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Thread: One Way Car Rental in Europe

  1. #1
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769

    Question One Way Car Rental in Europe

    We are in the process of planning a trip, and we will be renting a car, picking up and dropping off at different locations in Europe. I have found great rates (under $ 1000.00 for 22 days, with insurance and no deductible (no excess), but the agency says that there may be additional fees for the one-way service---with no idea of what those fees are, I'm confused. Does anyone have experience doing a one-way car rental in Europe---are the extra fees prohibitive? Thanks!!

  2. #2
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,704
    Do you know where you are dropping the car off? Otherwise they can't tell you the fees. You could probably do a test search online with one way instead of return.


    Andy

  3. #3
    phil62 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2005 Glen Cove, NY Posts: 6,083
    Check with the major rental companies like Europcar, Avis, Hertz, etc. If there is an up charge for dropping off in a different location, that should be specified and part of your contract. I would not accept an open ended deal like that because they could basically charge you any amount they want when you drop off the car, and you will have no recourse. A reputable company will give you a total cost, including any drop off charges. Also, if you can drive a stick shift, you can save a bundle.

    Phil

  4. #4
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Yes, this is for a manual VW Polo, the 2nd least expensive (I learned to drive on a manual VW in Germany). Picking up in Bordeaux, dropping off in Munich...that's what I put in, and it still came back with a notice that there "may be additional fees", etc....and that I would have the option to cancel at that point. This is with Europecar. I'll look at Avis, etc. I didn't see on the Hertz site that a one-way in Europe was an option.....

  5. #5
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,704
    I would never sign anything with an open end- trouble in waiting


    Andy

  6. #6
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 51,701
    Quote Originally Posted by katva View Post
    We are in the process of planning a trip, and we will be renting a car, picking up and dropping off at different locations in Europe. I have found great rates (under $ 1000.00 for 22 days, with insurance and no deductible (no excess), but the agency says that there may be additional fees for the one-way service---with no idea of what those fees are, I'm confused. Does anyone have experience doing a one-way car rental in Europe---are the extra fees prohibitive? Thanks!!
    I would use AmEx to set this up and you will have recourse and better answers to your questions.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

  7. #7
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Thanks JEK---- I have a friend whose partner is an AMEX travel agent. I may have him do the arrangements. Now why didn't I think of that! I guess I'm so used to doing it myself.

    I was weighing renting the car for the whole trip vs part, and taking trains and/or flying for part of it. I like the idea of the flexibility of having a car the entire time, though, if it's not cost-prohibitive.

  8. #8
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 51,701
    I just call the travel department -- Platinium and above -- and they book all the details. In Europe they can get you rail passes, hotels daily tours etc. I've used them all over the world.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

  9. #9
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    ah ha! I thought you meant using an AMEX agent....OK, that works too! Right, so AMEX insures the rental if using their card. I had forgotten that whole discussion from up above....

  10. #10
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    I just had time to look on the Avis site...the one-way fee effectively triples the price of their economy cars! That answers my question.....now just have to decide.

  11. #11
    george is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2011 Posts: 527
    Katva, try Sixt:
    http://www.sixt.com

  12. #12
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Thanks George! Great rates---- a BMW for the same price I would get an economy VW for. I wasn't able to enter different locations for pick-up and drop-off, though. I think we have decided to do a loop, anyways, starting and ending in Bordeaux...... I really appreciate this recommendation!

  13. #13
    george is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2011 Posts: 527
    you should see "pickup" and "return" fields, no?
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  14. #14
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    hmmm. Yes, I did, but it wouldn't let me populate the return with anything else but Bordeaux.....trying again!

  15. #15
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    OK, got it! WOW----what a price difference from the other sites! A BMW with a one-way rate is still only a couple hundred dollars more than the economy VW as a rt. Well under $ 1k..... THANKS!!! This will be it.... Question: JEK may know this if you don't.....This includes third-party insurance (but not additional insurances). If we book with Amex Platinum, will the Amex insurance be voided if we have the included third-party insurance here?

  16. #16
    phil62 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2005 Glen Cove, NY Posts: 6,083
    Dig a little deeper into the website. Many of the European Rental companies offer full insurance with Zero Deductible for $5-10/day additional. JEK would know which is better, but I think you're right about the AMEX coverage being voided. That's why I think you would be better of with the Zero Deductible option if it is offered at a reasonable price.

    Phil

  17. #17
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Thanks, Phil. They don't offer a zero-deductible, but if I add the CDW and a smaller deductible (E. 600), it adds around $ 18.00 / day. The standard deductible is E. 1200, and is included with the CDW at $ 12.00 +/day......Still, comes to around $ 1100, which I consider a deal! I'll follow up with Amex to see how it would work using their card.... All of this at Avis and Europcar, with an economy car, came to around $ 2100....

  18. #18
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 51,701
    AmEx has a per rental program that cost extra, but give great coverage.

    https://www295.americanexpress.com/p...verage/home.do
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

  19. #19
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Great, thanks JEK---at only $ 25 for the entire period, that's a deal also! It does not, however, cover liability.....but I'm not really sure if the car rental place's insurance covers liability either....it doesn't say specifically.

  20. #20
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    ...or is "third-party insurance" liability insurance, in which case it's included with the rental, and Amex doesn't offer it, so it may not cancel out. I'll call.

  21. #21
    phil62 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2005 Glen Cove, NY Posts: 6,083
    To my knowledge, all European rentals include liability, but you should definitely check.

    Phil

  22. #22
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Thanks, Phil. You guys have been a huge help! This information, and the great rates, make our ideal itinerary possible/affordable!

  23. #23
    Petri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Helsinki, Finland Posts: 7,970
    As the cars have country specific license plates (and other things), they must return it to the original country and cannot rent it to someone else.

    I would probably try to rent it France-France, take a train to Germany and rent Germany-Germany there. Also remember that if you rent it from France to Germany, the contract may not automatically allow you to drive to e.g. Spain or Italy (more likely to get stolen/damaged/etc).

  24. #24
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Hmmm. I haven't booked this yet, but on Sixt, it does appear that it's possible, at a very reasonable price. Even the other sites, like Europcar and Avis allow it, but their prices are much higher. The trip itinerary is to start in France, then go into Spain, and then head up back through southern France, visiting a friend who lives on the coast in Provence.....and from their all the way to Munich, where same friend has a home, and many other friends as well. If we rent a car for this, it would be really a special way to tour these areas, with no real restrictions on time/dates.....a real road trip. That's the ideal plan. I thought about a round trip from Bordeaux and back, but that cuts out Munich, where we would really like to spend several days...It gives options of many different locations in Munich to drop off the car, including the Bayerisher Hof, where we would like to stay---or at least it's very convenient to Hauptbahnhof, where we can get on the S or U Bahns. I will definitely be calling and speaking to a "live" person before I book this. This trip isn't until next May, but we have to make some of the plans now, with so many different people involved/schedules. We would rather not train/fly all over, as we want to be super flexible.

  25. #25
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Just to check, I put in the pick-up as Bordeaux, and the drop-off at Barcelona. Separately, I put in pick-up in Barcelona, and drop-off in Munich. The prices, added together, came to approximately the same as Bordeaux to Munich. So, it doesn't appear to eliminate Spain.....but of course I'll be sure before I book. Thanks for the heads up, though! Now, if I could just figure out how to turn off the Italics.....

  26. #26
    Petri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Helsinki, Finland Posts: 7,970
    Nobody drives that much in Europe :-) Just kidding.. hopefully you're not going in August, the roads will be packed.

    Remember to drive the Millau Viaduct.


    Sixt Rental Information (on the driver information page) does say:

    One-Way Rentals

    ..


    International

    All international One-Way Rentals are on request. Please contact the local rental station.
    No One-Way Rentals from/to Corsica and DOM TOM (Oversea Departments) allowed.

    and

    Cross Border Rentals & Territorial Restrictions

    Cross Border Rentals are allowed to the following countries:
    Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
    Cross boarder rentals with Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin and VW cars as well as with Jeeps/Offroader are not allowed to the following countries: Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithunia, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
    It is allowed to enter these countries with all vehicles of car groups IVMR, SVMR and FVMR (including all Mercedes-Benz) and vans.
    In case of offence against Cross Border & Territorial Restrictions all insurances lose their validity.



    So I guess since the Eastern Europe has become such an integrated part of central Europe, even Italy is considered safe now :)

    I checked hertz.com and it's pretty similar, western/northern Europe is allowed and for certain types of cars only some international locations are allowed for one-way rental.

    I recall the agents asking if we're going to Italy (or whatever neighbouring country), sometimes we've received an upgrade because of not going there, or perhaps they just tick something in the system to have a cheaper insurance internally.

    I'd go ahead and make the booking, and just to be on the safe side, after the booking check with the Bordeaux office that the one-way international rental is ok.




  27. #27
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Wow--Thanks, Petri, for looking into this! I know, it's a lot of driving, and Europeans don't normally make such a road trip, I'm sure!!! There are so many places we want to go, including restaurants, that aren't anywhere near a major town, or train station......plus this is Tom's first trip to Europe, so we thought it would be great for him to see the countryside, and not just the major touristy locations....This trip is in May, so I hope not too crowded. The only fixed date is that we have to be in Bordeaux (town of Blaye) on Sat. May 10th. My sister and I are running a marathon there---so we actually will arrive several + days prior. My 50th birthday is a week later, so we will find a great restaurant somewhere to celebrate! Otherwise, the itinerary is pretty open. We definitely want to drive the Millau Viaduct!

  28. #28
    Petri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Helsinki, Finland Posts: 7,970
    May should be perfect. If the weather isn't acting up, it should be reasonably warm already -- although a few years ago when we spent a long weekend in Piemonte early May, I was looking the road sides and wondering what kind of white fertilizer they've put everywhere. The next moment it was on top of cars as well and I realized it was snow. For rest of the trip the weather was just perfect.

    A friend sells paper machinery and frequently goes to the Bordeaux marathon with his clients. Not that he or the clients run but the wine is good :-)

  29. #29
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    LOL!!!! Yeah, the marathon website says they will have over 30 wine tasting stops------ yikes!!! I can't imagine a runner drinking wine during a marathon----- but our husbands will enjoy it!

    The weather from this past marathon looks like it was cool.....but LOTS of fun
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  30. #30
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    The good thing is that the course is open for 6 hours

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