Help wanted – Saab rental

Self explanatory – from Richard P:


Our family is planning a little trip to Europe for the first time a little later this year and for part of that trip, we are hoping to rent a car to explore a bit of the southern regions and coastline of France and Spain. Of course it is a Saab that I am most eager to rent. πŸ™‚ What I am curious about and am hoping your fine readership might be able to answer is:

1. The availability of Saabs for rental in England, France or Spain
2. Within the European Union, is it possible to rent in France or England and still drive into Spain (or vice versa)?
3. Is it possible to rent from one location and drop it off in another location (possibly a different country too) ?
4. Lastly – and this may be where a broader reader survey might be interesting – what are some favourite roads in France and Spain that your readers could recommend?

If this gets posted, an advance thank you to any and all who can help out or offer up some Saab rental or road recommendations.

Richard P


Swade here – From my own personal experience…..

Picking up in one spot and dropping off in another can attract a reasonable fee. I did this within Sweden a few years ago, picking a car up in Trollhattan and dropping it off in Stockholm. I wouldn’t do it again unless I had to.

Dropping it off in a different country? Well, it might be commonplace in Europe, but you’d want to check out the fees and make yourself aware.

25 thoughts on “Help wanted – Saab rental”

  1. Yes Swade, generally prohibitive costs if you don’t return your vehicle to same point where you picked it up.
    Also very hard to get definitive vehicles – always get something in the ‘class’ which invariably means whatever is left in the car park when your flight gets in (I’ve had so many bad experiences of counter staff assuring that a 3 door Seat Ibiza is very similar to a 5 door Mondeo). Be careful of promises made over the phone or email, on the day it is whatever is physically in the lot.
    The main way of making sure it is a Saab is to book a ‘vert, these are popular in Spain and often Saabs being amongst the few 4 seaters. Assuming you need a sedan or wagon, you’ll be lucky to see a 9-3 in souther Europe.

  2. Findind a SAAb rental car outside Sweden would be very hard.

    A fewyears ago, UK Herts had some 9-5 for rent in their premium collection. I don’t know if it’s still avalible.

    I highly doubt you will find a Saab rental in Spain or France.

    Really though, finding a particular rental car is a pretty trivial thing on holiday, enjoy the countries! Why not rent a Spanish car in Spain and a French car in France – there is life out side Saab after all.

    (have said that, when not riding in my Saab I’m usually a little bit on edge due to safety concerns, is that wird?)

  3. 1. Saabs are not common amongst rental companies, at least not the bigger ones. Only the convirtable could be more common. Smaller local companies might be better to check for this aspect.
    2. Yes, the borders are all open within the EU. However it’s still not a bad idea to check terms and conditions of the rental company you have chosen.
    3. Yes, but fees will be added. Considering nr 1 it’s also dependant on branches a company has abroad. If you need to fly from one city to another, be sure to check RyanAir. It’s an airline without any decent service, but it has very low fares. Could be interesting as a second option.
    4. Any road amongst the coastline or over the mountains is worthwhile, but avoid the overcrowded touristy spanish coastlines. Especially the Costa Brava as it’s to our youth what Cancun is to American youth.

    • Thanks Millerman. I did notice Saab convertibles on a few sites already. Might be the good choice – particularly for me as it might best duplicate the motorcycle experience I would have otherwise done. πŸ™‚
      Crystal clear point on the Costa Brava comparison. Cancun is not the real Mexico. πŸ˜‰

  4. 1. To find a Saab as rental car is a very difficult task.
    2. You can rent your car somewhere in the European Union and drive all along Europe without problem, even in Switzerland.
    3a. If you choose one of the big rental companies (Europcar, Avis, Hertz,…) you will be able to rent in one place and return the car somewhere else, but I think this could be rather expensive.
    3b. If you start your journey in England, you would get a RHD car, which is not the best option for continental Europe.
    4. Which coast (Mediterranean or Atlantic)?

    • Thanks Red J. From the various comments here, it appears that rentals are much the same as they are here in Canada – you book a class of car and get what’s left on the lot when you arrive. Maybe we’ll have to think about a circle tour of some kind in order to avoid excessive return charges. I do like the “borderless” concept of the EU though. Good point on the RHD car too.
      It is the Mediterranean coast of Spain and France that we’re planning to explore.

  5. I know this isn’t what you asked for but anyway: Travelling by train is a good idea in Europe. You find all europan passenger trains att

    • Thanks Magnus. Actually we will most likely be traveling by train for part of our trip as well. Planes, Trains and Automobiles you know! πŸ™‚

  6. Swade, the price tag for dropping off at other location is very difgerent depending on with renal company choosed. At least here in Sweden. But this is of topic and I will drop this to a better time.

  7. Garages Saab Rive gauche (left bank) / Paris rent the cars in the past, to question them : 00 33 153 585 600.

  8. I can imagine there are Saab dealers who are willing to rent out a Saab. You would need a good insurance and it needs some effort to get it arranged.

    Drop-off charges (as they are called) from rental cars in other countries don’t need to be very expensive. It takes some research and extra actions but none too difficult. Sixt rentals for instance has very fair drop-off charges (100 euro). Exceptions are the Nordic countries…all hugely expensive.

    But like the others said, Saab’s as rentals are far and few between. How about a Volvo….much easier hahaha

  9. We always rent from Auto Europe. They’re actually brokers and the car itself will come from Avis or Eurocar or another major company, but they are terrific for several reasons. They are based in Portland, Maine, and are easy to talk to and deal with. They have a very informative website which will give you all kind of options on cars, pickup and dropoff points, etc. And their prices usually are inclusive with all insurance and fees built in so there are no nasty surprises. Their rates are always equal or cheaper than the big companies. Call them at 1-888-223-5555 or check their website:

    Yes, no problem in driving from one country to another. The autoeurope website will give you an idea of the costs involved if any. ONe of the way costs might be affected also is that insurance requirements vary from country to country and affect the price. For instance, renting in Italy tends to be more expensive than France or Spain.

    Buy yourself regional Michelin maps of the areas that you want to travel. They apply a green color to all “scenic” roads which could be a superhighway, but are usually country roads.

    • When you go through a broker, or even using the international web site of, for instance, EuroCar, it doesn’t show you special offers. I’m usually in Europe in August and booking a car through the Dutch national website of EuroCar saves hundreds of Euros.

      • hughw – Thank you very much for the links and personal experience with this company. We’ll definitely look into them as well as the Dutch site that GerritN mentioned. Great tip on the maps too!

  10. In England, Enterprise Car Hire have both 9-3 saloons and estates to rent, however if you rent one in the UK you’ll have to return it to the UK (understandably). You’d also have to confirm that you’d be able to take it into continental Europe as some agencies limit the models allowed out of the country (due to theft). As others have stated one way rentals in the rest of Europe are no problem though but will incur fees.

  11. I know you can rent SAAB’s at ANA Trollhattan.

    I did a euro-delivery of a 2006 9-3 Aero at Trollhattan in September 2005. Great adventure – wish SAAB still offered this option. Unfortunately there was some confusion in the ordering of car between the dealer and the factory. Someone had forgotten to check “sunroof,” even though it was a standard option on the Aero. My car was built without a sunroof and ANA Trollhattan rented me a SAAB – I think they were a rental location for Hertz or Avis or some big rental agency. I didn’t pay too much attention because SAAB paid for the rental. I got a 9-3 with the 1.8 engine. We drove the car down to Switzerland and then returned it in Stuttgart.

    • I know that, at least in Germany, dealers rent out their test-drive vehicles… you could try it that way. Crossing a border or dropping it off somewhere else could be difficult though…

  12. Go to Sweden and buy an old Saab. Its only one extra day to drive. You can get a rather nice classic Saab for about 2000-3000 USD.

  13. Might be a good idea if Saab United create an info page with information where to rent Saab in your neighborhood.

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