Car Hire for Europe
Renting a ‘fun car’ for 3 months in Europe is a challenge while on a budget. From my quotes, the cost for hiring most performance cars was around $200-250 AUD. There were also restrictions on kilometers with many companies offering meager 100 kilometers per day with heavy charges for excess kilometers. This would have been an expensive exercise!
However there was a silver lining, a number of car manufacturers in France offer long term car leasing. These schemes are essentially buy-back schemes in which the car manufacturer sells you a brand new vehicle and buys it back after the lease expires. The benefit for the manufacturers is they evade paying tax on the vehicle as it becomes technically second hand. These schemes are therefore only available to residents outside of Europe. Asides from a brand new vehicle, the other benefits you receive are free insurance with no excess, 24 hour roadside assistance and unlimited kilometers. You also only pay upfront the rental charge and not the full amount of the vehicle.
Out of all of the car manufacturers only Renault offered a performance vehicle, being the 2018 Renault Clio 4 R.S Trophy. This was a great choice as I’ve had the pleasure of driving the trophy version in the past. This car is turbo powered with 220hp, while weighing 1204kg and has a 0-100km in 6.6 seconds. It’s also quite nimble with sharp steering and is fast through the corners and even has an akrapovic exhaust! For a 3 months lease, this car with the above perks was around $50 per day. This was great value for the money and will be fun to drive on the best roads in Europe.
Picking up the car
There are a number of locations in France in which the car could be picked up from. I opted to pickup the car from the Paris CDG airport, as that was where I was flying into. The pickup of the vehicle was smooth, upon arrival at the airport I was transported via their shuttle to the nearby pickup location. The processing of the paperwork and pickup of the car took literally 5 minutes. I’ve never had the luxury of owning a new car before so it was refreshing to see 10kms on the dash. However in hindsight I would not choose a pickup location in Paris again, as the traffic in Paris was notorious!
I’m getting used to driving on the right hand side of the road, it has not been difficult so far. The plan for the next few days is to gently break the engine in well, before I take it to Nurburgring. A photo shoot of the car in one of the villages in Paris: