Sixt car rental
Sixt are my favourite car rental operation in Germany. I like them for a number of reasons. First of all, you can get decent rental prices if you book over the internet. Especially good are the weekend deals.
However, having mentioned internet booking, it must also be said that their web programmers have an unpleasant habit of throwing up a new design for the site every few weeks. As well as being unfamiliar, the new designs have the greater drawback that, generally, they are broken when they first appear. For example, at the time of writing, it is not possible to make a booking from behind a firewall!
I am usually able to get cars at short notice but this is not always the case. It is easier to do so from a main office than from a satellite operation such as an airport location.
Locations are not a strong point. Sixt seem to prefer out of town locations for their car rental operations. Normally, these are in industrial estates and they are not served by public transport. So, often, if you want a hire car, you need a car of your own to get there!
Where town centre locations are available, there is normally a surcharge for picking up a vehicle there. This is irritating but at least there is no surchage for dropping a car off at a different location.
I seem to be given an upgrade about one time in six when I rent from Sixt. These can be quite nice if everything works out. For example, once I booked an Opel Astra estate and I was given a Mercedes C class estate with a diesel engine. It was a lot bigger and more comfortable than the Astra plus, it used a lot less fuel and went faster! It's not always so great though. One time, I had a busy weekend ahead that was going to involve a very long drive mostly on French roads with strictly enforced speed limits. My requested Ford Ka was replaced with a huge Mondeo Estate. I didn't need all that extra metal and it was very expensive to have to pay for fuel for over 3,500km.
I do not need a car every day and renting from Sixt is cheaper than owning a car in Germany and a lot less hassle.
There are no restrictions on using their cars in NW Europe but you cannot take their cars into East Europe or Italy. You should also check what insurance cover you have. The standard terms and conditions give you legal minimum cover but you are liable for theft or for accident damage. Extra cover is available and is well worth while.
Sixt staff are generally helpful and friendly and most speak good English.
You can find their internet site here.