So you are looking for a car hire or car rental in France. Like most people, you want to spend your money on enjoying the French food, wine and local attractions. One way to keep more money in your pocket in order to enjoy the French culture is to make sure you do not spend too much on your car hire.
These days car rental is a commodity purchase. What I mean by that is, as long as you rent a car from a well known company, you will be getting a new, low mileage vehicle. The car hire company can offer little in order to differentiate themselves so that they can charge more money for their cars. So how do you make sure you do not pay too much?
There are two main ways of booking a car hire online. The first is to logon directly to a brand name car rental company website; Avis for example. The alternative is to book your car with a car rental broker which will check the prices of a variety of providers in order to get you the best quote. Car rental brokers negotiate with the big car hire companies and are guaranteed discounted prices based on the volume they produce. So which option will offer you the best price? You would think that going direct would be cheaper since there is no "middle man" looking for a cut. However these things do not always go the way you would expect. To see which offers consumers best value I decided to do a price comparison.
The following price check was connected on June 15th at 2.22pm. We looked for quotes for a midsize / intermediate car rental in Nice International Airport, France (NCE). The car hire requested was for a one week period between September 1st and 8th, 2007. To make sure that all quotes were comparable we asked for prices that included taxes, unlimited mileage, collision damage waiver (CDW), breakdown assistance and theft protection.
- Avis.com $ 879.89 usd (approx EUR661.09 euro)
- Nationalcar.com EUR551.99 euro
- Alamo.com EUR502.48 euro
- Budget.com EUR453.55 euro
- Thifty.com EUR382.88 euro
- Hertz.com EUR308.99 euro
- An Average Car Rental Broker EUR252.58 euro
As you can see from the analysis above, there is a huge difference between the rates quoted. Please bear in mind that all companies I price checked are brand name car rental suppliers who offer new, low mileage vehicles. The product offered in each case is essentially the same. Note that the car rental broker quote is substantially cheaper than all the rest. Ironically if you book with the broker you will still end up renting with one of the big car rental companies in this list (or similar), but just pay less for the car. These rates will vary depending on supply and demand, based on the season, and the availability of each car rental provider. One thing that will stay consistent is this; If you book directly from a brand name car rental company, you will be charged more than if you book through a car rental broker. This is true despite the fact that car rental brokers are offering quotes for the same cars at the same locations and with the same extras such as breakdown assistance and unlimited mileage. I hope this information helps and saves you time and money as you search for your car rental in France.