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Short-Term Car Leasing in Europe

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Renault Kangoo photo

ABOVE AND INSET BELOW: The camper-friendly Renault Kangoo is a car-van hybrid, with sliding doors on both sides that provide access to the rear seats or cargo area.



A first-hand report from Teresa Plowright

photoTeresa Plowright edits a "Family Vacations" Web site at About.com. She leased a van from Renault Eurodrive for a trip from Italy to Greece, and here's how she described the experience to us in an e-mail:


Basically, the leasing worked really, really well. I checked both Renault and Peugeot. The deals were similar. Renault seems to offer regular monthly deals where a certain model is put on sale--very good savings.

Also, as you probably know, in Italy you have to purchase collision even if your credit card would cover it--it's mandatory. Much of our driving was in Italy, so the leasing price was even more attractive. (Other rental companies were offering cheaper daily deals, but they didn't apply in Italy.)

Two things I liked were the zero deductible (now, that makes you feel secure!) and the fact that the car was insured in Greece and on car ferries. Other companies didn't offer coverage in both these cases.

Probably as a result of the zero-deductible feature, drop-off procedures were a breeze. It literally could not have been more convenient.

The Renault person met us right at the airport where we would check in. We arrived at Malpensa Airport quite late, and he was very gracious indeed. Then I couldn't find the insurance card, which I later found in my camera case. He said "No problem." And he didn't even glance at the car, which in fact had a scrape on it which would have cost several hundred dollars to fix because scrapes on new vans always cost several hundred dollars to fix.

The whole procedure took less than ten minutes, and he helped us with the luggage, too! (Later we received a questionnaire about our service, and helping with the luggage seems to be part of the policy.)

The only snag was that, due to a mistake, my insurance period was one day short. I only noticed this because I wanted to extend the period by one day. So people should check their insurance cards very carefully when they pick up a car. (I was able to straighten it out over the phone, luckily.)

- Teresa Plowright

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Need a car in Europe?

If you live outside the EU, a tax-free tourist car lease can be cheaper than renting for visits of 21+ days. Minimum driver age is 18, there' s no upper age limit, and rates include insurance.

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