Autoeurope Review: How I Saved Hundreds on My European Road Trip
As you plan for your European road trip adventure, you want to find ways to save money wherever possible. Renting a car in Europe can be an expensive part of any trip, especially if you’re visiting multiple countries. However, with some smart planning, you can cut costs significantly. Using a broker like Autoeurope allowed me to save hundreds of dollars on my three-week road trip through five countries. By booking in advance and bundling a rental car with my flight, I secured an affordable rate that still gave me the flexibility and freedom to explore Europe on my own schedule. If saving money and having an independent experience are priorities for your European vacation, here’s how I saved big with Autoeurope.
How I Booked With Autoeurope
To book your European road trip with Autoeurope, follow these steps:
- Visit Autoeurope.com and select your pick-up and drop-off locations. You’ll be shown available rental cars, types, and price estimates for your trip dates. Compare options to find one suiting your needs and budget.
- Choose between economy, compact, mid-size, standard, full-size or luxury vehicles. For mountain driving or lots of luggage, consider an SUV or minivan. Select transmission type: manual or automatic.
- Enter your personal details and any discount codes you may have. Review and accept the rental terms and conditions.
- Pay to reserve your vehicle. You can pay in full upfront or pay a deposit now and the remaining balance when you pick up your car. Paying in advance often secures the best rates. Various secure payment methods are accepted.
- Present your valid driver’s license, passport, and payment verification at the rental desk to collect your vehicle. Review and sign the final rental contract. Ask any last questions about insurance, roadside assistance or optional extras.
- Drive away in your rental car to embark on your European adventure! But first, familiarize yourself with the vehicle, any road signs or driving rules specific to that country, and set up navigation to your destination. Enjoy your trip and safe travels!
By reserving in advance with Autoeurope for your upcoming trip, you can save hundreds of dollars and lock in the best available rates for a rental car tailored to your needs. With a little planning, you’ll be cruising Europe’s open roads in no time. The journey begins here!
Choosing Between Their Vehicles
When booking with Autoeurope, you have several vehicle options to choose from to suit your needs and budget.
- Economy: For budget-conscious travelers, an economy car like the Ford Fiesta or similar is a solid choice. Seating up to 5 adults, these compact vehicles offer basic amenities and storage space for light luggage. Fuel-efficient and affordably priced, an economy rental is ideal for short city drives or trips over smooth roads.
- Intermediate: A step up from economy, intermediate vehicles such as the Volkswagen Golf provide more passenger and storage space. Comfortably seating 5 average-sized adults with full-size luggage, these mid-size sedans and hatchbacks handle well on highways and rougher roads. For versatility at a moderate price, an intermediate rental is a popular choice for most European road trips.
- Standard and Full-Size: For larger groups or those wanting max passenger and cargo room, standard and full-size sedans/wagons like the Ford Mondeo should be considered. Seating 5-6 adults with substantial luggage storage, these spacious vehicles offer a smooth, powerful drive on all road conditions. However, renting a larger vehicle also means paying a premium rate for fuel, especially with rising petrol prices across Europe.
-SUVs and Minivans: For maximum flexibility, SUVs and minivans are an excellent option. Seating up to 7-8 adults with abundant cargo space, these roomy vehicles can handle any road trip needs. While more expensive to rent and fuel compared to a car, a multi-purpose vehicle provides comfort and convenience for families or those wanting an all-purpose ride.
In summary, evaluate how many people and how much luggage you need to transport to determine if an economy, intermediate, standard or larger vehicle suits your European road trip best. And don’t forget, the vehicle you choose directly impacts your rental fees and fuel budget, so factor that into your decision making. With the variety of options from Autoeurope, you can find an affordable set of wheels to make your European driving adventure a memorable one.
The Pick-Up and Drop-Off Process
Booking Your Rental
To book your rental vehicle for your European road trip, simply go to the Autoeurope website or mobile app, enter your trip details including dates and locations, and browse the available vehicle options. You can filter by type of vehicle, transmission, number of passengers, and price. Once you select a vehicle that meets your needs, book your reservation by entering your personal and payment information. You’ll receive a voucher for your booking via email which you will need to present when picking up your vehicle.
Checking In at the Rental Counter
When you arrive at your pickup location on the start date of your rental, proceed to the Autoeurope rental counter. Have your voucher, a valid driver’s license, and a major credit card in your name ready to present to the agent. The agent will review your reservation details, ensure all information matches, and have you sign the rental agreement. Be sure to thoroughly check the vehicle for any existing damage before leaving the lot to avoid being charged for pre-existing dents or scratches upon returning the vehicle.
Returning Your Vehicle
On the return date listed on your rental agreement, arrive at the designated Autoeurope drop-off location during business hours with a full tank of gas. An agent will conduct a final inspection of the vehicle and note the mileage and fuel level. Once everything checks out, the agent will close out your rental contract and charge any additional fees like insurance if you did not purchase coverage upfront. Your total charges will then be billed to the credit card on file.
The key to a smooth pick-up and drop-off experience is arriving fully prepared with all necessary documentation and allowing plenty of time in case of any questions or issues. By following these steps and guidelines, you can get on the road and start your exciting European adventure with confidence. Let the memories and miles start rolling in!
Driving in Europe: What You Need to Know
To drive legally in Europe, there are a few requirements and recommendations you’ll need to know before getting behind the wheel.
You will need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in most European countries. An IDP is a translation of your official state driver’s license into 10 languages, allowing officials to understand your home license. Apply for an IDP through AAA or the National Automobile Club.
European vehicles have different requirements than US vehicles. Make sure any vehicle you rent has:
- Adjustable headlights – European roads are narrow, so you’ll need to dim high beams for oncoming traffic.
- Hazard light button – For emergency situations or anytime the vehicle becomes stationary.
- Warning triangle – Required in most countries to alert other drivers in case of emergency stopping.
- Reflective vest – For maximum visibility if exiting the vehicle on roadways.
Driving rules and norms vary significantly between Europe and the US. Familiarize yourself with the following:
- Speed limits – Generally lower than in the US, especially in urban areas and residential zones. Fines for speeding are steep.
- Roundabouts – Yield to traffic already in the roundabout. Signal before exiting.
- Passing – Only pass on the left, and only when the road ahead is clear.
- Parking – Often metered or timed in cities. Buy a ticket from a machine and display it on your dashboard.
- Pedestrians – Have the right of way at crosswalks. Stop for pedestrians waiting to cross.
- Get an international data plan for GPS navigation. Don’t rely solely on maps.
- Carry emergency equipment like a first aid kit, jumper cables and basic tools.
- Know how to manually operate a stick shift vehicle in case of rental. Automatic transmissions are less common in Europe.
- Research road signage, as signs vary in appearance and meaning across countries.
Following these recommendations will ensure you have a safe and enjoyable driving experience exploring Europe. Feel confident behind the wheel knowing you are well prepared for the challenges of driving abroad. Most importantly, take your time and enjoy the journey!
Must-See Destinations We Visited
During your European road trip with a rental from AutoEurope, there are several must-see destinations you simply can’t miss. These locations provide stunning vistas, cultural experiences, and lifelong memories.
The French Riviera
The glamorous French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur, is a Mediterranean coastline renowned for its opulence. Stop in Cannes to soak in the aura of fame from the iconic Palais des Festivals, then head to Saint-Tropez to witness its chic port and stunning beaches. Don’t miss a day trip to the secluded Îles de Lérins, a small archipelago off the coast with secluded beaches and hiking trails.
The rolling hills of Tuscany showcase Italy at its finest. Its landscape is dotted with vineyards, olive groves, and cypress trees. Explore the medieval walled city of Siena, with a magnificent main square and stunning cathedral. Head to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of the world’s most famous buildings. And no trip to Tuscany is complete without visiting the picturesque countryside and sampling the bold red wines of Chianti along the way.
The Swiss Alps
The stunning snow-capped peaks of the Swiss Alps will take your breath away. Drive through mountain passes with hairpin turns revealing dramatic vistas. Stop in the storybook village of Grindelwald, nestled in a valley beneath the Eiger mountain’s north face. Take a cable car to the top of Mount Pilatus near Lucerne for panoramic views stretching to the Black Forest of Germany. The Swiss Alps offer a stunning fusion of natural and man-made beauty.
AutoEurope provides the means to craft your own unforgettable road trip adventure. With these world-class destinations on your itinerary, you’ll experience the essence of Europe at your own pace and return home with memories to last a lifetime. Save time and money by reserving your rental car in advance through AutoEurope for the ultimate convenience. Your European dream awaits!
Saving Money With Autoeurope’s Discounts and Deals
When renting a car in Europe, you’ll want to save as much money as possible. Autoeurope offers several discounts and deals to help cut costs on your road trip.
Join Autoeurope’s loyalty program to earn points on every rental that can be redeemed for free rental days. The more you rent, the more points you’ll earn. This is ideal for frequent European travelers or those planning an extended road trip across multiple countries.
Book at least 2 to 4 weeks ahead of your trip for the best rates. Booking in advance allows Autoeurope to offer lower prices since they know they have your guaranteed booking. Last minute bookings, within a week of travel dates, typically have higher rates.
Weekly and Monthly Rentals
For longer rentals of 7 days or more, weekly and monthly rates can save you up to 30% compared to daily rates. If you’re planning an extended stay or touring multiple destinations, weekly and monthly rentals are the most budget-friendly option.
Prepay for your full rental at the time of booking to receive up to a 20% discount. While prepaying the entire cost upfront may not suit all budgets, the potential savings of hundreds of dollars may be worth considering, especially for longer rentals. Prepayments are non-refundable so be certain of your travel dates before choosing this discount.
Adding an additional driver to your rental contract allows you to split driving time and costs. For a small daily fee, usually around $10 to $30, a second authorized driver can be included allowing you both to share the wheel during your European road trip adventure.
Using these available discounts and budget-friendly options, you can save hundreds of dollars on your car rental through Autoeurope, allowing you to spend more on enjoying your European vacation. With some advance planning, you’ll be rewarded with an affordable mode of transportation to freely discover all that Europe has to offer.
Traveling With Autoeurope as an American Driver
Booking Your Rental Car
As an American driver renting a vehicle in Europe, the process is fairly straightforward with Autoeurope. You can book your rental car up to a year in advance on their website or mobile app. When booking, you’ll need to provide:
- Your name as it appears on your driver’s license
- Driver’s license number
- Issuing state of your license
- Pick-up and drop-off dates
- Pick-up and drop-off locations
- Type of vehicle desired
Autoeurope offers a range of vehicles from economy cars to luxury vehicles to suit your needs and budget. They work with trusted suppliers like Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, and Europcar across Europe.
Insurance and Fees
In addition to the base rental rate, there are a few additional charges to keep in mind:
- CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) which covers damage to the vehicle. This averages $10-30/day.
- Liability insurance which covers damage to other vehicles. Required in most countries and around $10/day.
- Theft protection which covers theft of the vehicle. Around $5-15/day.
- Young driver surcharge for drivers under 25. Around $20-50/day.
- Additional driver fee. Around $10/day for each additional authorized driver.
- One-way drop-off fees if returning the car to a different location. Around $100-500 depending on the distance.
Autoeurope provides estimates for all these fees upfront on their website so you know the total cost before booking. They also offer package rates bundling the insurance coverages to save you money.
At the Rental Counter
When you arrive at the rental counter in Europe, be prepared to show:
- Your valid driver’s license
- The credit card used to book the reservation
- Proof of insurance (if purchased separately)
- A printed voucher or booking confirmation
- Passport (for identification)
The agent will review your details, sign the rental agreement, and you’ll be on your way to start your European road trip adventure! Driving in Europe will certainly be an experience to remember.
Using GPS and Maps to Navigate
To navigate the roads of Europe with confidence, utilizing GPS and maps is essential. ###GPS Devices
- Renting a GPS device from Autoeurope will provide turn-by-turn directions to guide you to your destination. The latest models offer updated maps, traffic alerts, and points of interest along your route. GPS can be key for navigating unfamiliar areas, especially in countries where you don’t speak the language.
If you have a smartphone, Google Maps offers a free GPS navigation app that provides many of the same features. Download offline maps of the areas you’ll be driving before your trip so you can access them even without data or Wi-Fi. The advantage of Google Maps over a dedicated GPS device is that it’s constantly updated and offers real-time traffic data. The drawback is that it requires mobile data to function fully and can drain your phone battery.
While technology makes navigation easy, carrying paper road maps or atlases is a good backup in case your GPS or phone isn’t working. They also give you an overview of the areas you’ll be driving so you can plan efficient routes. Many gas stations and rest stops in Europe sell detailed road maps for purchase.
- Allow extra time in your itinerary for getting lost or stuck in traffic.
- Know how to operate your GPS device or Google Maps before hitting the road.
- Pay attention to traffic reports and consider alternative routes if there are delays.
- Know how to get emergency help if needed – call 112 within Europe for police, fire, or medical aid.
- Consider buying an international data plan so you can access maps and navigation apps at all times. Or buy a portable Wi-Fi hotspot to connect multiple devices.
With some preparation and the right tools, navigating a European road trip can be an exciting adventure. Between GPS, maps, and common sense, you’ll be able to find your way with confidence. Happy travels!
Frequently Asked Questions About Renting With Autoeurope
How far in advance should I book my rental car?
It is recommended that you book your rental car through Autoeurope at least 2 to 4 weeks before your trip. Booking in advance allows you to compare rates and find the best deal on the vehicle that suits your needs. It also ensures the availability of your preferred vehicle make, model, and extras during peak travel seasons.
What types of vehicles does Autoeurope offer?
Autoeurope partners with major car rental brands across Europe to provide travelers with a wide selection of vehicles. Options range from economy cars and compact vehicles to luxury sedans, SUVs, vans, and more. Fuel-efficient, eco-friendly cars are also available for the environmentally-conscious road tripper. No matter what type of adventure you have planned, Autoeurope likely has a set of wheels to get you there.
What is included in the rental rates?
Rental rates through Autoeurope typically include unlimited mileage, liability insurance, and 24/7 roadside assistance. Collision damage waiver insurance, personal accident insurance, and additional driver fees are optional for an extra daily charge. It is recommended that travelers purchase additional coverage to minimize out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident or emergency.
What documents do I need to rent a car in Europe?
To rent a vehicle in Europe through Autoeurope, you will need to present a valid driver’s license, passport, and a major credit card in the name of the primary driver. The driver’s license and credit card must have been issued at least 6 months prior to the rental pick-up date. Some renters may also need to provide proof of return travel to their home country to rent vehicles in certain locations.
In summary, advance booking, vehicle selection, included amenities, and required documentation are all key points to keep in mind when renting a car through Autoeurope for your European road trip adventure. With some pre-trip planning, you’ll be cruising the open roads in no time!
You’ve now seen how renting a car through Autoeurope for your European road trip adventure can lead to significant cost savings versus more traditional rental agencies. By bundling your flight and hotel with a competitively-priced rental car, you’re able to keep more money in your pocket for enjoying delicious cuisine, world-class wines, and making lifelong memories. With a little advanced planning to determine your ideal itinerary and vehicle based on your travel dates and destinations, you’ll be cruising the romantic Tuscan hills or stunning Swiss Alps before you know it. For a stress-free road trip where the journey shapes the destination, look no further than Autoeurope for an affordable, premium rental experience. The open road awaits!autoeurope