Do you live
outside the European Union and need a car for several weeks or months? Short-term auto leasing
or Peugeot can help you save money and avoid
The concept behind short-term leasing, or
"purchase-repurchase," is simple:
In France, the purchase tax on a slightly used car is much less than on a new
vehicle. By leasing new cars to tourists at cheap rates, Renault and Peugeot create a supply of almost-new,
reduced-VAT cars that can be sold to European
citizens and rental firms at highly competitive prices. The result is a
win-win-win situation for everyone involved--including you, the foreign visitor.
The benefits of short-term leasing are
You get a new car straight from the factory.
You save money because short-term leases aren't subject to
VAT (value-added tax), which typically ranges from 16 to 21 percent for car
You get full comprehensive insurance, with no deductible and no extra charges for CDW or LDW.
(See our rental-car
insurance article, and you'll understand why this is a real plus).
You can pick up your car at one location and
drop it off at another if you wish.
Age limits are minimal. Both Peugeot and
Renault will lease to
licensed drivers over the age of 18, with no maximum age. (In contrast, many rental firms
won't do business with young drivers or adults over 70.)
The downside? There are just three:
lease period is 21 days. (You can return the car in 17 days if your trip is
shorter, but you'll be billed for three weeks.)
You can be a citizen of any country, but your
domicile or permanent address must be outside the
European Union. Also, if you're a business traveler and your company is
paying for the lease, the firm must be headquartered outside the EU.
Renault and Peugeot offer fewer pick-up and drop-off points outside
France than traditional car-rental firms do, and you'll pay a surcharge to
collect or return your car at some locations.
A friend of ours, Teresa Plowright, leased a car for a trip from Italy to Greece. To read
about Teresa's experience, see her Renault
Eurodrive review on page 2 of this article.
Related Web sites:
our partner and reader favorite
has a long
history of short-term car leasing to travelers from outside the EU. The company
offers a large selection of vehicles, ranging from the ultra-economical Twingo
to 5-, 7-, and 9-seat vans. Two of the more fun models in the fleet are the
roomy but fuel-efficient Kangoo (a vehicle that combines the best features of a
car, a station wagon, and a van) and the Megane convertible.
Minimum lease period: 21 days *
Open Europe "Buy Back" Program
Peugeot is represented by Auto Europe. (If you click on the
link above, you'll be taken to the Peugeot Open Europe page at Auto Europe's Web
site.) Peugeot's car models range from econocars to luxury
sedans and the Peugeot Partner, which squeezes a lot of interior space into a
boxy SUV-like body.
Minimum lease period: 21 days *
* Pricing is based on a minimum of 21 days, but you can return
the vehicle in as little as 17 days if you're unable to spend a full three weeks
Rentals: When to rent, when to lease
comparison chart to determine whether you can--or should--choose a short-term
tourist lease over a traditonal car rental.
Driving in Europe
This Europe for Visitors article has links to articles on driving in Europe, rental-car
insurance, how to obtain an International Driving Permit, information on
European traffic laws, and more.