Every one of us, after using the Internet for some time, ends up returning time and again to the same sites. Maybe they are easier to navigate. Maybe they offer cheaper prices. Maybe the information is just better.
After working in this field and writing about it for several years, I have developed my list of favorites. Over the next few months, I will explore my favorites.
Please note – my favorites normally revolve about price and value.
I start with AutoEurope the uncontested king of European car rentals with the addition of Australia, South Africa and a smattering of Middle Eastern countries. This is the site to come to for the best prices and service when it comes to renting a car in Europe.
AutoEurope has a price guarantee, which guarantees the dollar price regardless of the downward direction of currency shifts after you lock in your rates. They guarantee the lowest rates based on comparable car rental companies (i.e. rent-a-wreck local agencies can not be compared with Hertz or Avis). They provide an additional 5 percent discount for seniors.
When you need a car in Europe come to this site or call (800) 223-5555.
Plus there are surprises – London Cabs, shore-term lease programs, motorhomes, cheap airfares, cell phones and Lonely Planet guidebooks.
In the U.K, you can rent a London Cab. This is a luxury version with CD-radio and air conditioning and is wheelchair-ready. Rentals are only for periods of three days of longer and the prices are not in the cheap category (about $130 a day), but the experience, as they say, is priceless. Plus it is perfect for a family with lots of luggage.
AutoEurope has partnered with Peugeot to bring you the best prices available on short-term leases. If you are traveling to Europe and need a car for more than 17 days, a short-term lease may save you money and put you behind the wheel of a factory-new car from Peugeot. All short-term leases include insurance, 24-hour roadside assistance, the price guarantee and are tax-free!
Motorhome rentals are also available. In Spain you can get a VW camper van for around $900 a week during March and larger motorhomes (mounted on pickup tricks) are between $1,050 and around $1,600. In Germany rates are about two-thirds as much. In France and the UK costs are comparable.
DestinationEurope, an affiliate of AutoEurope provides a low-fare U.S.-to-Europe airline site with great prices. The “Winter Package” tab has some great fares. I just checked prices to fly from Miami to Zurich over the Easter period. Destination Europe priced out at $359. I then checked with Expedia and Travelocity and both sites priced out at more than $650 for the same itinerary.
Cellphone rentals are also available for about $10 a day based on a weekly rental or $169 for a monthly rental plus airtime. When I was in the site, AutoEurope offered a free phone with any online car rental booking. The deal expires on February 28th, but it is worth checking on if you are headed to Europe and need a cell phone while traveling.
Finally, in the “Resource” tab check out the Lonely Planet guidebooks. This is a great place to come for destination information everywhere AutoEurope offers automobile rentals.
The bottom line – AutoEurope should be a regular bookmark when researching travel in Europe. I use it more for auto rentals than anything else. I have also used it when searching for airline fares to Europe. The other services that can be so easily accessed through this site are some of the most difficult to otherwise find and offer excellent value as well.