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Car Leasing

My wife and I are planning to visit France for ten weeks beginning the end of April, starting with Paris and ending up in Nice. With the exception of Paris, we are planning to travel by rental car, which will not be cheap. Also, AMEX insurance coverage seems to be limited to 30 days per contract, requiring a new contract with a different rental company after that. Has anyone had recent experience with a practical alternative to the typical car rental, such as some form of leasing?

Posted by
1209 posts

I once leased a Citroën out of EuroAirport. Brand new car, no issues.

Try Citroën through, from Orly or de Gaulle. Economy automatic, $2445 for 9 weeks, includes GPS, road assistance, unlimited mileage. Looks like the rate stays the same even if you drop off in Nice, but double-check.

Posted by
3281 posts

The common wisdom here is that if you need a car for more than 3 weeks, you should look at leasing. You can easily compare the costs by going to the AutoEurope or Kemwel sites. Leasing includes insurance in the price.

Posted by
37 posts

I will be going to France and will need a rental car for about 3 1/2 weeks. I've been on the Auto Europe website and looked at the short-term leases for Peugeot and Citroen (Renault doesn't have the drop-off city I need). It's not cheap, certainly, but there does seem to be certain advantages, like the included insurance. So I'm wondering, what's the catch? And does anyone know about the "buy-back" program? There's mention of it on the website, but no info. I sure don't intend to "buy" a car over there; just lease it. Merci!

Posted by
38 posts

We have a lease for a car in France for a month this summer. We booked through AutoEurope. The advantages we found that were a big savings: 1. an automatic is only slightly more expensive than a manual 2. no deductible and 3. free spouse driver (maybe other family members too but for many rentals in the US even spouse can add $10 per day!) I ran a search on AutoEurope for 10 weeks April 2 pick up CDG return June 11 NCE and it is about $2600 for an automatic, $2400 for a manual. There is some additional paperwork in advance. And your pick up and return times are set by appointment. You do pay when you book. And there are usually limited windows for free cancellation. But I did note in the terms of the lease from the search I did that "Cancellation fees will be waived for leases booked through 02/28/22 with a collection through 12/31/22." Their customer service has been excellent when I had questions and needed to make some changes already when my flight times changed.

Posted by
8263 posts

To answer Lesley’s question: it all done by one company, TT, whether you lease through Renault USA or AutoEurope. The pick up and drop offs should be the same for all the cars, no matter the make: Renault, Duster, Citroen, Peugeot.. You have to reside outside the EU, pay in outside currency, and then you have a few taxes waived. Their advantage is that after the lease, they can now sell the car as used, avoiding some car taxes. That’s the deal. The car is legally yours during the lease and TT buys it back at the end.

Some expats lease on arrival and then do buy the car at a reduced price at the end of their lease.

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks to all for the help. We have postponed this trip twice already.......maybe the third try will work!

Posted by
68 posts

For rental cars in Europe in general, Autoeurope has had expensive rates for awhile now. Shop around for the best rate, look for a rate that includes a cdw, when they are included they're often around 900 max out of pocket. Autoeurope used to be great pre-covid but I haven't found a good rate since the pandemic began (I rent 4-5 months a year).

As far as the short term leases go (TT), it can be a good option particularly with the insurance/cdw, extra driver, and the vat savings. Many of the different rental car companies also offer long term rentals with discounts. There are also some subscription offerings (Sixt).