Flying in/out of Munich for 10 days mainly in Austria. We want to rent a car at the Munich airport to go through Bavaria and turn it in in either Salzburg or Vienna. Has anyone had good/bad experiences rending through Auto Europe? They're certainly cheaper than some other options...
Auto Europe is not a car rental company itself, but an agency that rents cars with major players (Europecar mostly, sometimes Hertz) with prepaid fares. I have used them and always got good service. Small tip: choose an "odd" car category and chances that the office that will serve you will not have that category and upgrade you are high. Hint 1: try to search for deals on the British site of Auto Europe, or especially the Italian one if you master the language. Deals are even cheaper than those offered via the American site (they include insurance and reduced deductibles).
...but beware of the added fees if you rent from AE.UK or AE.EU. In Spain we had to pre-pay $100EU for our gas, and bring it back "empty." On top of that "feature", we had to pay a drop-off fee. (which we never do with AE.com.) We did get "almost complete coverage" (except for tires and glass!) for little to nothing. The bottom line is that you need to compare quotes to see what the true cost will be. Sometimes you can get some huge savings renting from AE.UK or AE.EU. (ie on vans, etc.) Next time we will rent from AE.com. Everything is "up front" with them, we have never had any problem with any of their rental agencies, and have used them reliably throughout the EU.
I rented through them in Marseille and returned the car in Nice...good experience, no problems. Suggest that you do make photos of all sides of the car when you get it, just in case there might be a question to arise.
In 2005 I booked two rental cars through Auto Europe. In Ireland the car was provided by Budget and in France it was provided by Europcar. Good service and no problems.
I have rented from AutoEurope 3 times and have not had any problems. I do see one MAJOR flaw in your plan. If you rent the car in Munich (Germany) and return it in Salzburg or Vienna (Austria) you will be charged a large drop fee. I suggest you return the car in the country you rent it in.
We've used them twice and had good experiences. I agree you should see if you can return in Germany - will save you lots of money!
Thanks all! I'm glad everyone has had a good experience. And yes, after doing the math, returning the car to Munich is now definitely in the plan...
I always rent a car here with Thrifty and avoid the additional charges you get when you book through a 3rd party. Pick a car with Auto Europe and then see what the price is with an American company. I've always found Thrifty to be cheapest and have also had very good serve. I think the van I rented last year was about $200 cheaper through any of the consolidators. Just looked at both thrify and auto europe. Comparable cars were $98 for thrify and $333 for auto europe.
Lisa, you can enter Freilassing as your drop off city- it is right next to Salzburg - they are practically the same city. There is usually no drop off fee within the same country, so it might work out for you.
We have used Auto Europe twice and they are reliable. What I am careful about, however, is the insurance. Waivers for theft and collision are available if your credit card has waivers as a
fringe benefit. But, if you have an accident, your cc company will probably want police reports, pictures, and other data which may be difficult to get during the accident particularly if it is a bad one and you are in the ambulance. Point is, the company is important but also is the fine print. Hope this helps. Ross
We've had two good experiences with AutoEurope and just had a bad/good/uncertain one with carrentals.com and Sixt Agency.
n August we rented a car in Brussels and returned it in Amsterdam. The drop fee was only 100 E, but the insurance was more than the rental. However, this time I think we were lucky;for a change we took the entire insurance package.the last full day of vacation, in Haarlem, a young man backed into our rental Mercedes at a light.He stoppped, a witness stopped, we filled out forms, and when I turned in the car it seemed to be no big deal. Haven't heard from the car agency yet.
I often question the trust many here place in AutoEurope. But my complaint is not against the company, just against the failure of many people to do comparison shopping. I do not understand why so many people who would not think of using a travel agent to book their flights and lodging are such fans of AutoEurope, which is essentially the same thing for auto rentals. I am aware of the argument that consolidators like AutoEurope can beat or match any price offered by the rental car companies. But if you don't shop around, how do you know for sure? When I do comparisons on Kayak, they are not often the lowest. It helps to compare apples to apples: I would not accept a low bid on a car from a company I would not trust in the first place. In the end, no matter how nice the AutoEurope guy is on the phone, you are still dealing with the rental company. Anyway, if you do comparison shopping first and AutoEurope or another consolidator wins your business, fine, go with them. Just do the comparison shopping first. It might save you some money and some grief.