I found a car rental for about $1,000 directly through Hertz.com (with no coupons because can't find any that work for Europe). I called Gemut.com and they gave me a quote of $950. I see generally favorable reviews here for this company, and I like the concept of an actual person helping me. Gemut explained they work through AutoEurope then through Hertz with is cheapest, apparently. Question: Isn't it better to go directly with the company (cut out middle men?) Or is the AutoEurope phone number Gemut mentioned a good thing? Plus, I've read Gemut can get involved? If anyone can shed if they'd go direct or through the agency I'd appreciate it. Pete
I have used Gemut multiple times in Europe. Never a problem, always great support responsiveness and if you ever have a problem you have someone on your side to deal with issues. Unless there is a substantial savings going direct why wouldn't you use Gemut?
I'm not sure one is better than the other. I try everyone, then pick the best deal for me (after carefully reading the fine print). Some will treat a second driver better than another. Some have higher drop-off charges. Some seem to give better rates for smaller cars, while others do better on the bigger ones. No one will guarantee your car model (unless it's a lease), so don't use a promise of a specific model as one of your criteria (you can negotiate when you're there if they try to give you a car that won't work for you). One thing that seems to be a great deal - I'll be using it for the first time in April - is American Express' new car insurance deal. If you have the right account (I opened a Costco American Express to take advantage of it) - and enroll the card before you rent - a one-time $25 charge replaces full CDW (I believe up to a 30 day rental). Since CDW can easily be $25 or more per day, it's a huge savings.
I second the comments of Fran. I have used Gemut several times for European rentals and getting ready to use them again. Very friendly, knowledgeable, offer suggestions to cut costs, etc. Have never had a problem with renting from them.
Me, too. Have used gemut.com for several trips, they have always been great. Am planning to use them again, for my upcoming trip, too. Good outfit, nice people.
We have used Gemut every time we've traveled to Europe. Their service is exceptional and there are no middle-man costs. Plus you have someone on your side who can speak English, available 24 hours should something go wrong with your car rental.
I used Gemut in the summer of 2010 for a 3 week car rental across Spain. Well before the trip started, I booked a car through them. I was looking at car prices a few weeks later and saw even cheaper rates. I called them up and they said that would cancel my previous rental and give me a new one with the new lower price. There was no hassle or haggling or any displeasure in their voice. I highly recommend them and have only heard good things about them.
I will add my praise for Gemut.com we have rented through them twice and been very pleased!
I've gotten quotes from Gemut several time but never used them because their price was always 2 to 3 times what I knew it would cost me with public transportation. And that was even for rental w/o CDW. When I ask for the quote I always specifically state that I want it with CDW and they always send me a quote without CDW and say, "use your credit card's insurance". I go to the CC's insurance page and it says to be reimbursed I have to provide the card company with any documentation they request. So, the only way I'm covered is if I make a transatlantic call and can explain to someone who doesn't speak English that I want some obscure document. If I walk, bicycle, or take the bus or train, anything but rent a car, I have no financial risk.
I meant to add that since Gemut gave you a price $50 less than going direct with Hertz, why would you want to go direct? I feel better knowing I have Andy Bestor to help or advise if something does happen or if I have questions or concerns. Paul
No more to say: go with Gemut. They are honorable and reliable. But chances are you will be charged for your second driver "on the ground" in Italy. Just sayin'.
I have subscribed to the excellent Gemütlichkeit travel newsletter for many years and have used many of the related services of the Bestor family, including rail passes and car rentals. Since I am generally an independent traveler in Europe, I plan my own trips and book them myself on the Internet. However, the one area where I always turn to "Gemut" is European car rentals. Not only does Andy Bestor always get me the best rate (better than I can find for any direct bookings) but he and the Gemütlichkeit publications offer the best advice on where to pick up cars, what options to request or avoid, and issues travelers need to be aware of (e.g., winter tire requirements in Germany, permits to drive on the Autobahn in Switzerland). Dick K.
Another satisfied Gemüt customer. Rented through them twice - everything went smoothly. I like the fact that if I did have a problem, I can call them and let them handle it, rather than trying to navigate through a rental company's system. You can just imagine being transferred from here to there, or told to call another number, etc etc etc. And Lee, with all due respect, putting in a pitch for taking the train really doesn't address this particular question.
OK, Steve, I changed that to walking, bicycling, or taking the bus/train. Only having a car with no CDW exposes you to significant financial risk. The thread is titled "Pros/ cons" of booking a car (particularly with Gemut). The financial risk from renting a car without CDW, which Gemut apparently refuses to do, is a con.
How you handle the cdw is a matter of personal preference, but as Lee said, Gemut gives you no choice. They'll met a price, but it's a bells and whistles price - - some folks don't want or need it. What irks me about Gemut is that you have to give them all you're scoop before you know what the deal is. Not only that, but it's a multi-step process. With anybody else, it takes you half a minute to see the deal and take it if you like it - - you may or may not even need to give out your credit card info to make a reservation. Two minutes, max, and you've got a car - - no waiting for a response, etc. For the business of having somebody to talk to, I have no idea how many times I rent a car in the course of year - - not once, never, never, not once, have I wanted to talk to anybody about it. I suspect that the folks who need this feature (or whatever it is) need to have their hand held for just about everything else as well. Fine - - but it's just one more thing to slow me down.
I have used Gemut the last 2 years they have been great and I always feel that I have been treated right. They help me get a credit due on my first rental because of changes in the rental.
In January I had contacted Bob Bestor, the owner of Gemut.com about an upcoming trip to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. He gave me a rough idea about an itinerary and asked for input. In March he sent me a note and asked me to go ahead and sign up for the car as the rates would go up on April 1st and he wanted to fix the rates. We adjusted the rate when the itinerary was set. After we finalized the itinerary he recommended we not take a car during the first week of the trip as we would be in Switzerland. We followed his advice and got an 8 day Swiss Rail Pass-Great Idea! He also said to get the car in Germany, instead of Switzerland, as it is cheaper. So on the last leg we had to pay a small fee as part of the trip was in Switzerland and part in Germany. He told us what kind of car to get, made the reservation, and gave us a list of do's, don'ts, and tips. All were terrific. Lastly he said, "You have a friend who is only a phone call away. If you have a problem of any kind at any time, call me and I'll advise you and try to fix it." I felt better knowing that.