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Economical automobile for long tour of Europe

Economical automobile for long tour of Europe

Mar 29th, 2001, 09:16 AM
  #1  
Libbie
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Economical automobile for long tour of Europe

What's the best, most cost-efficient way to provide a car for ourselves for a year long driving tour of Europe? Has anyone shipped a car over? Bought a new car there and shipped it home? Bought a used car and sold it when it was time to leave? The best rental deal we've found is $18 a day, but that will be more than $6000., and that car can't be driven in the east, and we are exposed to liabilities for damage to the car. Is there a better way? We're going to begin in England and could also end our trip there. I'd really love to hear how others have solved this problem.
 
Mar 29th, 2001, 10:53 AM
  #2  
Meg
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Libbie, many many years ago my family bought a new car in Germany and had it shipped home. My parents started about six months before we left, went to their local Volkswagen dealership to begin the arrangments. When we flew into Frankfurt we went the next day to our appointed Volkswagen dealership and spent about 1/2 hour filling out the paperwork (the payment for the car, etc. had all been done in advance) and then we were off on our way. We drove all over and dropped it off just outside of London. Since the car was a model that would have been shipped to the States anyway there wasn't a charge for the transatlantic shipment, just the shipment of the car from England back to Germany for the catalytic converter to be put on (I said this was a while ago!). Anyway...about six weeks later our car arrived in Albany, NY and we went to pick it up (we live about 3 hours away). All in all it was pretty easy and although the car didn't cost any less by buying it in the manufacturing country, we didn't have to pay for a hefty rental on our trip.

Now, 16 years later I can't tell you how that would work, as I imagine some European cars are made in the States and vice versa (as it is with Japan). If you do want to go new I'd recommend checking with a local dealership in your area for a European car manufacturer and see what they tell you.

I did have a friend who did the buying a used car & selling it before he left. For him it worked out great, but I'd be nervous about getting a lemon and shelling out $$ for repairs.
 
Mar 29th, 2001, 11:07 AM
  #3  
Rex
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For what it's worth, the literature for Saab's "buy-it/pick-it-up-in-Europe" is geared exactly to your needs. I don't know if it is indeed your best solution, but they must have decided that people in your situation are a match for their marketing message.

And if there is a better (high-end) car for enjoying a year on the road in Europe, I can't imagine what it would be.

Best wishes,

Rex

 
Mar 29th, 2001, 12:19 PM
  #4  
Art
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I believe that you can purchase some cars like a Renoult with a sell back option that I've heard good things about on the forum. Volkswagen no longer offers a buy here for delivery in Europe, but along with Saab, both Volvo, Mercedes and BMW offer those plans. When you stay for more then 6 months (I believe) you can bring the car back as used which can save you quite a bit of money.
 
Mar 29th, 2001, 05:12 PM
  #5  
John
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You can pick up a new Volvo, Saab, Mercedes, BMW or Porsche in Europe, then have them ship it home for free when you're done. You can get details through the manufacturers' websites, although it takes digging. There are sticker savings (around 7-9% of US price) and of course no car rental costs in Europe. It's a blast.
Renault and Citroen have purchase-sellback plans that are well priced compared to rentals, see www.renaultusa.com. Unfortunately, neither manufacturer's cars are sold in N. America so you'll have to leave it behind.
 
Mar 30th, 2001, 08:47 AM
  #6  
Libbie
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Thanks to all who answered my question. I'm afraid we're not in the market for a BMW or other expensive car. We are retirees, looking for the most economical way to have use of a car in Europe for the year.
 
Mar 30th, 2001, 10:01 AM
  #7  
John
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Libbie, if you're on the east coast you might look into shipping a car over, used to be around $1000 - $1500 each way, which for a year might be a cheaper way to go. Talk to any reputable shipping agent or talk to a local European car dealer or distributor to see if their inbound shippers offer "backhaul" services. There's also a limited market for US "collector" vehicles (often big pony cars or the like), so you could sell your wheels at the end of the year. Probably pretty tough.
If you do consider shipping, make sure you have all the insurance issues well worked out, including calls to various consulates for individual countries' standards.
FYI, though, there are a couple of BMW and Volvo models (like the Volvo 40 series) which are really not that expensive compared to other cars, and which can offer savings (and resale profits?) on your return.
 
Mar 30th, 2001, 11:28 AM
  #8  
Kevin
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Do not ship a car to Europe. It is much cheaper to buy one there, and then sell it when you leave. Otherwise, you will have shipping and import costs to pay.

And although you are starting in England, I wouldn't recommend buying the car there, as that is one of the few countries in Europe with right-hand-drive cars. Also, cars are more expensive in the UK than in the rest of Europe.

But I would also try to check with a new car dealer in Europe. Explain your situation, and how you want a lease for a year. They may be able to help you out.
 
Mar 30th, 2001, 05:44 PM
  #9  
Libbie
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Thanks for all the good ideas. You've given me a number of things to think about and explore. I appreciate your help.

 

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