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leased vs rental car ...very different experience

If you are looking for a car to use more than 30 days definitely go for a lease.car from AutoEuope They will a deliver a brand new car to you , in Milan or Rome. You'll pay a extra fee for it outside of France but its worth it. Complete coverage with no deductible. When I rented vs leased a couple of years ago I had to pay couple of speeding tickets in France.. Last year I leased, have a heavy foot and not a single ticket from Italia. Even had a side swipe where my left mirror was torn off. Turned the car in ..no problem. Didn't pay a dime for the damage. AutoEurope, a superior lease company.

Posted by
13626 posts

Well Jim, I do come from a family oF proud Carabinieri. So I sent this post to them to make sure they keep an eye on you next time you lease a car in Italy. They would not be pleased to know that the Gendarmes were more efficient.

Posted by
1419 posts

We are on our fifth lease and I'll never go back to renting if I can help it. Some things I've learned: The Auto Europe subsidiary Kemwel often has a lower lease price and you'll deal with the same people. There's an annual sale at the end of each year for early birds on the next year's bookings - about a 10% savings. Flying in and out of Nice is convenient to Italy and saves hundreds of dollars. Nice is just over 4 hours to Firenze and it's easy to create interesting itineraries through Liguria and Piemonte. Not that anyone would ever break the law, but it's true that you'll not receive ordinary Italian traffic tickets. It's either because you don't own the car after you return it, or because Italy and France only exchange info on serious offenses at this point.

Posted by
53 posts

This is so interesting! We'll be in Italy for 2 months, June and July, and looking to rent a car the whole time. We've always used Europecar in the past ( 1 month longest rental) and been happy, but this looks so much cheaper! And the car still seemed to be coming from europecar. When I search the same dates directly through europecar the rates are much higher, so I'm a little confused. What exactly is the difference between renting vs leasing? Is it just the company Auto Europe or a discount for the length of time? Are there any restrictions on where/ how far you can take get car during the lease period? The rates have me excited so any further info is very appreciated!

Posted by
703 posts

we have very successfully leased a new french car twice now and have ordered another for next year. there are some very good advantages ( that you need to verify for yourself) and some fine print to check. some of the main advantages (IMO), we order an automatic ( which is a big advantage over renting), lower price, insurances and road side assistance included, numerous drivers ( no extra cost) small, or no cost, for pick up and drop off in different countries. gets cheaper the longer you have it.
possible disadvantages, you need to read the fine print to see what happens if you have an accident and the car is out of action ( as you 'own' the car. and yes the car does have red number plates.
we order ours as an early bird rate and that gives us some days free, or free drop off etc. ( just depends)

you might find that you can use the car in a huge number of countries, no limit on mileage, but would need servicing if you do heaps of miles.

hope this helps.

Posted by
1419 posts

All the broker companies like AutoEurope or AutoFrance are just acting as agents for the very same service. It's offered by Peugeot, Citroen, or Renault, but Peugeot has the best rates by far in my experience. Short-term leasing means the car is actually registered in your name during your trip, and you agree to "sell" it back at the end. It takes advantage of a 50 year old French law that allows this special type of registration (hence the red TT -temporary transit -plate) as well as a special reduced VAT tax when the manufacturer then re-sells your 'used' car.

In Italy the rental car companies actually can't rent to you for 2 months on one contract. They will use two contracts with you and of course your credit card rental coverage can't apply. Basically there's no reason not to do the short-term lease.

Posted by
4152 posts

It can take over a year for traffic tickets to catch up with you in Italy. I wouldn't be surprised if you get something in the mail for those speeding fines.

Donna

Posted by
1419 posts

Donna, That is true with rental cars where the rental company owns the vehicle, but with short term lease cars the agency doesn't care because they didn't own the car when the offense occurred.

Posted by
792 posts

I'm not saying I intended to break any traffic laws. I don't know where the cameras are for speed or ZTL's. I just kinda figured I'd rack up a fine or two. But nothing after a year. I'll be back for a couple of months next year. Love the country and the people.

Posted by
104 posts

I also did a lease with AutoEurope -- great experience! Having a brand new car is also very different from what you get when you rent a car here in Italy. The full coverage insurance with the French auto lease program is exceptional. Zero deductible, roadside assistance, plus medical coverage are things that you won't find in a traditional rental unless you pay for them.

And for anyone who stays longer than the 6 months (a little less if you take delivery of the car outside France), buying a good used car here is not that hard and is often less expensive than renting a car for 6 months. I'm the happy owner of an Alfa Romeo (station wagon but hey, it is a great driving car). All the nay sayers that told me buying a car was a nightmare here .... wrong! You must simply follow the rules, like any place else!