Affordable Europe: Check Auto Europe for car rentals

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I've just returned from a 10-day trip to Italy, and I cannot sing the praises of Auto Europe enough. I had never used the company to rent a car before, but after checking the rates at all the major U.S.-based agencies (Hertz, Avis, Budget, etc.), I went to Auto Europe’s website to see what I could find. The rate for an automatic car for 10 days was at least $150 dollars cheaper than anywhere else I looked.

The company, based in Portland, Me., is a wholesaler which gets discounted rates from the major rental car agencies to offer on its website. Auto Europe claims that its rates are lowest around. In fact, the company says it will beat any rate you find on any car rental agency’s website by 10 percent. But note that you have to pay your rental car cost in full, up-front.

On top of that, the company gave me a partial refund when I returned the car two days early—how many rental car agencies or travel booking websites offer to do that?

Has anyone out there had similarly good experiences booking through Auto Europe? Or bad experiences?

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