Some have asked for recommendations of websites or agencies they should try for car rentals in Europe.
Not all rental car companies are equal -- San Francisco CAHere are the sites I use:
In a previous posting, we'd discovered that American Express Card rental car insurance covered a lot less than in it has in the past. And we weren't sure if we'd be covered for a claim on a "free upgrade" to a Jaguar car in London. The good news is that Amex paid the claim, as they have in the previous 2 instances where our rental was damaged or vandalized. It takes a while -- mostly waiting on the rental car company to provide their documentation of the charges -- but has worked every time so far. The take-away is the same: take the time to read the small print before you go to make sure you're covered.
I'm a fan of not paying for rental car CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) insurance, because it's usually unnecessary and expensive when many credit cards already offer coverage. I've written before about positive experiences with American Express' rental car insurance, but a recent trip highlighted the importance of re-reading the small print. Francesca, one half of LodgePhoto, had rented a car at London Heathrow, and was pleased to get a free upgrade to a Jaguar, which is this rental car company's standard intermediate model. Now, there are Jaguars and Jaguars, and this was one of the former -- i.e. at the low end of the range, nothing exotic, but a pleasant step up from the more typical Ford or Peugot. At the end of the rental, there was a small chip in the windshield, which American Express explained would not be covered "because Jaguars are exotic cars"... which, if true (there's some doubt, see below), means that she'd been driving around without insurance for a few days. Some digging on the Amex website revealed the small print of Amex's rental car insurance (it is hard to find -- it took two failed searches before following a series of links). There are some fairly substantial limitations in the current rules:
Don't let this happen to youWith gas prices at record highs, the folks over at Auto Europe are running a timely promotion where they'll give you $30 towards the cost of gas on your rental. In the grand scheme of a trip, $30 doesn't seem much. But, at $10-$12/gallon (depending on the country and exchange rate), for a typical mid-sized European diesel rental car this is 90-130 miles' worth of gas... which suddenly doesn't seem so bad. For more on car rental in Europe see this earlier article: Guide to renting a car in Europe Auto Europe is at https://www.autoeurope.com/ Their travel blog is at https://blog.autoeurope.com/