Europcar

Is Europcar a Better Car Rental Option?

Europcar is one of the largest car rental companies throughout the world, with more than 3,300 car depot locations spread across 160 countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. According to information shared on their official website, Europcar offers quite a wide range of quality vehicles from the best manufacturers to suit the different needs and requirements of any client.  Whether for business or leisure, they claim to provide a diverse range of vehicle options, including vans, trucks, even luxury cars and eco-friendly ones.

Vehicles / Sizes

Whatever size of the vehicle is needed, clients may easily find something suitable to their requirements. From small and medium cars, even family-type vehicles like vans or mini-buses, they offer a wide range of the most recent vehicle models.  Based on what is advertised on their website, it appears that they do offer the better car models for each category as well.

Their line-up includes a selection of quality vehicles from different manufacturers like Hyundai, Suzuki, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, and many others. Clients may also specify their preference for the convertible type of car or perhaps a van with wheelchair access. Although Europcar mentions many options for their clients, one common concern is that some vehicles have not been maintained well or that the actual condition appears to be questionable.

The sedans and the compact vehicles are more commonly preferred by solo travelers or couples on vacation.  This is because of the basic comfort and convenient they provide especially for long drives.  And with car rental stations located all over world, it does become easier to just hop on one of their available sedans and start the journey.

Meanwhile, travelling with a family may actually require more room in the vehicle.  Clients may select from Europcar’s roster of spacious family cars or Multi-Purpose Vehicles.  For added safety and comfort for children, they also offer a selection of baby seats. This option however may not be available in some rental stations.

For some special occasions, clients would often prefer to travel in style. Europcar also features a decent range of prestige cars by Mercedes Benz, Range Rover, Jaguar, Audi, and Mini Cooper to name a few.

On the other hand, if moving large cargos is the requirement, van rentals from Europcar may just be the best way to go. Their fleet of vans range from spacious vehicles for transferring of big cargo to comfortable minibuses with a seating capacity of 17 passengers. Clients can hire a vehicle for a specific amount of time, perhaps for just an hour, overnight, or even for an entire month.

Clients have several options in getting their vehicle.  They may also choose to hire a driver, arrange for pick up and drop off at different locations, or have the vehicle delivered right to their doorstep. They also have flexible rental packages to make it convenient to just hire a vehicle for the duration that it is needed. Pick-up type trucks and refrigerated moving vans are available as well.

Pros:

  • Wide selection of vehicles
  • Vehicles from credible manufacturers
  • Availability of eco-friendly vehicles

Cons:

  • Availability not guaranteed
  • Vehicle condition not guaranteed

Customer Service

Customers can provide feedback or comments via their website, Email, Social Networking pages (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blog), or perhaps by simply communicating with an attendant at any of their rental stations in different countries. On many occasions, clients would prefer expressing their sentiments through Facebook or Twitter.  Other times they would directly speak to any of the attendants at the rental stations. 

Unfortunately, the website does not specify how Europcar can be reached by phone.  At the same time comments sent through any of the social networking pages are often addressed inadequately.  Even employees at some rental stations appear to be lacking in proper customer service training and have been receiving some unflattering comments from some of their clients. Some comments raised by clients were often about the quality and availability of vehicles, work professionalism, excess in charges, booking procedure, and pricing.

Pros:

  • Different feedback avenues

Cons:

  • Feedback addressed inadequately
  • No hotline option
  • Attendants lack training

Locations

Europcar rental stations can be found in over a hundred countries all over Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, Middle East, the Caribbean, as well as in North and South America. Fortunately, details can easily be accessed in their website.

Pros: 

  • Availability in 160 countries
  • Vehicle delivery option
  • Conveniently located

Cons:

  • Long lines at rentals
  • Attendants lack professionalism

Price

Their wide selection of the most recent car models and competitive pricing makes booking through their website a little faster and easier than other rental companies. Clients can simply specify a particular car rental location and request for a price quotation.  And because of Europcar’s partnerships with different companies and industries such as airlines, hotels, transportation groups, credit cards, and other organizations, prospective customers can expect some competitive deals for rentals.

Pros: 

  • Competitive and flexible prices
  • Online price quotation option

Con:

  • Hidden/ excess charges
  • Prices sometimes not consistent

Loyalty Programs

They do encourage and engage their most valued clients by offering exclusive benefits through their Privilege Loyalty Program.  A client only needs to enroll at any rental location and then he or she can start collecting points to enjoy a range of rewards and special services.  Some of the loyalty benefits include being offered free rental during weekends, discounts, upgrades, priority and express service, guaranteed bookings, as well as discounts at select partner establishments.

In retrospect, Europcar seems to be a viable option for vehicle rental primarily because of their convenient locations.  It also appears that they offer competitive prices for different types or sizes of vehicles, which can be more practical for budget conscious clients. Apart from their published rates, seasonal deals offer additional price flexibility.

Based on comments and feedback collected from some of their clients, here are some points to consider before choosing Europcar:

Pros:

  • Exclusive benefits and offers
  • Discounts with partner establishments
  • Ease of booking
  • Free membership
  • Easy sign-up

Cons:

  • Benefits limited to some locations
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