Renting a car in Europe

Travel Forums Europe Renting a car in Europe

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11. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1743 posts) 29w Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

>we love to wander without a plan and not knowing where we'll end up

It's easy to do that in one country and it's pretty easy to do it with your own vehicle (though it may be pricey in insurance terms).

But each of the EU and Schengen countries have their own cultures, their own laws and their own driving norms so, in terms of insurance and hire company risk, each EU and/or Schengen country is not the same. The company may not allow vehicles to be taken into certain countries (e.g. taking a Schengen-based vehicle into a non-Schengen country) and even if they do allow it they will need to know which countries you intend to visit because the legally-required insurance which is part of the hire charge may vary, including in price.

This is the advantage of a lease. The leased car is yours and is fully insured for all countries listed which is virtually all of Europe. There is no extra charge for a additional driver as long as it's a family member. They give you a list of countries covered and you need to check driving regulations in the ones you plan to visit. There are also different taxes in some countries that require you to purchase a vignette or windshield sticker. We've gotten them in Switzerland and Austria. There are signs telling you about them and directing you where to buy them. Read the fine print on the lease agreement because the 24-hour road service is not available in all countries. Changing countries is not a problem though. You can go where you like.

If you want to travel to different countries by car, a lease (also called a buy-back) is the easiest way to do it . . . keeping in mind that if you are mostly visiting cities, the trains are much much easier and a lot of fun. If you are from the USA, you may not know that most European train stations are in the center of town so you just hop off and start sightseeing. For instance, in Cologne, you walk out of the train station, across a plaza, up a few stairs and into the magnificent cathedral. Even when we have a car, we often leave it for the day and take the train to a city we want to visit.

Enjoy your trip.

12. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2290 posts) 29w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Beausoleil

If you want to travel to different countries by car, a lease (also called a buy-back) is the easiest way to do it . . .

I have never heard of a lease in this context! I thought they were always a 2 or 3 year kind of deal. How short a term are these?

13. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1743 posts) 29w Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

Quoting Beausoleil

If you want to travel to different countries by car, a lease (also called a buy-back) is the easiest way to do it . . .

I have never heard of a lease in this context! I thought they were always a 2 or 3 year kind of deal. How short a term are these?

Hi Andy. We've been doing this for over 20 years. The leases can be as short as 17 days although usually they require 21 days to a month minimum. There are a couple different programs but the maximum time is often 6 months. There are a couple circumstances where you can lease it for a longer time and these are spelled out on the web sites. It was a program aimed at tourists and if you are an EU citizen, you can't use it unless you can prove you are living outside the EU at the time.

We've only needed the 24-hour roadside assistance once and they were there within a half hour. We have had cars damaged a couple times and it was completely covered by the insurance. You get an estimate and pay ahead of time so all you do on your vacation is pick up the car, use it and return it. No money is involved at all during the trip since you already paid. We love it.

A few times we've seen ads for 14-day leases but that is very unusual. They are aimed at longer term visits. We have driven all over Europe with the cars and never had a problem. They give you a folder telling you where you can take the car but one web site lists Germany, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Spain (Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands), Estonia, Finland, mainland France and Monaco, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, San Marino and Vatican , Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia (FYROM), Malta, Montenegro, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the United Kingdom and Gibraltar, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic. Beyond these countries, you are required to get your own insurance.

You do not have to pay for an extra driver if it is a family member. You do need an International Driver's License in addition to your own. You can also lease if you are 18 years of age and there is no upper age limit so this is great for younger and older drivers who often have trouble renting.

14. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2290 posts) 29w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for that - I've learnt something!

So it appears to be supported by the French government. And I guess the manufacturers push the cars out afterwards through their dealer networks as used like they would with ex-demonstrators and ones registered for staff use - boosting the registration numbers. Seems quite an odd thing to do, to me, so I wonder how much money the French government put in, as it can't be very lucrative for the car manufacturers.

15. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1743 posts) 29w Star this if you like it!

I think the program was started to encourage long-term stay tourism. It's very practical for younger, older and adventurous tourists . . . also for families who want to take turns driving without paying extra-driver fees.

Posts 16 & 17 were removed by moderators
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