International car rental - which company do you use?

I’m looking at car rental for a two week long stay in another european country. There’s about a millions different rental companies and about five million different “intermediaries” (like billiger-mietwagen.de, ferienmietwagen.ch, sunnycars.ch,…).

I usually go with ferienmietwagen.ch since I have a TCS Mastercard and I like to be sure that I’m completely “safe” in all circumstances without any hidden costs. That’s why I usually don’t mind paying a bit more. But for this trip their offers are much higher than competitors.

Some people I know use the same companies you mentioned.
I personally always use Sixt since I have platinum membership there.

I usually start at rentalcars.com and then double check with the actual providers if they come at a lower cost.
I do have a rental car insurance cover in my Axa policy, so I don’t pay for theirs any more.

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Europcar.

Sometimes we book in Germany, sometimes in Switzerland. If you have an UBS credit cart you get a discount when booking at Europcar in Germany.

Haven’t used them since before Covid but broker Economy car rentals.

Seem to find best offer from Europcar etc. They have a guarantee of no extras at the desk. A hire company charged us once and we got the money back from Economy

I need to rent a car in the US ATM and 2 thirds of the cost come from the full insurance from the provider.
I haven’t got a car insurance in Switzerland like @dbu so the extension is not an option but if anyone else got tips, i will be interested.

I have had good experiences with Rentalcars.com and autoeurope.eu

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For cars in Spain www.doyouspain.com usually has rates below all other options mentioned here!

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I also had several good deals through Autoeuropa platform… usually better than the providers’ website directly. Never had a problem after. The website is clean ad easy to use.

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I like Sixt because they have a good selection of premium cars at most locations (mostly BMWs and Audis), and you actually get the car you selected online. I can’t be bothered to drive a shitbox during my vacation. Also, their front desk is usually not that annoying in trying to upsell insurances, compared to the cheapo rentals.

For insurance, check credit card offers, you can e.g. get the UBS Gold card which has CDW insurance included for a 100.-/year in the first year, or the Platinum for 250.- which also includes LDW. Might be cheaper to get a card like that, use it to pay for the rental, and then cancel it again.

Lastly, make use of discount codes and employee discounts. Like hotel chains, large multinational corporations like banks, consulting firms, etc. usually have dedicated discount codes which give you better rates at booking cars. Maybe you have a friend who works at CS or UBS and can give you the code to apply in the booking process. Staff at the counter have no easy way of actually checking that you actually work for the company whose discount code you are using, most often they also neither care or ask about it.

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Sixt offers you shareholder-discounts when you purchase a single stock (I just bought one today funnily enough). I haven’t had any experience yet with how that plays out however.

I like to compare with Skyscanner.com

I often rent in Germany and have used Check24 successfully also in Switzerland in Italy. Support is good and they have helped me in a timely manner when I had disputes with the rental company, too. So usually not only cheaper and better insured but also more convenient to deal with than booking directly with the rental company.

Most recently though, I managed to find the cheapest rate with some margin by booking directly with Sixt (shareholder discount).

What’s more important (imo) is to find a cheap / free credit card that comes with CDW insurance. I haven’t been able to find any CH cards with CDW insurance that don’t cost CHF 200 or more per year, so I stuck with French online bank boursorama’s “Visa Ultim” where I still had an account from when I was living in France. Not sure if they would take non-resident new clients: Ouvrir un compte bancaire en ligne - Boursorama Banque

You get in touch with them (there’s an e-mail address which I unfortunately don’t recall but should be easy enough to find), send them a screenshot of your brokerage account showing that you own at least 1 share along with your Sixt account info, then they will upgrade your Sixt account to “AKTIONAERE / SHAREHOLDER SIXT AG” – at least that’s how it’s displayed for me on sixt.de

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