Leasing a Car in France for a Month

Old Aug 16th, 2021, 05:54 AM
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Leasing a Car in France for a Month

We are looking to lease a car in France for a month.

We have driven often in Europe, including France, but only for a week or so at at time.

So have never had a chance to take advantages of the lower rates for leasing which is available only for a longer time.

Any particular companies to consider? I see that AutoEurope offers leasing of Citroen and Peugeot. And auto-tt offers Renault.

Available models (all about the same price, based on my initial searches) are Citroen 208 (compact), Citroen 2008 (small SUV), Peugeot 308 (compact), Peugeot 2008 (small SUV), Renault Captur (small SUV). Could have gas or diesel (do require automatic). Or on the Citroen 208 also electric (wondering about charging stations, would have to see what is available at the rental, are these available out and about like at grocery stores here in the USA?)

We will be staying in one place in a rental in Provence, likely flying into Marseille and picking it up there and returning it there. Just taking day trips. Will have light luggage. We know all about Europe's narrow roads, stone walls, prickly hedges, tight parking. But we are used to driving a small SUV here at home. And we will have at least some of the time 4 adults in it.

Appreciate any advice about making a choice here.

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Old Aug 16th, 2021, 06:33 AM
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We have done this three times over the last 6 years, each time leasing directly from Renault. I think it is cheaper then renting, especially when you consider that a Renault lease includes insurance and you don't have to pay extra for additional drivers or, I think, GPS. The advantages: price, always a new car, and ability to choose what you want. We always drive automatics, and those can be scarce when renting. Some disadvantages: It may be difficult to locate the leasing office (usually at an airport) and you have to drive a car with a red license plate, advertising that you're a foreigner. You can do the math and decide whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages given your situation. Good luck.
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Old Aug 16th, 2021, 06:47 AM
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My sister does it every year or so, again direct from Renault at an airport. I find the best to holiday to limit your travel packing. If you run out buy something and use the gite's washing machine. Go small every time, especially if your daily trip usage will be short and sweet.
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Old Aug 16th, 2021, 07:06 AM
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It used to be that leasing and renting a car equalized around 56 days. This assumes that the basic rate offered through Autoeurope and Kemwel was used in the rental, and meant the inconvenience of changing rentals mid-stream since the credit card covered no more than 30 days at a time. But rental rates have risen faster than lease rates. It used to be that the cheapest provider through Autoeurope was Europecar, and that is no longer true. If cost is an issue, a more recent comparison is in order. Autoeurope also offers a Renault lease, which is cheaper than CitroŽn or Peugeot. A quick search indicates that a rental from 8/21 to 9/21 would cost $1473 for a Peugeot 2008 Basic rate, while a Renault Mťgane leased for the same period of time would cost $1580. The lease would be a diesel manual, the rental is probably a manual shift also.
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Old Aug 16th, 2021, 07:23 AM
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Iím currently in the middle of my fifth lease in five years with Autoeurope. Iíve been very happy with the service and the vehicles, and have had to use the insurance once as well. No deductible and no questions, just dropped it off, told them what happened and no other questions were asked. Although I went with a Peugeot, the programs for Renault and CitroŽn are basically the same.
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Old Aug 16th, 2021, 07:29 AM
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Next week, we plan to pick-up our Renault lease (via AutoEurope) in Rome. We did have some extra paperwork, since we apparently had to register the car in our name in France. It is for 30 days. At the time we did it, we asked others here for an explanation of this too-good-to-be-true offer. The best explanation was that they turn around and sell the used cars, presumably for some profit. Still makes no sense to us. At a time when there are global car shortages, new and rental, we are renting a Romanian built Dacia, through Renault, for about $1,050. Comparable rental rates when we booked were much more and eventually peaked at about triple that amount. Glad we booked early, with the usual free cancellation opportunity. As noted, the rate includes insurance, and we have paid as much as $30/day for rental insurance in the past in Europe. This obviously includes a commission to Auto Europe, their own cost of processing this lease, etc. At best, it might be a break-even for them, just to turn a new car into a used one? Still makes no business sense to us, but, if it works out, we see it as a winner for us.
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Old Aug 16th, 2021, 07:48 AM
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Thanks for all the helpful responses.

Since compact and small SUV are about the same price ($1800 for 4 weeks for automatic) any thoughts on pluses and minuses of which type?

We would be doing only day trips around the area of Arles, Avignon, Aix en Provence, Marseilles or maybe a bit further. The specs I find on line as to fuel economy are not that different in terms of expected MPG. And we are used to a small SUV at home.
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Old Aug 16th, 2021, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by laurie_ann View Post
Thanks for all the helpful responses.

Since compact and small SUV are about the same price ($1800 for 4 weeks for automatic) any thoughts on pluses and minuses of which type?

We would be doing only day trips around the area of Arles, Avignon, Aix en Provence, Marseilles or maybe a bit further. The specs I find on line as to fuel economy are not that different in terms of expected MPG. And we are used to a small SUV at home.
I would go with the SUV because of the higher sitting position - better views especially in traffic.
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Old Aug 16th, 2021, 08:52 AM
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I hate sitting way up and driving an SUV. If you are not used to it, it can be frustrating. In general, you don't see as well immediately around your vehicle, so for me it's a worse view.

Not sure what the situation with leased cars is nowadays, but when leased a car in the past, I was able to return it to a different location within the same country without a drop-off fee.
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Old Aug 16th, 2021, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by shelemm View Post
I hate sitting way up and driving an SUV. If you are not used to it, it can be frustrating. In general, you don't see as well immediately around your vehicle, so for me it's a worse view.

Not sure what the situation with leased cars is nowadays, but when leased a car in the past, I was able to return it to a different location within the same country without a drop-off fee.
It used to be that there was a delivery cost both ways (about $150 one way) if leasing outside France from one of the French Big Three; but that my have changed.
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Old Aug 16th, 2021, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
Next week, we plan to pick-up our Renault lease (via AutoEurope) in Rome. We did have some extra paperwork, since we apparently had to register the car in our name in France. It is for 30 days. At the time we did it, we asked others here for an explanation of this too-good-to-be-true offer. The best explanation was that they turn around and sell the used cars, presumably for some profit. Still makes no sense to us. At a time when there are global car shortages, new and rental, we are renting a Romanian built Dacia, through Renault, for about $1,050. Comparable rental rates when we booked were much more and eventually peaked at about triple that amount. Glad we booked early, with the usual free cancellation opportunity. As noted, the rate includes insurance, and we have paid as much as $30/day for rental insurance in the past in Europe. This obviously includes a commission to Auto Europe, their own cost of processing this lease, etc. At best, it might be a break-even for them, just to turn a new car into a used one? Still makes no business sense to us, but, if it works out, we see it as a winner for us.
Car buyers who live in the EU must pay a 20% VAT on NEW cars but not on used. The lease program enables the automakers to lease a car to a non-EU person at full price, but avoiding the VAT. When the lease is over, they take back a virtually new car, which they can then sell to a French buyer (most likely car rental agencies) at full market value, again avoiding the VAT since the car is now "used".
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Old Aug 16th, 2021, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
It used to be that there was a delivery cost both ways (about $150 one way) if leasing outside France from one of the French Big Three; but that my have changed.
There is no additional delivery cost for picking up in France and returning to a different location in France. There is still an additional cost to pick up or return in another country, but I'm not sure what the amount is now.
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Old Aug 17th, 2021, 02:26 AM
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As always, if you have the chance to rent or lease a diesel car for the same price, go for it. You get ~25% better mileage which means saving money and you don't have to stop for gas as much.

Last edited by shelemm; Aug 17th, 2021 at 02:30 AM.
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Old Aug 17th, 2021, 03:38 AM
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A question about diesel. Are pumps available even in smaller towns? We don't expect to be out on motorways too often.

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Old Aug 17th, 2021, 06:45 AM
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Diesel was a popular option to the point that the diesel rentals were more expensive than gasoline rentals. So any fuel station will have diesel.
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Old Aug 17th, 2021, 06:54 AM
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weekend fuel pumps and automatic payments??
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Old Aug 17th, 2021, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
weekend fuel pumps and automatic payments??
It shouldn't make a difference.
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Old Aug 17th, 2021, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by shelemm View Post
As always, if you have the chance to rent or lease a diesel car for the same price, go for it. You get ~25% better mileage which means saving money and you don't have to stop for gas as much.
Laurie, just don't look for the word "diesel" at a gas pump.
It's "gasoil".
And yes, 20% better mileage, 20% cheaper price at pump = 36% less cost/mile
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Old Aug 17th, 2021, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by laurie_ann View Post
A question about diesel. Are pumps available even in smaller towns? We don't expect to be out on motorways too often.
We have had diesels for 3 out of 5 leases (we would have done for all of them, but for availability on our dates). We spend most of our time in the countryside, and have never encountered a station that did not offer diesel.
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Old Aug 17th, 2021, 09:26 AM
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Thanks so much for all the helpful responses!
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