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Car Hire search engines - who do you use?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I used to go straight to holidayautos, but last couple of years I've been using skyscanner.

Are there better options?
Anyone got any discount codes?
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I use autoeurope
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
- Travelsupermarket.
- Depending on results, cashback available via Quidco.com.
- If Autoeurope, snow chains are generally included in the price - which is usually very competitive anyway. They also allow free cancellation.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@mountainaddict, Never had chains included through autoeurope at Salzburg
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Autoeurope by far the least hassle for me. Have never let me down.

I've also noticed that if you book the parent brand for a particular class rather than the budget offspring (e.g. Hertz vs Dollar) you stand a damn good chance of a free upgrade (and much better service) because the Dollar plebs have already taken all the crap (sorry, standard) cars; at least in Geneva which is where I rent from most often.

Best I've had so far was two weeks in a Range Rover Evoque convertible (in Spring!) for the price of a Mazda CX5.

Apologies if Dollar is the best you think you can budget for - it's false economy IMO.
snow conditions
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I still think it's worth trying out at least a couple of the car hire companies websites directly, just as a baseline. It's certainly turned out to be worth it at Geneva - I've gone to the ~.ch sites, instead of the ~.com landing page, as sometimes they have vehicles and offers on their local site that aren't shown on the .com one. Doesn't always work, but for the small extra effort involved, sometimes can be useful.

For those of you hiring from GVA, beware a recent trend to pick up from the airport but return to Ferney Voltaire. Not always obvious and a pain if you don't realise until you read the fine print on the return day.

If you work for a company that uses an agency for business travel, you may find they're just as happy to organise a leisure rental for you at a big discount. Obviously different Ts&Cs but when I worked for a big corporation, I always used to do this, as the agency discounts were substantial, even for private hire.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I generally use Skyscanner too these days, mainly because they give each rental option a rating out of 10, making it easier to compare the offers for the same car/hire company from different agencies.
latest report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I tend to use Holiday Autos. Sign up for Quidco and you get 6% cashback by using their link.
ski holidays
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Raceplate, that's good to know!

I tend to use Hertz directly as I have GoldPlus membership and for some reason been elevated to a status where I get a free 2nd driver and at least a one class upgrade... (my wife didn't last week).
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Raceplate,
Quote:

Autoeurope by far the least hassle for me. Have never let me down.


+1 from me - never go anywhere else other than AutoEurope and have never had a single issue with them.

A trick I use is to book as earlier as possible, then check once a week to see if the price has gone down at all - 9/10 times it does and I simply rebook and cancel my original reservation without charge thanks to AutoEurope's very generous cancellation policy. This generally saves me between £50-£100 per trip - over the last 5 years I would estimate to have saved over £600 in this way.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@chopkins13, top tip
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Raceplate wrote:
Autoeurope by far the least hassle for me. Have never let me down.

+1
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Raceplate wrote:


Best I've had so far was two weeks in a Range Rover Evoque convertible (in Spring!) for the price of a Mazda CX5.

Apologies if Dollar is the best you think you can budget for - it's false economy IMO.


To be honest I'd feel a right bellend in an Evoque with the top down.

It's complete BS to say Dollar cars are crap. Vehicles are often shared across the brands. Dollar fleet is likely to be slightly older e.g. cars rotated out of Hertz at 6 months to the other brands. Yes you are more likely to get an upgrade with Hertz if you've paid a high rate but let's face it most of us renting a car for a ski trip care about only 2 things - will my kit fit in and are the tyres decent. It's going to sit in a car park for the week hopefully getting snowed in - it's not a lifestyle statement.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
If my flight is booked with BA I often find the price of booking through them (Avis is their car hire partner) is a little cheaper than all but the bargain basement consolidators or off-airport rental agencies.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
To be honest I'd feel a right bellend in an Evoque with the top down.
Laughing Well if the cap fits....

Personally I had a great time in it and the number of smiles I got from people in the street just made it even better.

I've worked in the motor industry for nearly 30 years and my experience includes supplying vehicles to many, many rent a car companies. The volume manufacturers have what's known as a "Fleet Spec" which is a base model with less equipment. They're not available for retail to the general public because nobody would pay new car price for such a basic car (well, Dacia customers maybe but that's a niche on its own and very cleverly marketed).

They make this spec so that companies such as Dollar and Thrifty can advertise the "same" car as Hertz etc. but at a lower rental cost. Trouble is, when you get in it, it's not the same car. The last car I had from Dollar didn't even have Bluetooth in it which in the modern car world, is definitely crap. You get what you pay for.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Raceplate wrote:


Best I've had so far was two weeks in a Range Rover Evoque convertible (in Spring!) for the price of a Mazda CX5.

Apologies if Dollar is the best you think you can budget for - it's false economy IMO.


To be honest I'd feel a right bellend in an Evoque with the top down.

It's complete BS to say Dollar cars are crap. Vehicles are often shared across the brands. Dollar fleet is likely to be slightly older e.g. cars rotated out of Hertz at 6 months to the other brands. Yes you are more likely to get an upgrade with Hertz if you've paid a high rate but let's face it most of us renting a car for a ski trip care about only 2 things - will my kit fit in and are the tyres decent. It's going to sit in a car park for the week hopefully getting snowed in - it's not a lifestyle statement.


Got to say, Dave has nailed it. Unless it's a Vauxhall/Opel, no one really cares what car it is.

I've booked 8 rental cars this year and have booked Skoda Octavias (or similar 4x4 medium sized cars) for between £60 and £80 per day, depending on trip length. These will have winter tyres (Swiss Europcar desk at GVA) and my Easyjet Plus card gives me a free upgrade. That has been anything up to a 3.0 A6 AWD but I'll be more than happy with the Skodas if no 4x4 in the next category up as it will spend most of the time in the garage.
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
bar shaker wrote:
no one really cares what car it is.

I've booked 8 rental cars this year and have booked Skoda Octavias (or similar 4x4 medium sized cars) for between £60 and £80 per day,

I think your logic is somewhat flawed.

You state that no-one cares what car they have but you always book a 4x4 estate with a free upgrade? Clearly you care what car you have!
ski holidays
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I always book a golf sized car and pretty much always end up with a Daihatsu or Kia generic estate, spend the first 10 miles getting to understand the bells and whistles. So long as its got winter tyres, is in decent condition and fits my gear in i'm happy..... I'm with Dave, once dumped in the nearest car park so long as it starts in a weeks time I couldnt care less what it is.
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
I use rentalcars.com and find they have a good app making the whole experience self-service and paperless. Their customer service is also very good when I've had to call them in the past to resolve issues at the counter. We had a situation where Hertz gave away our 8-seater as we did not show within two hour limit of booking time due to late flight. Its in the Hertz terms of service and I did not enter my flight number so my bad - always remember to enter the flight number so the rental company will know if you are running late! They also do not charge cancellation fees more than 48 hours from pickup time.

I have booked with BA when booking a flight but found that this has created issues when trying to make changes to the flight. When bundling a car with flights the provider automatically becomes BA Holidays and customer service moves off the normal BA self-service website and all contact needs to be made by phone with BA Holidays call centre. They also charce c. £50 to change the name of the named driver if that person can no longer travel from the group.

I rent mostly from GVA Swiss side to drive to France and found I have received many upgrades of late and it might me due to them trying to provide a car with a EU reg at short notice.

Does anyone bother taking the expensive breakdown insurance service sometimes offered at counter if taking a car out of CH? I don't bother as I am only going to Chatel, a few kms over the border, and figure its a new car which which should not break down - I do worry about getting a flat battery in winter which would be costly if I need to be rescued by the rental company.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've usually got an annual excess policy, costs £35-45 and covers all the same things much more cheaply. Sometimes found you need to tell them at the desk as your booking though
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@vfr4, I don't believe annual excess policies (which I also have) covers out of country breakdown rescue.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I use Argus (https://www.arguscarhire.com) and find them fine. They don't even have goldcar on thier lists and if the company they use is trying the full to empty scam they tell you.
Quote:

The last car I had from Dollar didn't even have Bluetooth in it which in the modern car world, is definitely crap. You get what you pay for.

Quite true I don't need bluetooth in a car and would resent paying for it.
Quote:

Does anyone bother taking the expensive breakdown insurance service sometimes offered at counter if taking a car out of CH? I don't bother as I am only going to Chatel, a few kms over the border, and figure its a new car which which should not break down - I do worry about getting a flat battery in winter which would be costly if I need to be rescued by the rental company.

No, never. Ihave an annual excess policy and decline all other upgrades, options etc. Interestingly talking to the Europcar rep last week at Geneva, British customers tend to have an annual policy for excess insurance whereas other nations tend to have either single trip or even Puzzled pay at the desk.
Quote:

For those of you hiring from GVA, beware a recent trend to pick up from the airport but return to Ferney Voltaire. Not always obvious and a pain if you don't realise until you read the fine print on the return day

Where in Ferney Voltaire do they want you to return the car to? I have never known this to happen. What company was it you rented from? I assume they then give you a lift back to the airport.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I've tried the big names like Expedia but Autoeurope always comes through.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Ozboy wrote:
@vfr4, I don't believe annual excess policies (which I also have) covers out of country breakdown rescue.


Interesting thanks.

I've got my auto aid breakdown cover which I'll check the small print on, plus I've (probably wrongly) always assumed the car hire contract covered you for recovery in most eea countries
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@vfr4, I stand partly corrected after having checked my policy with insurance4carhire.com which confirms it includes Flat Battery and Mis-fuelling cover.
ski holidays
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I look at them and then go direct
They look after you much better if you go direct
And in Italy you need all the help you can get as everything is different
snow report
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
olderscot wrote:
I tend to use Holiday Autos. Sign up for Quidco and you get 6% cashback by using their link.


+1 - I always take this option. Holiday Autos allow last min cancellation too, in case plans change.
Also I never upgrade insurance, based on the HUGE number of exclusions which means that if you
do have an accident, you're unlikely to be able to claim back much anyway.
snow report
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
HugoC wrote:
I look at them and then go direct
They look after you much better if you go direct
And in Italy you need all the help you can get as everything is different

Whenever I have looked at the prices for going direct they are almost always far higher than with the consolidators.
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Question for people who have hired from Geneva before. Do they have all the legally required kit you need to drive in France e.g. spare bulbs, hi viz jacket etc ? i assume they do and you don't have to bring your own.

I'm hiring for the first time this season, i've used Dollar car...... so will report back how that turns out. Laughing
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Raceplate wrote:
bar shaker wrote:
no one really cares what car it is.

I've booked 8 rental cars this year and have booked Skoda Octavias (or similar 4x4 medium sized cars) for between £60 and £80 per day,

I think your logic is somewhat flawed.

You state that no-one cares what car they have but you always book a 4x4 estate with a free upgrade? Clearly you care what car you have!


The car can be a Dacia Duster or a Range Rover. It's a 2 hour drive and the only thing important to me is winter tyres and 4x4.
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Russeh wrote:
Question for people who have hired from Geneva before. Do they have all the legally required kit you need to drive in France e.g. spare bulbs, hi viz jacket etc ? i assume they do and you don't have to bring your own.

I'm hiring for the first time this season, i've used Dollar car...... so will report back how that turns out. Laughing


Yes and these will be in the glove box or a door pocket.

Interestingly I have hired cars with LED lights and still had a headlight bulb in the glove box.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@T Bar,
The headline price but get a full quote and it’s often not
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Tried lots of options at GVA. Found the biggest hassle with the consolidators esp at Christmas one time, car not at the spec we booked, and we had the kids and ended up waiting and waiting and that kind of thing sticks in your mind. Have used the BA option a few times, as you can cross-check the prices and determine if you are getting a good deal, you get the 2nd driver for free, which is important and you earn Avois. Other half got stung by AVIS once when he booked direct. Refused the extra insurance as we use an annual policy. They tried to collar them for damage to a tyre - seems they knew it was there already as walked straight over and stuck a pen in it! We strongly suspect that they were waiting for someone with an excess policy, as they had lost out on the upsell, so were looking to recover costs other ways. @Raceplate, I'm be with you on getting a free upgrade into an Evoque. We'd be grinning like loons Laughing all the way into resort and going for some nice drives just to test it out.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Thanks @bar shaker.

haha does the law say the bulb has to fit the car or just you have sone spare Laughing
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Russeh, my spare bulb in my own car doesn't fit my car wink

I just did a search for March with Autoeurope and Skyscanner - identical results to the penny £254.16 for a Skoda Fabia Estate with Europecar, but it was only £212 with Eurowings
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
+1 for RentalCars. Always used to use HolidayAutos, but recently I've consistently found cheaper on RentalCars. I'm only looking for cheap and cheerful mind you.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:
mountainaddict, Never had chains included through autoeurope at Salzburg
Whoops - sorry, my mistake Confused - I meant to say snow tyres seem to be generally included with Autoeurope.... Embarassed
snow conditions
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Consolidators aren't better or worse re cars being in stock or not - they simply book into the system. If that hire company has all the Medium estates out on hire then they are all out (and it often only takes a couple returned with damage or rentals extended to upset the algorithm). That's where paying a full rate direct might get you a favour in terms of priority of upgrade but generally if you stand your ground and refuse to be bullshitted they'll give you the upgrade anyway just so you aren't hanging around being a PITA.

It's not an industry I like - too much inconsistency between individual franchises and indeed counter staff and rife with BS and little rip off niggles. Solution seems to be to pay enough "rack rate" and get premium status direct with a brand.

Renatlcars.com are Autoeurope I believe.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I have used these people on a number of occasions:

https://indigocarhire.co.uk/get-a-quote/#/searchcars

They specialise in 'debit card' hire which can be a plus, but their searches have thrown up some of the less than impressive brands such as Goldcar and Firefly. I've ignored those and gone for one of the bigger brands.

These days, in the UK, my company always goes for Enterprise - never had a problem (touch wood Very Happy )
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Russeh wrote:
Thanks @bar shaker.

haha does the law say the bulb has to fit the car or just you have sone spare Laughing


To change the light (bulb or otherwise) on many modern cars, it's several hours of work with bumper and body panel removal. Rather a silly law in this day and age.
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