Make sure you check with your credit company as they may cover (most likely will ) cover any insurance claims including deductables. These provisions usually apply to Gold card holders who pay annual memberships. Make sure you telephone them directly and speak to their insurance department?”don't take any chances.
Those who do not have Gold cards will have to pay the insurance deducatble or take the chance that nothing will go wrong?”ok on short trips not so wise on the 3 week plus trips.
Make sure you get unlimited mileage and check with them where the car can be driven (many rental cars can not be driven to Greece).
Last time we were in Europe we rented a 1.4 litre Renault Clio hatchback. In North American cars a 1.4 litre engine would be under powered and would be condsidered an undersiarable road touring car. In Europe however the speed and comfort of this small car was unblievable! It could easily go 160 kph and maintain that for hours without excessive road noise, discomfort, or driving strain--never a mechanical problem, lots of room for the tent and other gear we brought. Keep this in mind when you do rent a car and it might save you hundreds of dollars in rental and operating costs.
We strongly recommend Europcar for your rental agency. They have location across Europe, provide great service, and are very affordable--often they have pre-season deals where you can prepay for the rental, months ahead of time, and save hundreds of dollars.
Leasing vs Rental
Unless you plan to be in Europe for more tham 30 days I do not recomend leasing and/or buying a European car. We carefully explored that option and determined that, for the month we would be travelling, leasing would cost us $400 more than a straight rental. Renault does have a program where you buy a car and they provide you with a 'buy-back' feature.
A number of European automakers also have European Delivery Programs, which make it possible to buy a new car in the U.S., pick it up in Europe and drive it during your vacation. The car is then shipped home at no extra cost.
Alex G. Landels is an experienced traveller. His site contains many interesting stories as well as useful travel hints and pointers.