overview of tax-free short-term european car leases
Renault (and subsidiary Dacia), Citroen, and Peugeot short-term tax-free car leasing is a great alternative to car rental for visitors to Europe.
All Renault, Dacia, Citroen and Peugeot short-term tax-free car leasing total prices include
unlimited kilometers and insurance effective in some
40 European countries.
The insurance consists of liability protection
and zero-deductible (i.e. zero-excess) collision, fire, theft-of-car,
vandalism, and so-called act-of-God cover, along with a modicum
of bodily-injury cover for car occupants.
(Because these car leases are not rentals, there is no option to
decline the insurance coverage.)
Also included are factory warranty and 24/7 assistance.
Yes, these car leases are tax-free.
Furthermore there is no charge for additional, qualifying drivers
— and generally no surcharges apply. If you pick-up
and/or drop-off the car outside France certain
pick-up and/or drop-off charges apply
(our software figures them into the price); nevertheless
these French car leases are a cheap way to effect a one-way car rental
The Renault, Dacia, Citroen and Peugeot cars are brand new, test-driven but otherwise straight from the factory.
You get precisely the car you choose.
When considering a diesel
car, recall that in continental Europe and Scandinavia the
cost of fueling a diesel
averages nearly 40 percent less than the cost of fueling
its gasoline-powered counterpart.
Here's another advantage
of short-term car leases over car rentals:
we can guarantee you a diesel car if you choose one.
The car lease rates are set yearly, are guaranteed in
your currency, and are not dependent on season.
The longer the term of the car lease the lower the total cost tends
to be relative to a car rental.
Persons who can claim residence outside
the European Union, who are 18 years of age or older, and have had a valid, non-provisional driver license for at
least one year qualify for a tax-free short-term auto lease, which France designates with a
"TT" (Transit Temporaire) registration. No maximum age limit applies.
Tourists qualify for up to 170 days. Students and educators typically qualify for up to 355 days,
as do certain employees undertaking a limited engagement in Europe.
Simply put, the lease plan is designed for visitors.
who can drive the vehicle?
The following individuals are implicitly authorized to drive the vehicle:
you(i.e. the one person whose name is on the lease contract), your spouse or
domestic partner, your parents and your children,
provided they too meet the general conditions of eligibility of the program
(i.e. they are over 18 years of age and not a resident of the European Union).
Regarding other persons — e.g. friends and indirect relatives— who also
meet the general conditions of eligibility of the program, they will be considered authorized drivers of the
vehicle if you are in the car with them or you otherwise authorize them to drive the car for relatively short drives
(ideally in terms of a note you would sign and leave in the glove compartment of the vehicle, along with a phone number
or address at which you can be reached nearby). This means the included insurance is as effective when these authorized drivers
are operating the vehicle as it is when you are operating the vehicle; it also means the French police and customs officials,
if they happen to check the registration and the driver's license and passport of such person and perhaps call you nearby,
will be satisfied that the usage of your lease is appropriate to both the spirit and letter of the program.
We do not need a copy of your driver's license to book such auto lease.
You only need to present your license (and your passport) upon the pick-up occasion.
You do not need to present an International Driving Permit (IDP) upon the pick-up occasion.
Your domestic driver's license will suffice throughout France, provided you are at least 18 years of age
(again, there is no age maximum) and have held such valid license for at least one year prior to the pick-up date.
Technically speaking, however, several other European countries require of drivers who are not European residents an
International Driving Permit (IDP) as well. You should contact the relevant tourist office, consulate or embassy to
determine whether a country requires you to carry an IDP while driving. A good secondary indicator in this respect is the
IDP webpage posted by the UK's Automobile Association. IDP's are sold for a nominal price by your national automobile club;
you don't have to be a member to buy one. Just take your domestic driver's license, two passport-sized photos and the
requisite cash to the club office. Ten minutes later you'll have your IDP. Basically an IDP is a means by which police in a foreign country can know —
in terms of translations in nearly a dozen different languages — that your domestic driver's license is indeed recognized
as being valid by the proper authorities in your country. Is it really necessary that you obtain an IDP if you plan to
drive in a country that reportedly requires one? In practice of course it depends on the particular police officer
you might happen to be dealing with. The vehicle leasing company (e.g. Renault Eurodrive) doesn't care whether or not you
have an IDP; it's up to you whether you cover yourself in this regard. Indeed, regardless of the pick-up location,
you do not need to present an IDP upon the pick-up occasion; your domestic license and your passport suffice in this respect.
The USA's AAA now has a webpage whereby drivers licensed in the USA can obtain an
IDP. Web searches will bring up a host of websites selling documents that conform to the model
delineated in annex 10 of the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic (1949); but according to Article 24 of that
convention, a truly valid IDP is one which is "issued
by the competent authority of another Contracting State or
subdivision thereof, or by an association duly empowered by such authority .
" The US State Department says it has empowered
only the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA) to issue IDP's.
The AATA offers IDP's through the National Automobile Club.
The zero-deductible insurance is included in the price and is effective in over 40 European countries.
The insurance consists of liability protection and, yes, zero-deductible collision, fire, theft-of-vehicle,
vandalism, and so-called act-of-God cover. (Note: because these leases are not rentals, there is no option to decline
the insurance coverage; it is simply part of the total price.)
Also included are 24/7 assistance and the factory warranty.
These leases are tax-free. And there is no charge for additional, qualifying drivers.
The total cost is based on calendar days. Therefore neither the pick-up time nor the return time affect the cost.
Moreover, no local surcharges apply (e.g. airport surcharges).
A destination charge applies per pick-up or return outside France, but our software figures such charge
or charges in to the price if they are applicable.
The vehicle lease rates are not dependent on pick-up or return location and not dependent on season of travel.
The rates are set near the beginning of the calendar year. Often, however, the rates increase on April 1.
The rates effective for the market in your country of permanent residence are set by the supplier relative to said market
and relative to the value of the euro (EUR) versus the currency of that market. That sensitivity to exchange rate means
that the rates might change more than once during a calendar year; yet such changes are relatively rare.
Naturally rate changes in the vehicle lease rates are not retroactive to bookings already made.
Note that there are pick-up and return charges that apply to locations outside France. (The Geneva location, by the way, is considered to be inside France.) Our software automatically adds those
charges into the total, all-inclusive price it presents to you.
The price of such short-term auto lease is weighted on the initial minimum block of days, a single price applying to that
initial block. A daily rate applies to each day beyond that block, and that additional-day rate is much less than the
average per-day cost of the initial block. Hence the longer the lease the lower the overall per day.
Extensions and early return refunds are possible. Extensions are priced at a premium of about 30 percent
compared to what you would pay for the days if you book them upfront.
book your lease early
Vehicle availability tends to decrease and prices tend to increase as the travel season mounts.
Last-minute discounts are simply not a practice in the European tax-free auto leasing business.
In fact the opposite is typically true: early bookings tend to offer the lowest rates, often via early
bird specials. The savvy traveler knows to book their tax-free auto lease early.
These leases are tax free. Why? The answer is interesting.
The manufacturer does make some small profit in selling one of these leases to you, but their major profit
comes after you return the vehicle, when they in turn sell the vehicle to a rental company or to a private buyer
on the open market. You see, there is a law in France that applies a considerably lower sales tax to vehicles which have
(on paper at least) been owned for a minimum of 17 days. The short-term auto lease program allows the French automaker to put
many thousands of such virtually new yet officially used vehicles on the market, thus lowering the effective cost of their
vehicles compared to the international competition, and hence increasing sales. Of course the French government likes
to see its major manufacturers selling literally lots of vehicles, and it likes to encourage tourists to visit France,
so it extends a separate law to make these leases tax-free on the condition that only non-full-time-residents
(in contrast to citizens) of France may purchase such lease.
fuel in Europe costs about 20% less than gasoline.
(Please visit Ireland's Automobile Association (AA) Website for
a current listing of fuel prices.)
Plus a diesel engine runs about
30% more efficiently than its gasoline-powered
counterpart. Hence you save close to 40% fuel-wise by going with a diesel.
We guarantee you a diesel vehicle if you select one for your short-term lease.
In a diesel engine, the fuel, which has more free energy than does gasoline, is pressurized in a pipe
leading to all cylinders.
Injectors put a precise amount of vaporized fuel into the cylinders. Consequently diesel engines offer great work
capacity especially good for mountain driving and
consume less fuel while producing less exhaust.
Diesel exhaust long ago gained a reputation for being sooty and smelly.
(As if gasoline doesn't smell too!)
Yet certain other pollutants especially sulfates have always been
less present in diesel exhaust than in gasoline exhaust.
Improvements in diesel-engine efficiency and
in the filtering of diesel exhaust have rendered
the diesel engines more eco-friendly than gasoline
engines. Gone is the remarkable sootiness.
Gone, too, is the darned glow plug; now you can start
a diesel as quickly as a gasoline engine. Moreover, almost all diesels are now
turbo charged such that their acceleration approximates that of
A turbo charger is a pump that compresses the incoming air that the engine
needs for combustion. Thus a larger quantity of fuel
can be put into the engine and more power generated.
An optimal mixture of fuel and air is required for a car engine to run correctly:
approximately 15% fuel to air. The more air that can be put into the system the more fuel that can be added
in the correct ratio. A turbo thus creates about 30–40% more power.
Another benefit of the turbo is the artificial pressure
environment it creates inside the engine, making the engine far less sensitive to the
outside air pressure (e.g. the lower air pressure in the mountains).
Diesel engines tend to be labeled with various three letter conventions (e.g. dCi, hDi, tDi).
These labels aren't meaningful enough to comment on here.
The included insurance consisting of civil liability and zero-deductible
collision, theft, vandalism, fire, and act-of-God
coverage is essentially air tight. The "big things"
are completely covered, but so too are the little things such as scratches and
dings. The geographic domain of the insurance includes some 40 European countries.
There is no option to decline any aspect of this insurance. To save you the hassle of buying
your own insurance for the leased vehicle, and to largely avoid the hassle of insurance disputes, this
extremely good zero-deductible insurance coverage has been buried in the price of these leases.
(As you likely know, credit card companies typically cover the cost of damage to a rental vehicle if you use their
card to pay for the rental. However, such credit card coverage — which, by the way, is usually limited to a
duration of 30 days for rentals abroad — does not apply to auto leases such as these.)
The vehicle is under full factory warranty for the duration of the lease.
During the time the contract is valid, the client(s) has
the benefit of 24-hour assistance.
In the event of an accident, theft, attempted theft or mechanical breakdown of the vehicle, the
client should call the relevant 24/7 number listed in the instructional
booklet provided in the vehicle.
Technical and material assistance will be provided to the client
as soon as possible, provided the client is within the domain of
the included insurance.
the pick-up procedure of such lease
No security deposit is charged to (or merely authorized/blocked on) your credit card upon the pick-up occasion.
Indeed no money at all changes hands upon the pick-up occasion. Rather on that occasion you only need present your valid
domestic driver's license and passport and your copy of the lease contract. No taxes or local surcharges
(e.g. airport surcharges) apply.
Otherwise pick-up and return proceed almost identically to that of a car rental. In fact, many clients report
that the process is even easier because all the paperwork is already taken care of and there tends to be no line of
customers waiting at the desk.
At the airport locations, courtesy phones and/or reception desks are in place to
connect you with a shuttle that will take you to your vehicle on, adjacent to or close by the airport grounds,
where an associate will introduce you to your
vehicle and send you on your way. Long before you arrive you will be provided with detailed directions and contact
information regarding your pick-up and return locations. Sorry, but it is not allowed to pick-up or return these lease vehicles
at places other than the official depots.
All the vehicles in the tax-free short-term leasing program originate at factories in France.
They are delivered piggy-back on a truck, just like a brand-new vehicle is delivered to a dealership.
Indeed the vehicles are brand new. Such delivery preserves for you that new-car feel and smell. The cost of such delivery
and the cost of the subsequent return (a cost which also involves certain importation fees if the vehicle is delivered
outside France) is passed on to the customer in terms of certain pick-up/return charges associated with only the locations
outside France. Our online reservation software carefully works these fees in to the total prices it quotes to you.
the return procedure of such lease
Returning the lease car or minivan will be even easier. However, you should call the return depot directly several days in advance to
schedule your return time. The aforementioned, included insurance is so good that a vehicle inspection is hardly necessary
when you return the vehicle. The process takes just a few minutes. If returning to an airport location, the shuttle
will promptly take you to the terminal.