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    Car Hire Pick-Up Procedures Explained

    If you have rented a car more than once, you will probably know that finding the desk of your car rental company is often not the easiest task. Although multiple companies have an airport pick-up location, this does not necessarily mean that all the companies are found in the same place, or follow the same procedure in taking you to their desk. But worry not, we are here to help. In this post, we have explained the most common pick-up procedures used by car hire suppliers at airport locations and elsewhere, so that next time you will be prepared no matter what!

    First things first: Know your supplier

    You can see the name of your supplier, in other words, the car hire company that will be providing your rental, when you are making the booking on our website, and at the top of your voucher (under 'Rental Company', in the pick-up and drop-off information boxes). This is the company whose desk you need to find. This is because Auto Europe is not a car hire company, but a broker. We do not have any cars of our own, but work with different companies who provide you with the car hire. Thus, Auto Europe has no pick-up desks!

    Desk is located inside or near the terminal building

    Many companies have their desks right inside the airport terminal building, with most of them located around the same area. Simply follow the signage to get to the car hire area. Here you will find the desks, but you will, of course, have to follow one of the representatives to a separate parking area where you will find your rental car. Make sure you know which car hire company is the supplier of your rental! You should always read the Terms and Conditions on our booking engine, found also on your voucher, carefully, even if they state that your company's desk is inside the terminal. Some companies may have their desks in a different place that is not in the main car hire area. Similarly, the desk may be located within the airport area, but in a separate building in the vicinity of the terminal building. This is also very common, with most car rental companies having their desks in the same place, within a short walking distance from the terminal.Another pick-up procedure some companies use, is the so called 'meet and greet'. This means that there will be a representative of the company waiting for you in the arrivals area, with usually either your name or the name of the company written on a board. The representative will then take you directly to the car, located at the airport, where you will complete the pick-up documentation and checks. If your booking is with a company using this method, you will thus not visit a company desk at all.

    Desk is located 'off site'

    An off-site airport office usually means that you need to take some kind of other transport to get to the location. Again, it is recommended that you check the Terms and Conditions on the booking engine and on your voucher carefully, as there are often additional details on the location, or instructions on how to best get to the location.Companies sometimes use the 'meet and greet' procedure here too, meeting you in the arrivals area and showing you to the correct shuttle bus that will take you to the office. Often, however, you are expected to read the instructions on your voucher and find your way to the shuttle bus by yourself, but you can also often find signage at the airport showing you to the correct bus stop. Some companies, particularly more established, larger car hire companies, will have their own dedicated shuttle buses to transport you to their offices. But the transportation arrangement for many companies is a general shuttle bus, that makes stops at all the different offices.If you are having trouble finding your car hire company's desk, be it in the terminal or off site, your voucher includes two helpful phone numbers. First, under the name and location of your car hire supplier, you will find the phone number of the pick-up location, the specific office where you will need to pick up the car. Second, in the top left corner, under our Auto Europe logo, you have our number.

    Downtown and railway locations

    If pick up or drop off at the airport does not fit your travel plans, many companies also offer downtown and railway station locations. You may find these particularly appropriate if you are arriving by train, or would like something close to your hotel. Be sure to check the address of the location carefully, and ensure that the location is open at both your desired pick-up and drop-off time.

    Delivery and collection

    Certain car hire companies offer delivery and collection services, but this always has to be confirmed separately. If you book a delivery or collection, you can arrange to have your car delivered or collected, or both, to and from a specific location, such as your hotel. You must, however, call us to arrange this separately. This service is not available with all suppliers, all car categories, and all locations, and thus it is very important that you contact us ahead of time to try to arrange a collection or delivery. Additional charges, to be paid locally to the supplier, also often apply. If you are booking a luxury car with us, we offer a very wide-ranging and flexible delivery service. We hope that you will find the perfect pick-up location to start your vacation, and that you will be able to find your car without any hassle! If you are ever unsure about the pick-up location or what procedure is followed, just give us a call on our freephone number from the UK, +44 123 3225 114, and one of our reservation agents will be happy to help!

    Out of hours pick-up and drop-box service

    When making a booking, you should always check the opening hours of your selected car hire car company. For example, if your scheduled arrival is at 11:45 pm and the company closes at midnight, please consider another company with longer working hours as you may well need an additional half an hour to pick up your luggage and arrive at the car hire company counter. Our suppliers are well aware of this fact, therefore your flight number and the airline must be noted down while booking. If you realise you are going to arrive later than expected for any reason, be it a flight delay or anything else, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. The supplier needs to be informed of this as soon as possible so that they could keep the car for you. If you are late and have not informed us on time, they will hire your car to another client without the possibility of a refund. Alternatively, Auto Europe could try to change your booking to a later time. Please note that the new price will reflect the price at the time of the new booking.

    If arriving outside the regular operator's working hours, you will be required to pay a fee directly at the counter. Returning your rental car outside opening hours could be possible with a drop-box service offered by a limited number of suppliers. You would need to park the vehicle at a place agreed with the rent a car company and leave the keys in a drop-box. However, you are responsible for the vehicle until the employees have thoroughly checked it. Should they find any scratches or dents, you will need to pay for the damage. If you are to use this service, we strongly recommend you to thoroughly check the vehicle and take high-quality photos of the car's exterior, all scratches and dents, the fuel gauge, mileage, and the car interior with the exact date and time if possible.

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