Dad dot info
DAD.info form. Ask questions, get answers

Why I Rented a Car Instead of Buying One

<a href="http://" target="_blank">FrontSeatPhil</a>

FrontSeatPhil

07 Sep 2018

Our motoring editor has been driving around in a hire car for the last two months, which you’ll immediately think is a rather expensive way of motoring. Phil Huff explains…

Europcar Rental Location

In fairness you’d be right, it is an expensive way of running around, but it’s not quite as clear cut as you might imagine.

I was short of a car for a few weeks, and options at that point are limited. I could have bought a cheap second-hand car for a few hundred pounds, but I’d be buying something unknown that would be riddled with doubts about reliability and safety.

Alternatively, I could buy or lease a new car, which would have given me the security I needed. That’s not particularly affordable way of covering a month or so of motoring, given the deposits required and long-term commitments measured in years.

Volkswagen Golf from Europcar

That’s where Europcar’s long-term rental came in. There’s no deposit to pay and just a fixed monthly fee, and in return Europcar provided me with a shiny new Volkswagen Golf. I had a reliable car, one that didn’t require me to cover maintenance, insurance, tax, or indeed anything beyond fuel. For anything between 28 and 84 days, I could drive around in something with no commitments and no worries about being stuck with it for years ahead.

The service starts from £335 for 28 days, which is undeniably more expensive than a monthly leasing or PCP payment. Try finding a PCP deal with no deposit that runs for just one month though…

At the end of the month it’s possible to change cars, which is what I did. As the summer heated up, I sent the Golf back and got a Mercedes SLC in its place. The cost cranks up if you want to go with something quite so premium but, again, it’s all inclusive and there’s no deposit.

Mercedes SLC from Europcar

As sceptical as I was initially, the system works, and it works flawlessly. I had no issues throughout my time with Europcar’s motors but, with breakdown cover and maintenance included, I was comfortable that if the worst happened I’d still keep moving.

The downsides are few and far between. Again, it’s obviously more expensive than picking up a banger for £300, and it’s more expensive than the leasing cost of an equivalent car. Likewise, there’s no guarantee as to exactly what car you will get, especially when you’re ordering a normal car; the only way to be sure is to order from the premium range of models in its Prestige collection, but that comes at even more significant cost. Finally, your money gets you nothing at the end of it all – you simply hand the car back and are left with an empty parking space outside your house.

It’s also not a solution for every car issue. You’re limited to three months rental, so it doesn’t work as a really long-term solution, and a car club might be a better solution for somebody (especially those in the city) that needs a car every now and then.

But for those in need of a car for a few weeks (like I was) who don’t want to get tied into a lengthy agreement (like I wasn’t) then long-term hire might just be the little heard of solution that’s just right.

Volkswagen Golf keys from Europcar


Motoring powered by FrontSeatDriver.co.uk.

Related entries

Better Tyres, Safer Cars: More Manufacturers Choose Bridgestone

Better Tyres, Safer Cars: More Manufacturers Choose Bridgestone

You might think they're just black and round, but tyres transform a car... You’ll find Bridgestone tyres on more than 40 different models across 15 different car manufacturers, with the Japanese tyre firm taking on more than 120 new deals in 2018 alone. Vehicle...

Teaching Your Kids To Drive (Without Wrecking Your Car)

Teaching Your Kids To Drive (Without Wrecking Your Car)

Whether you've got a spanking new sports car or a beloved family runaround, teaching your children to drive your car is a nerve-wracking journey. Here's how to make sure they – and your vehicle – stay safe... In association with Adrian Flux From explaining the lights...

Latest entries

Second Child Survival Kit

Second Child Survival Kit

You had your world turned upside down by your first child. You are battle scarred, sleep deprived and now expecting number two. Your days of lazy lie-ins and freedom are distant memories, but your life is also very full with the joy your child brings. The news of...

How to help an anxious child

How to help an anxious child

The current world is an uncertain one for our kids. Lockdown has left them off school, educated by frazzled parents, separated from their friends, unable to enjoy their usual activities and in many cases struggling to sleep. Our children are aware of a threat they...

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Easter is a weird time of year. It doesn't have the build up that Christmas does but when the day comes we had better have our ducks in a row (excuse the pun) when it comes to delivery of a suitable heart stopping amount of chocolate eggs. At the back of our minds is...

Pin It on Pinterest