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I will arrive at Frankfurt for a two week vacation in Europe. I plan to hire a car for a round trip to stay one night in different cities in the way of Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

When I was search for a car to book, the cars were similar but the prices were significantly different. Thus, I wanted to ask from folks in Europe that which company provide a better service for this purpose (road trip), and what factors I should consider (for example, the type of fuel due to its price in the above-mentioned countries).

Note that my trip is budget and I wish to go for the cheapest option!

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2 Answers 2

Given the route over Eastern europe you have a problem.

First of all, there are relatively cheap car rentals which are local, meaning that you are not permitted to cross borders between countries. Europe is not a single country with states like the United States, it is more like traveling from the USA to Mexico each time. So the very tantalizing offers local car companies in Germany could offer are of no use for you.

That means you have only a few options and that are international companies which are

  • Sixt
  • Europcar
  • Avis
  • Hertz

Now the second problem: All these companies have no problems to rent a car for a tour in the Western part of Europe, but Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, etc.) is a problem.

Sixt do not rent Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, VW, Porsche, Aston Martin, Jeeps / Offroad into Eastern Europe. Europcar does not specify exactly what is allowed, but you can expect resistance (outright prohibition or hefty prices). The same with the other companies.

And they are much more expensive than local car rentals, so it won't be cheap anyway.

This is really a problem because people do not read the Terms and Conditions and simply book cars, not knowing that they are losing completely their insurance cover if they do not exactly state which route they want to take. And I suppose you know how expensive even a small scar on new cars can become. If your car is stolen, you must pay it completely with compensation, if you have or even cause a severe accident, then God help you. And this is for the international companies.

So be truthful and tell exactly where do you want to go. As the companies have competition, I do not think it makes sense to promote one company, simply ask for each company how the conditions are.

Trying to cross borders with local car rentals is downright criminal even if nothing happens, so DO NOT TRY TO DO THIS !

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2  
Criminal? That's a gross exaggeration, AFAIK, you would merely be breaking a contract. –  Relaxed Jun 30 '14 at 7:36
    
@Relaxed Seems to be right. I correct that because the important information is already there. I suppose I had an overzealous employee. –  Thorsten S. Jun 30 '14 at 7:46
    
Just ask simple question like " May i drive this car to" just believe they have a solution for your trips. Really. I stayed in Germany as Indonesian. I have several times rent a car from A*** and drive it cross country (Poland, Switzerland, France, and Danemark). They have different condition for the insurance. (they charge more euros for driving to Eastern europe) Just ask them clearly and ASK FOR THE CONTRACT WROTE IN YOUR LANGUAGE. –  muhammad.mudjiono Jun 30 '14 at 8:41
1  
And this is my opinion according to budget. Europecar : Most expensive. Sixt: Good Price, (more expensive than Avis, cheaper than Europcar) very good responsibility, Very good car collection you could use Ford or Opel to drive to the eastern europe because they didn't state you cannot drive to east with Ford/Opel (but still ask them an tell them about your trip plan). Avis: cheap, good responsibility, normal car, and they'll charge more if you drive to eastern europe. –  muhammad.mudjiono Jun 30 '14 at 8:57

(I see that this is an older question -- but since it has been recently edited, it is now at the top of the feed. Since I have some experience in trying to make these plans, I figured I'd add an answer in the hope that it would be helpful to others who come across this question in searches about car rental.)

My experience is that the Hertz website gives much clearer information about permissible driving locations than its competitors. I think (but since I do not work with or for Hertz, I cannot be absolutely certain), that the restrictions are based on the country in which you rent the car, rather than the location. Thus, I am making the assumption that the single location I looked up for each of the countries in question has the same restrictions as other locations in the same country.

The countries you want to visit are Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. This is what I found:

  • Germany: Cars rented (from Hertz) in Germany can be driven into the Czech Republic and Poland, but not into Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
  • Czech Republic: Cars rented in the Czech Republic can be driven into Germany and (except certain more expensive rentals) Poland; they cannot be driven into Lithuania, Latvia, or Estonia.
  • Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia: Cars rented in the Baltic nations cannot be driven into Germany or the Czech Republic.
  • Poland: Cars rented in Poland can be driven into all of the countries you plan to visit.

It would seem that the best option for this itinerary would be to take a train into Poland and then initiate the car rental there.

If you wish to investigate this on your own, or for different countries, here is how to find the information on the Hertz website:

  1. Go to http://www.hertz.com/.
  2. Click on "Locations" in the top menu.
  3. Select a location.
  4. Click "More Location Details" for that location.
  5. Click "Qualifications and Requirements".
  6. Select "Driving Restrictions-Driving Abroad" as the topic. This will give relevant information about where the rental car can, and cannot, be driven.
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