Short-term car lease in Europe -- cons?

Old Feb 20th, 2021, 04:27 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 174
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Short-term car lease in Europe -- cons?

Considering short-term car lease for 3 months of travel in Europe. May lease for only part of 3 months. Appears if you want or need a car over 3 or 4 weeks that leasing is a better option. Found many pros over renting: new car, under warranty, includes road side assistance, no deductible insurance, possibly GPS, no extra charge for additional driver (2 of us), less expensive with inclusions. The only con is that there are less pick up and drop locations but we could make that work, and, of course, a different drop off location is a fee just like rentals. And the lease forbids entrance in some very eastern countries but, again, we could work around that.

Soooo, have you leased in Europe? What was your experience? Pros? Cons? Tips? Considerations? Any issues when returning the car?

Please note that I have researched tons but Fodors folks always seem to have the true scoop!

Thanks for any and all information!
kwood1955 is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2021, 04:42 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 1,057
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you pick up and drop off in France I thought you avoided all the drop fees. Usually easy enough if you fly into one of Paris or Nice and out of the other.

The down side is your choice is limited to French cars.

Renault,Peugeot and Nissan. I wonder with the merger if they'll add Fiat and Alfa.

Only for non EU citizens and residents.

I think you'll find most rental companies will also ban entry into the same Eastern countries.
Traveler_Nick is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2021, 08:48 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,941
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We have leased for many years now, and truthfully I can say that we are very happy with it. I can tell you the only negative we found was that one year (before COVID) my husband had a medical issue come up literally one week before we were leaving for Europe and we had to delay our trip be 3 months. Because the car was already registered in our names, there was a substantially charge(something like $1200 if I recall correctly) for cancelling (clearly laid out in the terms). Since we were going to lease that same year, I remember that the agency, autofrance.net:
ttps://www.autofrance.net/ worked with us to get us a discount and apply some of that charge so that the pain wasn't as great. But if you had to cancel entirely you would probably be stuck with that charge, whereas with a car rental you can mostly cancel anytime up to the rental date with out penalty. And if you carry travel insurance, I assume it would help cover the penalty cost of canceling the lease. We never carry travel insurance because we stay 4-6 months so the cost is very high given our ages and lengths of stay.

The other thing that I think most folks would find a negative is that compared to a car rental, you really should lease probably 3 months or so before your trip in order to guarantee you will get the exact model you want and for sure if you want to make sure they will have an automatic transmission available. You will also probably be able to leverage more of the specials they offer by booking early. So this is probably a "con" compared to renting.

Having told you the biggest risk, I cannot say enough about the positives of leasing. I won't describe them in depth because I have written about them before on this site. I agree that the pickup sites are more limited than with rental cars, but the other pluses greatly outweigh that in IMO, and we pretty much always land in Bordeaux at the airport, so we have a known place that we pick up.

Here are a couple of things that might be helpful as hints from our experience:

With COVID, they are desperate to lease. This year they are offering free drop offs or pickup in many places outside France: AMSTERDAM - BELGIUM - GERMANY - ITALY - PORTUGAL - SPAIN - SWITZERLAND are the ones they list on there website. Usually that is around 200 euros.
They are offering a free tank of gas. Usually you get the car with almost no gas direct from the factory
And there are other specials but based on 2020, so who knows what will happen next year.

I would also say that although we have used multiple agencies, ideamerge is another one, we have preferred autofrance.net because they have a US office that we can call and talk to about details and other things before we leave the US. This was very helpful when we needed to cancel a week before pickup.

Also, be aware that autofrance.net offers a returning customer discount and this has always made it the least expensive fore us when we compare it to the other agencies. They only carry Peugeot so we now pretty much only drive Peugeot in France ttcars, https://www.ttcar.com/en/ttcar offers other car brands, but the last time I checked in late 2019 to lease the car we picked up in March 2020 (unbeknownst to us we landed in France 1 week before the total COVID lockdown!), their prices weren't competitive compared to ttcar given our returning customer discount.

Feel free to contact me directly. I am happy to help you with any questions-it can be a bit confusing the first time you lease but well worth the learning curve!



jpie is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2021, 05:19 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,941
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry for the typos-I was on the run this morning, so didn't edit and then missed my window to do so.....
jpie is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2021, 04:34 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 162
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
jpie- Are they always new cars? Nothing makes me happier renting a car (especially in Ireland with the hedges) that has around 70,000kms that has some scratches but is mechanically in good shape. I've found taking the second smallest style car if it's only myself and spouse is also nice. We wind up driving down some small gravel roads wherever we are just to see what's out there. Driving a stick helps for flexibility in renting and cost.

Thanks for OP asking this questions, wasn't aware this was a thing.
bdokeefe is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2021, 05:20 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 174
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
WOW!! Thanks for ALL the very valuable and very informative information! Some situations I hadn't even considered or thought of. Thanks for comparing lease companies, the tips about 2020/2021 discounts, and the heads up about last minute cancelations. More research for me - but now I have some answers and direction for things to check on. Again, THANKS!!
kwood1955 is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2021, 07:30 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,941
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bdokeefe View Post
jpie- Are they always new cars?
Yes they are new cars-they usually have only 20KM or so when we take delivery. But you don't have to worry about getting scratches since the insurance coverage is really fully complete-no questions asked. One year we got a ding on the windshield and we were afraid that the crack was going to spread and the company sent a windshield repair directly to our home on the coast to repair it for us. I was amazed!.

Also, to the OP, be sure when you compare the leasing to renting you take into consideration the cost of total lability insurance when renting-otherwise it really isn't a fair comparison. I know some people feel comfortable renting cars using various types of US insurance through credit cards, etc. but we don't. Since we stay many months we want to be fully covered "hassle free".

Also, remember that with leasing you can choose exactly the make and model you want which is really a plus.
jpie is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
OntDave
Europe
28
Dec 2nd, 2009 10:49 AM
Helena
Europe
4
Mar 17th, 1998 08:32 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:45 PM.