Tips and Inspiration for your European holiday

 

Planning to see Europe by car?  Have you considered leasing a vehicle instead of renting one?  If you plan on hiring a car in Europe but will need it for 21 days or more, leasing can mean big savings.  It’s just like long term car rental only cheaper!

 
Tax free leasing in Europe


In this step by step guide to the vehicle leasing program in Europe (sometimes called Eurolease or Eurodrive), I explain how to lease a car for your travels and share the pros and cons and of this excellent option that is open to non-EU residents.



What is the vehicle leasing program? 

The Leasing program is available for durations of between 21 and 175 days and is simply an agreement whereby you purchase a brand new vehicle with the guarantee that the manufacturer will 'buy it back' from you at the end of your contract. 


Whilst that can sound a bit daunting and that you might have to fork out tens of thousands of dollars for a car, in actual fact, you're paying less than what you would for a hire car for the same period but you're getting a brand, spanking new vehicle which you just hand back at the end of your trip thanks to the lease buyback agreement.


Collection and drop off at any of the depots in France is complimentary but fees do apply when you pick up and/or drop off your vehicle in other country.  These fees can be reduced significantly if you are able to take advantage of the Early Bird offers (more info below) that are released each year.

 

Peugeot leasing Europe


Some of the benefits of the tax-free leasing program include:

  • Unlimited kilometres
  • Full insurance with no excess (no added Collision Damage Waiver fees to pay)
  • 24 hour roadside assistance
  • Brand new car straight from the factory floor with a full factory warranty
  • Most vehicles include an in-built GPS at no additional cost
  • Guarantee you will receive the model you request
  • Lower rates than regular car hire
  • Additional drivers allowed for free (conditions apply)
  • Driver doesn't need to be over 25 years of age
  • You can take the car into some normally 'restricted' countries like Hungary, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina to name a few
  • Choice of almost 30 locations in Europe and UK from which you can collect and return your vehicle


CLICK THE BANNER BELOW FOR A FREE QUOTE


DriveAway Holidays Peugeot Leasing in Europe


Who is eligible for the leasing program?

The program is open to drivers aged 18 years or older who reside outside the European Union and hold a valid drivers' licence.  If you or one of your travelling companions is under 21, car hire can be difficult to secure so leasing a car in Europe is an excellent option.


The driver must not stay in Europe for more than 185 days in any consecutive 12 month period, and may not work during the period of the contract. 


Full terms and conditions are shown on the website after you request a quote.


Peugeot estate


Early Bird offers

The tax-free leasing program is great value year round but the participating manufacturers also bring out Early Bird offers each year.  Early Bird offers usually include free days (ie. lease/pay for 21 days and get 3 additional days free) and 50% off collection and return fees. 


Early Bird car lease deals are generally on sale from around September/October for leases the following year.  


Below is a summary of 2019 Early Bird deals to give you an idea of the offers available each year.


Peugeot Leasing Early Bird Offers

  • Receive 7 FREE days PLUS 50% off Delivery and Collection Fees
  • Valid for pick up: 01 January 2019 - 31 December 2019
  • Valid for all Peugeot vehicles
  • Book & Pay by 29 March 2019.


Click here to get a free quote and check terms and conditions.


Renault Eurodrive Early Bird Deals

  • Heavily discounted prices on all vehicles and 50% off Delivery & Collection fees!
  • Valid for pick up: 01 February 2019 - 31 January 2020 at all Renault locations
  • Book by 28 February 2019. Payment due by invoice due date.


Click here to get a free quote and check terms and conditions.


Citroen Leasing Early Bird Offers

  • Receive 7 FREE days PLUS 50% off Delivery and Collection Fees! Valid for all Citroen vehicles.
  • Valid for pick up: 01 January 2019 - 31 December 2019
  • Book & Pay by 29 March 2019


Click here to get a free quote and check terms and conditions.


DS Leasing Early Bird Offers

  • 7 FREE days PLUS 50% off Delivery and Collection Fees
  • Valid for pick up: 01 January 2019 - 31 December 2019
  • Book & Pay by 29 March 2019


Click here to get a free quote and check terms and conditions.


Self drive Europe


Which
car leasing companies offer the program? 

There are currently four manufacturers that offer the long term car lease program in Europe.  All are French manufacturers. They are:


Peugeot, Renault, Citroen and DS.


Your car leasing options may depend on the location from which you wish to collect or return the vehicle to and the size of the vehicle you require as not all manufacturers have the same depot locations or vehicle sizes.

Tax-free car leasing in Europe


Peugeot Leasing Europe

With 11 models ranging from the nimble 208 to the 8-seater Traveller van to choose from, Peugeot Eurodrive has a vehicle to suit every driver.


Renault Lease Europe

For the largest range of vehicle sizes to choose from, try Renault Leasing.  They offer 13 models ranging from the compact Clio 4 to the 7-seater Dacia Stepway van.


Citroen Leasing Europe

The Citroen Eurodrive selection includes a choice of 9 models ranging from the C3 to the Space Tourer.


DS Euro Pass

DS, a division of Citroen, offers two vehicles in its leasing program, the DS3 Crossback and DS7 Crossback.


driving in europeImage © Adobe Stock Photo / neirfy


I have personally booked car leasing in Europe through both Peugeot and Citroen.  You’ll recognise other lease cars on your travels around Europe by their distinctive red number plates.


As I said above, the whole contract signing thing can seem a bit scary, but the program is definitely legitimate and has been operating for many years.

 
Our first Peugeot lease was in 2000, followed by 2005, 2008, 2014 and 2015. We have again leased a Peugeot for our 2019 European travels. 


Europe driving guide ebook


What does it cost to lease a car in Europe?

The first thing you’ll want to do is get a free quote so you can compare car lease rates with the prices for regular car hire.


To do this, visit this link and choose your preferred vehicle size, pick up and drop off locations and dates, whether you want a diesel or petrol model, manual or automatic transmission, and add any optional extras like GPS or child seats.


If you are collecting and renting your vehicle to a French depot, no pick up or drop off fees apply however if you are using depots outside of France, collection and return fees are around $200 to $300.  These fees are usually discounted as part of the Early Bird offers.


The website will then show you the price of your lease. Any discounts that you qualify for, such as Early Bird discounts, will be reflected in the price displayed.


Citroen leasing quote


Click here to get a quote for your tax-free vehicle lease


Our cost for 2019

For our 2019 European trip, my husband and I have again leased a vehicle.  We’ll be joined by two friends for a week of our travels so we have booked a Peugeot 2008 to give us slightly more room for passengers and luggage.


We’ve selected a diesel model with automatic transmission (manual vehicles are cheaper) and the car comes with in-built GPS. We’ll collect our car in Montpellier, France and drop off it at Milan Malpensa Airport (Italy) 36 days later.


We were able to take advantage of an early bird discount as we booked before 30 November last year, as well as a loyalty discount (three days free) for being past clients of Peugeot Open Europe.


Our 36 day lease cost $2823 in total - less than $79 a day. 


A drop off fee (usually around $200 to $300) applies to our lease as we are returning the vehicle to an Italian depot, however if you are picking up and dropping off your car at depots in France, no fees will apply.



If you've now decided that leasing a car for your driving holiday will be better value than Europe car rental, below is a quick summary of the booking and payment procedure.

>> A great place to check driving distances and travel times is on the AA's Route Planner. <<


Booking your Peugeot, Renault, Citroen or DS lease vehicle


Reserve your vehicle and make your payment

Once you are happy with the quote you have received online, it's time to reserve your preferred vehicle and make your payment. Full payment is required at the time of booking, $500 of which is non-refundable should you cancel the booking.


A credit card fee of 1.2% applies to payments made via Visa or Mastercard and a 1.8% applies to American Express payments.


When your booking and payment has been confirmed, you will be emailed the lease contract to sign and return.

 
Peugeot lease


Peugeot leasing booking


Receive your documentation

About six weeks prior to your vehicle collection, you'll be emailed your leasing documents. These will include a voucher to present on collection of your car as well as instructions and maps showing the location of the depots where you will collect and return your vehicle


Vehicle collections and returns MUST BE confirmed four business days prior. If you are collecting your car immediately on arrival at the airport and have advised the booking agent of your flight details, re-confirmation is not necessary.


If, however, you are making your own way to the collection depot it is essential that you make an appointment with the depot so that your vehicle is ready for you on arrival.


Not all depots are manned all day so if you haven’t reconfirmed your collection time, you may arrive to find the depot closed and no-one in attendance.


Contact details (telephone and email) for re-confirmation are provided with your final documentation. Drop offs should also be re-confirmed four business days prior.

 
Europe road trip


Collecting your vehicle

When you arrive at the depot at the designated time, a representative will run through the contract with you, ask to see your valid driver’s licence (an International Driving Permit is recommended) and run through the intricacies of the vehicle with you - where the indicators are, how to select reverse gear (not all cars are the same and we got caught with this one, once!!), where to find the bonnet release, etc. etc.


You will also be reminded to make an appointment for your vehicle drop off. Staff at all the depots we have used previously have spoken very good English.


Unlike regular car hire, your lease vehicle will only be provided with about 10 to 15 litres of fuel, usually enough to get you out of the city and on your way. You are not required to return the vehicle with a full tank and there are no charges if you don’t.

Citroen Euro Pass

 

Returning your vehicle

Just as you need to make an appointment to collect your vehicle, you also need to do the same four days prior to returning it.  Contact details will be provided with your documentation.


You then hand over the keys and the registration papers to the Peugeot Open Europe agent and end your 'ownership' of the vehicle. 


DriveAway Holidays Peugeot Leasing in Europe


You can read all my driving tips and suggested European self-drive itineraries here >>


*The above information applies to Peugeot Open Europe leases. Renault and Citroen leases may have different procedures and conditions. All prices are in Australian dollars.

 

This article was originally published in 2014 but has been updated with current information.


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Tax free vehicle leasing program in Europe

 

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Comments   

# Darryl 2018-05-19 03:02
This seems to be a great alternative! Thanks for the suggestion.
Reply
# Carolyn 2018-05-25 11:56
You're welcome. It is definitely a great program.
Reply
# Tom Hardy 2018-05-09 19:37
Nice article..
Thanks for this best guide regarding to tax free vehicle program. Thanks for sharing it.
Reply
# Peter Roper 2018-03-28 08:49
WE have travelled regularly in France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Luxembourg, Holland and Switzerand since 2001. Initially we purchased older cars in England, however, when we knew we would be going for three consecutive years bought a better quality Peugot 307 Wagon. Fantaqstic vqalue fantastic car. The the Brits changed the law requiringthe car to be insured even when stored off the road on a private estate. After that we started leasing Peugeots and using them in UK as well. One year we had an accident in France ( the French driver told me in Paris he would have been guilty but in a rural area I was guilty.) The leasing company covered ALL damage costs for both cars. A month from now I will there again. I have never been asked to show an IDP and found out than other some other countries issue them for a two year period. They are a racket we have to put up with as all they do is provide a basic translation into several languages. Incidentally they are no use in Barbados, you have to buy a local licence for peanuts.
Reply
# Carolyn 2018-03-28 14:11
Thanks for your comments, Peter. That's great to hear that your accident damages were covered by the leasing company.

We have never been asked to show an IDP either however I believe it is a legal requirement of some countries (rather than a requirement of hire car companies) and if you are pulled over by the police and can't provide one, you can be fined. I have written a separate article about IDP's and a couple of people have commented that they have been fined for not presenting an IDP when asked to by the police.

Hopefully you'll never be in that situation to test it out!!

All the best for your upcoming travels in Europe.
Reply
# Dexter 2017-12-19 09:13
In the Peugeot Car Leasing Terms & Conditions you are required to:
"Vehicle Service: Please refer to the service book provided with your car for the full servicing requirements. A warranty inspection may be required at 10,000kms and a full service required at 20,000 kms. The full servicing cost of the vehicle is at the driver's own expense."
Do you have any idea of the cost of the warranty inspection and service and the time/effort taken to get these done?
Reply
# Carolyn 2017-12-19 11:17
Hi Dexter,
I personally don't know the cost or the time needed for the warranty and servicing requirements as all the vehicles we have leased have travelled less than 10,000 kilometres when we returned them.
My advice is to check with the agent through whom you leased the vehicle, or if you did it online, contact the Peugeot Open Europe office in your country. In Australia, the office is in Sydney and you can find the contact details by Googling 'Peugeot Open Europe'.
I hope that helps, and enjoy your travels.
Reply
# Carolyn 2014-08-15 09:32
Quoting Fleur:
Im sorry to hear of Barb's not good experience. Luckily ours was the opposite. We have used Peugeot eurolease twice. The second year our car was damaged twice in Perpignan - first our car tyre was slashed, Peugeot assistance offered to send a garage man to change the tyre. My husband was already changing it while I was on the phone though, so they gave me instructions on where to go to get a replacement tyre at their expense. They phoned ahead so when we arrived the garage knew what we were there for. Peugeot Assistance were fantastic, each time I phoned, they quickly found an English speaking person to talk to me. A few days later our sun roof was smashed by vandals. Again Peugot assistance were super helpful. We took the car to the same Peugot garage for repair & Peugot arranged for a rental car for us to use while the repair was made.we were fully reimbursed for anything we had to pay for. The best service ever!

Thanks for your comments, Fleur. It's very reassuring to know that you received great service from Peugeot when you had some problems with your car. I would hope (and except) to receive the same service if anything ever went wrong with a vehicle I was leasing in Europe.
Reply
# Fleur 2014-08-15 06:25
Im sorry to hear of Barb's not good experience. Luckily ours was the opposite. We have used Peugeot eurolease twice. The second year our car was damaged twice in Perpignan - first our car tyre was slashed, Peugeot assistance offered to send a garage man to change the tyre. My husband was already changing it while I was on the phone though, so they gave me instructions on where to go to get a replacement tyre at their expense. They phoned ahead so when we arrived the garage knew what we were there for. Peugeot Assistance were fantastic, each time I phoned, they quickly found an English speaking person to talk to me. A few days later our sun roof was smashed by vandals. Again Peugot assistance were super helpful. We took the car to the same Peugot garage for repair & Peugot arranged for a rental car for us to use while the repair was made.we were fully reimbursed for anything we had to pay for. The best service ever!
Reply
# Bill Discombe 2014-07-04 16:16
Bill
Barb, we leased a Peugeot last year with no problems but we are looking at leasing again next year. we would like to know how you got the problem of the car fixed as we could find our self in the same situation
Reply
# Carolyn 2014-07-02 18:17
Quoting barb:
We also leased a brand new Peugeot to tour around France last year. All was fine until the car suddenly totally broke down in a small town in Provence, and then we were on our own. The Peugeot service/backup did not want to know about it and we were tossed from pillar to post. Scores of phonecalls (in French), lots of pleading and a day wasted. Totally unacceptable backup service for leased vehicles it seems. Beware that it is different from hiring a car!

Oh no, Barb - that sounds like a real pain! I've never heard of this happening before and I wouldn't expect a brand new car (like the lease vehicles are) to break down, so what bad luck you had. It's interesting (and a little worrying) that the Peugeot backup service wasn't as good as promised. I'd be really interested to hear how you resolved the problem.
Reply
# barb 2014-07-02 09:52
We also leased a brand new Peugeot to tour around France last year. All was fine until the car suddenly totally broke down in a small town in Provence, and then we were on our own. The Peugeot service/backup did not want to know about it and we were tossed from pillar to post. Scores of phonecalls (in French), lots of pleading and a day wasted. Totally unacceptable backup service for leased vehicles it seems. Beware that it is different from hiring a car!
Reply