“Will that VW Golf be OK on the Autobahn?,” is a common concern of North Americans planning to drive in Europe. The short answer is, absolutely. In fact, while you’re puttering along in the right lane at 80mph you’ll likely be passed by many compact and economy cars traveling at or above 100mph. After all, cars are made, sold and rented in Europe under the assumption that they will be driven on the Continent’s superhighways. Though you may be more comfortable in a larger, heavier car, almost any rental car, with the exception of the tiny SmartCar, is Autobahn-worthy.

Perhaps it is worth noting here that clunkers are few and far between in the fleets of the major rental car suppliers. Though North American renters are leery of Opels, Fords, Skodas (Czech-made, VW-owned), and Seats (Spanish-made, VW-owned) they get high marks from the automotive press. Both the European-made intermediate Ford Mondeo and the compact Ford Focus get rave reviews on the BBC-TV show, Top Gear.

Generally speaking, European cars, especially in Germany, are tight, comfortable, get better mileage than their U.S. counterparts, and have frisky engines and good sound systems.

Gemütlichkeit strongly recommends the rental decision be based on booking a car category that best fits driver, passenger and luggage needs. Given that companies guarantee by category, shopping for a specific make or model is a futile endeavor, likely to end in disappointment or substantial inconvenience.

Get a written quote on a car rental in Europe.