our trip with contant emails going back and forth and refused to refund our money for the price difference at the end. Their claim was you signed for the car you picked up, now deal with it. To make matters worse, they filed an accident claim against us after we dropped off the car and placed a dispute with American Express. Luckily, we had kept our drop off receipt which showed that the car was in perfect shape when we dropped it off and they dropped the accident claim. I'm not sure who owns the Sixt rental company but their customer service is nowhere near the service that American companies provide. They cheated and deceived us throughout our trip with errors, false promises, bad customer service, fake accident claims, and price overcharge by providing cheaper car and refusing to refund the difference.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8756 posts

This thread was complete nearly a year ago. I expect that Robert from Portland has been back some time. Henry, your rant is welcome, but it is misplaced... it should be removed from here and placed in the Trip Reports section of the Helpline - the designated place for rants.

Posted by Robert
Portland
629 posts

Nigel is right - I've long since returned. In the end, I went with Europcar for both legs of my car rental, renting directly from them through their web site. And I had no problems at all. I nixed National/Citer partly because of too many negative stories I read, and Sixt because their price wasn't as low as I thought; I hadn't seen at first that the quote didn't include VAT. But I'd consider them next time.