Customers who contact regarding rental cars in Geneva, Basel, Zürich or St. Gallen, Switzerland, are advised that prices in nearby cities of other countries are much, much less expensive. Switzerland's car rental rates are among the highest in Europe and, depending on the city, a five-minute walk, a 45-minute ferry crossing, a 15-minute taxi ride, or a 90-minute train trip can save hundreds of dollars.

The "no-brainer" is the Geneva Airport where an intermediate car for one week on the Swiss side of the airport with tax is $444, including airport fee. But walk through the airport to the French side and the price is $298 plus the airport fee of €39. In Basel, the tab for an intermediate sedan is also $444 but just across the Rhine in Lörrach, Germany, it's just $253. The numbers are the same for St. Gallen and Zürich where the best rate for an intermediate car is $503. From St. Gallen, cross the Bodensee on a ferry to Lindau or Friedrichshafen, however, and get the same car for $253. The closest alternative to Zürich is Singen, Germany, about 90 minutes by train. The same intermediate vehicle that costs $444 at the Zürich airport is $253 in Singen. Oddly enough, this year there seems to be little difference in the price of cars picked up Swiss airports vs. downtown locations. Get a quote.

European rental car prices have been on the rise since mid-January and are almost certain to continue in the upward direction. By far the best deal in Germany is our guaranteed intermediate to fullsize upgrade with Avis. In the full-size category is very likely you will get a Mercedes C-Class. Plus with that category comes free GPS. The one-week price with tax is $203 through the end of March and $262 for rentals after that date. Get a quote.

rsz mercedes benz 1370536 640By far the best deal on a European car rental is in Germany.

Book an intermediate category car and receive a free, guaranteed-in-writing upgrade to a full-size category car with GPS. Cars in the full-size category include the Mercedes Benz C-Class, Audi A4, BMW 3 series, and others.

The price for one-week is $216 plus about $10 in road tax. The two week price is $367. (This same car is priced for one week at $386 at the Avis website).

European rental car rates predicted to rise tomorrow, March 1. Best one-week deals today: 7-passenger van in Germany, $468; fullsize Mercedes C-Class, or similar, with GPS and automatic, $311; compact, 4-door VW Golf or similar, $188. These prices all include 19% VAT. In France, a Golf with automatic is $244 and a 7-passenger van is $435. All these prices are way down from a year ago. To book before the end of the month call can always cancel.