Subject: Auto Europe/Europcar Car Rental

Several have recommended Auto Europe and I want to provide additional information about renting from Auto Europe.

We booked a rental for 28 days from Europcar before leaving for Europe last summer. We picked up our car in Nice at the Europcar rental agency. I understand that Auto Europe does not have rentals, but 'shops' out the rental to other rental car agencies. This is what I was told by the Europcar agent, when I inquired about the difference.

I do feel that we were very fortunate to have rented from Europcar though Auto Europe. I don't know if all rentals go to them, but for us the service was tremendous. They gave us an almost brand new car, even a little larger than the one we booked. The rate was that agreed upon by Auto Europe. Auto Europe will send you a voucher that you submit to the rental agency, in our case Europcar.

Now for the rest of the story and why I would strongly recommend Europcar. While traveling along route 100 outside of Orange, France, a very fast car rammed into us and crushed the back of our nice, new Peugeot. We could not continue. We did get the insurance information from the driver of the car at fault, but the police are not called if there is no injuries. We were able to barely make it to a service station about a block away. The service station attendant did not speak English, nor did we speak French, however, a customer helped us out. That very nice agent called the equivalent of an 800 number in the packet of information provided by Europcar. He arranged with them a new rental car, a taxi to pick us up and take us back to Avignon for the new rental car, and for a wrecker to pick up our probably totaled car.

The agent in Avignon asked a few questions about the accident and I provided the accident papers, signed by us and the other car's driver. Although the new rental car was the only one available and not nearly as nice as the first one, we were thankful that the service was so good.

When we returned the second car, Europcar charged us an extra fee. I computed it to be the difference between renting without their CDW insurance and with the CDW. I assumed that we just essentially purchased the insurance coverage that we had originally turned down. I notified American Express who was to provide coverage for the CDW that I turned down. They said to contact them when we get back to the states.

About two months later, we were refunded the difference. I never followed up for fear that they would take back the refund, but I presume that they got a settlement from the other driver's insurance company, but don't know for sure. I didn't have to followed through with American Express to see what they would do.

The bottom line, if I rent a car again in Europe (still shell-shocked from the accident), I will definitely use Auto Europe again, only if assured that our rental will come from Europcar. Of course, I will compare the prices from both agencies and use Europcar if virtually the same. We have used Hertz and Avis in the past.

Wil Orlando, Fl