A guide for Australians travelling to France

If you’ve decided to get around France or Europe by car, you may have assumed that hiring a vehicle is the only way to go. However, depending on which countries you plan to visit and the length of time you’ll need the car for, a more economical option may be leasing.

© julianelliott - Fotolia.comTax-free leasing is an option available to non-EU residents through the French car manufacturers Peugeot, Citroen and Renault. Leasing is available for ‘rentals’ of at least 17 days and the longer you lease the vehicle for, the cheaper the daily rate becomes. The leasing arrangement basically grants you temporary ownership of a brand new vehicle for the agreed lease price (based on the duration you will lease the car for) with the manufacturer agreeing to take over the ownership at the conclusion of the lease.

Peugeot, Citroen and Renault have been offering the program for many years now and the advantages include the fact that you receive a brand new vehicle with a full factory warranty, unlimited kilometres, full comprehensive insurance and 24 hour roadside assistance.

There are over 40 locations throughout Europe from where you can pick up and drop off your lease vehicle, and one-way leases are available. Collection and return fees apply in countries other than France but these can be reduced when taking advantage of ‘early bird’ savings which are generally released around September/October each year for travel the following year.

Manufacturers also allow you to drive your car into countries that are sometimes excluded when renting, giving you more flexibility (check with your lease company for confirmation of countries that you are permitted to drive in).

Rates are available in Australian dollars from specialist leasing agencies and travel agents in Australia.

Having used the tax-free leasing program on numerous occasions, I can highly recommend it.

  • By Carolyn Schonafinger, founder of Holidays to Europe, an online European travel directory and blog. She has travelled extensively in Europe and is passionate about helping others get the most out of their holiday by sharing her tips and first-hand experience on her blog.
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