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When to rent, when to lease

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ABOVE: Peugeot's 207 is available through the Peugeot "Buy Back" short-term tourist lease program.

If you'd like to drive around Europe, you can't bring your own car, and you live outside the European Union, you have two options for obtaining a vehicle: renting or a short-term lease.

Renting is just what you'd expect: You pay by the day or week, with or without mileage fees, as you'd do at home.

Short-term leasing, also called "buy back" or "purchase-repurchase," may be an even better choice if you need a car for 17 to 21 days or longer. You get a new Peugeot or Renault and turn it in at the end of your trip. It's a win-win-win situation: You get a bargain rental, the car company can sell the vehicle as a slightly used car, and some lucky European gets an almost-new car while saving on the purchase tax.

On the next page, we've provided a chart to help you decide which is better for you: traditional car rental or a short-term tourist lease. You may also want to compare rates for the two options by visiting our partners, Auto Europe(rentals), Peugeot ("Buy Back" leases at lowest rates, available through Auto Europe) and Renault Eurodrive (an alternative source for short-term tourist leases).

Next Page: Renting vs. leasing comparison chart


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Photo (c) iStockphoto.com/Robin Ahle

Need a car in Europe?

If you live outside the EU, a tax-free Renault or Peugeot tourist lease can be cheaper than renting. Minimum driver age is 18, there' s no upper age limit, and rates include insurance.

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