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European Car Rental - Top Ten Tips for Europe Travel - Tip #2: The Price is Right
When it comes to shopping for something on-line, we tend to become naturally more focused on a singular aspect of the product or service we desire. There is so much information to be absorbed while browsing sites that it is nearly impossible to factor everything in. This is very true of the travel industry, which happens to be the second largest on-line market (I'm sure you can guess what the first is) and the one thing most customers tend to zero in on is that magical of all numbers: price.
This is of course to be expected. We can, after all, only afford what is in our budget. However, the first order of business should always be to understand the requirements of our vacation, in this case, the car rental. Before you look at prices, you should have a solid idea of how many people you need to accommodate, the amount of days you are staying, whether or not you can drive a manual shift, and the locations you are picking up and dropping off at. Provided you have those things locked down, you can safely move on to comparison shopping.
While it is true that 91% of travelers at least research if not purchase their trips on-line (source: Nielsen NetRatings ? EyeforTravel independent study), it is always best to have some human contact before you make that important decision. In fact, if it is difficult to elicit at least a personalized e-mail response within 24 hours of contacting a travel company, you can almost guarantee that their customer service will put you on the back burner should you have a problem. Before you settle on a price, make sure that any future dealings with the company you choose will be satisfactory, or you will end up paying much more than that number on the screen.
The time honored tradition these days is "added extras", also sometimes known as local taxes, hidden fees, or much more malicious wordings, depending on who you talk to. Some companies only quote you a "base rate". Some companies will tell you their price is "all-inclusive". Sometimes this is true, other times it is anything but. As long as the company is honest in conveying this information, it should not be a deterrent, as sometimes it is not within their control. Make sure you always read any terms and conditions and if you are still uneasy, call or e-mail the company and ask if there are any other charges to be expected upon arrival. Note that I say "charges" and not "fees" or "costs". The basis of this being that in most cases a security deposit will be held for gas and key as well as a deductible for insurance purposes. The things that should either be included or not are:
Value Added Tax: Like sales tax in the States, all the countries in Europe have a different tax structure. This can be as low as 7.6% (Switzerland) to 25% or more (Scandinavia) and is generally not refundable as it is on goods, since car rental is deemed a service.
Insurance: While there are new types of insurance being imagined up by rental companies everyday, the main ones are usually Collision and Theft (these two are sometimes covered by credit cards ? more on that in later articles), liability, personal accident insurance (like medical insurance) and personal effects coverage (covers your belongings inside the vehicle).
Mileage: Only luxury vehicles and SUV's should come with limited mileage. Beware any company who does not have unlimited mileage on normal sedan and wagon vehicles, even vans.
Local Taxes: These typically include premium location surcharges (airports and railstations especially), road taxes, additional drivers, eco surcharges and more. Like insurances, these are called something different every day.
After inclusions are tallied up, request a free quote in writing. If you can't get a free quote in writing, chances are the company will end up billing you for something you do not know about. If the company has a website where the quotes are stored, print it out off of your browser. Make sure it has a tracking number so you can pull it up when needed. Also make sure you know the difference between a tracking number and a confirmation number. One holds a rate quote, one holds an actual vehicle.
In general, you can get the lowest price from a consolidator, who deals with multiple suppliers. They have contracted wholesale rates and typically hold more weight when confirming special requests such as hotel deliveries, additional equipment and after hours pick ups. It helps if they have a "best rate" policy. The better companies will offer to beat any rate you can find provided it has the same parameters and inclusions. Always ask if they have discounts for memberships like AAA, AARP, etc. Ask friends who have used the company if they know of any discount codes. You never know what will bring down the price in the long run.
To sum this up, always remember that price should not be the first thing you look at. Make sure the company is reputable, is easy to reach via telephone and e-mail, has the criteria you require available, and then worry about the price. It may sound like a lot of work but in the end you will be happy that made the right choice.
Murdoch Morris does happen to work for one of these car rental consolidators, which has given him 3+ years of thorough insight into the ups and downs of keeping your dream itinerary from becoming a nightmare. Feel free to contact him with any questions you may have specific to your next trip to Europe.
Review of Car Rental Abroad
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For many decades Gatlinburg has been a favorite resort getaway for both families and couples. Located in the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee, Gatlinburg sits at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At the foot of Mt. LeConte, Gatlinburg is only a short walk from streams, woods, and mountains.
Ten Cheap Vacations
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An Overview of the Gatlinburg Cabins
Originally founded in the early 1800s as White Oaks, Gatlinburg was just a sleepy residential town until the growth of its lumber industry in the early 1900s. The creation of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in 1934 added to the demand for visitor services. Gatlinburg was officially incorporated in 1945 and has since become a premier four-season vacation destination.
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This may seem like a very strange title for an article. After all, a vacation is supposed to be? a vacation. The title seems to imply that we should strive to make our vacation, somehow strategic or productive. In a way, that is what I am suggesting, but maybe not in the anal-retentive way you might have first guessed.
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How to find a Town Houses that will make your vacation to Orlando one you will never forget!
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Italy is a popular vacation destination for families because it offers something of interest for everyone. The land of gelato welcomes children in general and, more specifically, has sights and foods that most kids love. Whether your family is visiting monuments or relaxing in the Italian sun, here are some ideas on how to organize your vacation for fun and savings, too.
Why Visit Magical Cape Town?
People often ask me why we keep returning year after year to Cape Town and my answer is always the same, because we've not seen everything yet!
All Inclusive Resorts - Sunscape The Beach Punta Cana
Sunscape The Beach Punta Cana is located on the north east coast of the Dominican Republic & 50 minutes from Punta Cana airport. With one of the finest oceanfront location on the Caribbean island and protected by a coral reef, the all-inclusive Sunscape The Beach Punta Cana provides the perfect escape to turquoise blue water, white sand, and a forest of palm trees. For friends, families, and couples - the place for outstanding scenery, tranquility and hospitality is right here.
Hampshire - Mild, Convenient, and Full of Variety
The southern English county of Hampshire is only two hours from London by car or by frequent rail services. The county has much to offer regardless whether you seek fast moving cities, rural open countryside, or beaches and boat trips.
All Inclusive Vacations
Most of the time, when an individual is planning a vacation, they have to consider all aspects of the time they will spend away from home. The lodging, the transportation, the meals and so on are all things that have to be thought of. One way to limit the expense that all of this creates, is to book an all inclusive vacation. While this will not alleviate all of the things an individual has to think about, it will help to reduce the amount of planning that is needed.
Finding The Best Timeshare For You ? Make The Search An Adventure!
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Visit Western Australia and Stay in Fremantle - Holiday & Short Term Accommodation
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Dare to Dream: The Vacation of a Lifetime In A Timeshare
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Hilton Head Island, South Carolina ? Is It A Family Or Golfers Vacation Destination?
Before finding the answer to this dilemma, let's take an overview of Hilton Head and its surrounding area.
Villa Holiday or Package Holiday
Everybody knows someone who has been on one and an awful lot of people have been on one themselves. Yes we are talking about the age old Package holiday. The safest, most common holiday. Package holidays have been around for years and I am sure everyone will know someone that has went to a travel agent and booked a holiday through them. Is the tide turning though? Have people found a better way to enjoy their holidays costing them a fraction of travel agent prices?
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