Dad dot info
Free online course for separated parents
Forum - Ask questions. Get answers.
Free online course for separated parents
DAD.info | Lifestyle | Motoring | News | Why I Rented a Car Instead of Buying One

Why I Rented a Car Instead of Buying One

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

When is the new highway code out?

When is the new highway code out?

January 29th! Once passed through parliamentary review, the new highway code is out! We are all going to have to take a refresher. Some of the changes to the Highway Code coming in on 29th Jan 2022 We are all responsible when we use the roads. We are obliged to follow...

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...

Latest entries

The secret to child development… play

The secret to child development… play

... and before you skip past this, racing out the door to work. Stop a moment. Let me explain how play can affect your child's development. Play. Isn’t that just kids mucking about. Well, no... This is what play really means for children.   First, playing is...

Ask Debbie – No one told me about my 14 year old son

Ask Debbie – No one told me about my 14 year old son

Dads, do you struggle sometimes? Who do you reach out to for help? Debbie Pattison, a qualified counsellor at Fegans can answer your questions. Send them in to Ask Debbie at info@dad.info and if she can she will answer. Today’s question is from a dad shocked to find...

Pin It on Pinterest