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In my opinion, the process of renting a car in Europe is the most complicated-and fraught with financial peril-of all the major financial decisions involved in planning a European vacation. Rail pass pricing is very straightforward. Hotels quote a price and, except perhaps for phone calls and Internet access, that's what you pay. Airlines are required by law to disclose all taxes and fees in addition to the basic fare. True, you may get nailed for excess baggage weight but your financial exposure is not close to what it is if you make a mistake insuring your rental car against collision and theft. I know a man who paid a road tax fee of $25 in cash instead of using his credit card. In doing so he violated the credit card insurance rule that requires all charges on the rental contract be paid with the credit card used to book the rental. His car was damaged, but the credit card company refused to reimburse the $8,000 repair bill.

Often there are nasty post-rental surprises back in the U.S. when your credit card statement arrives. Of course, if you book with us, not only do you get a great low price, we'll steer you safely through the potentially expensive rocks and shoals. Still, every Europe-bound traveler considering a rental car should read our 16-page special report "What You Need to Know About Renting a Car in Europe." Download it free.