Long Term car rentals
Need a long term car rental in Europe?
Several manufactures have programs for non-EU residents. These are short-term leases that take advantage of a tax loophole. You get a brand new car for 21 days to 6 months. At the end of the contract the manufacturer buys back the car.
Price includes zero deductible insurance and 24-hour roadside assistance.
Several friends have rented Peugeots. Google found me programs for Renault and VW. Not sure if they are factory sponsored. I didn't put in the links but they are easy enough to find.
I'm pretty sure my parents did this with us during several summers when I was a kid and it is a great program - also very unknown in the U.S.
Maybe I'll have to try it out and write an article. :angel:
ED with a new BMW would be my first choice. But what if you aren't taking delivery of a new BMW?
Renting a BMW for 2 months is expensive. I spot checked Hertz using the AutoClub of Southern California discount code. A 5 Series or similar from Hertz from MUC for 2 months is 5109€ with CDW. A C Klasse or similar is 3931€ with CDW. And of course most rental companies will often put you in a "similar" car or one from a higher rate class. That means you could reserve a C Klasse and end up "upgraded" to Ford Kuga.
62 days in a Peugoet 508 is 2317€ from MUC and 2017€ with pickup and drop off in France.
A Peugeot 308 is 1866€ from MUC and 1566€ in France.
The French cars are better to drive than the typical Aveo,Verso or Malibu you'd get in the US. Where they fall down is in long term reliability. That won't be an issue with a brand new Citroen or Peugeot. If something does go wrong there is 24-hour assistance. Renault is well known to have poor new-car reliability although they've been improving.
The PSA cars also compare well against the previous generation Mercedes A and B Klasse. The old A isn't good and the W245 B was awful. There is a new A and B for 2012 and I haven't driven them yet.
We've test driven all of the Peugeot passenger cars from the 107 to the 508. I've had a few as short term rentals as well. We've looked at some of the Citroens too. We have an appointment to test drive a couple of Citroen vans this weekend.
107/C1 is ok as a city car but not something suitable for a long run between cities.
The 207 was always my favourite. I saw it as an alternative to a MINI. The 207 was softer, more comfortable and had a usable rear seat. The MINI was more fun.
I've sat in a 208 and didn't much care for what they've done.
The 308 is ok but nothing special.
The 308cc feels heavy. Compared with other Peugeots the ride is stiff. The top mechanism works well. Nice seats and stereo too.
508 is a very nice autobahn cruiser. The ride is on the soft side compared to a German car. That makes for a comfortable trip and there isn't as much roll as you'd expect. As long as you stay within the 508's capabilities it is easy to live with. It is a front wheel drive and would never compete with a 5 series. The station wagon version could be perfect for that month long family trip though Europe.
The Citroen DS3 is stylish and interesting. I'd take one over a 208. The DS3 doesn't handle nearly as well as a MINI, even though they do share engines. We owned a MINI and it was terrible for long trips. I'd much rather spend a day in a DS3 or 207.
I have often thought about the short term lease program but never tried it.
Since most if not all of my Euro travel is solo now, trains/trams/metro/buses fill my needs. That supplemented by LCC airlines for longer hauls covers the bases.
Of course ED is the first choice but the funds for 2-3 a year are a bit much, even if it were allowed. :D
Thanks for the insight Andrew.
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