Europcar delivered its Volkswagen Golf to me, presented spotlessly clean and with just a couple of hundred miles on the clock. You might be wondering why I’ve even got a hire car. Those that know me will know there’s usually an array of cars on the driveway, with anything from ropey old Lancias that cost £300 to the latest luxury model delivered to review for a magazine.
Life isn’t always that simple though, and a combination of poor administration on my part and poor workmanship (sadly also on my part) means motors are in short supply. My options were limited; I could buy another dodgy car for a few hundred, but would then have the issues of insurance and tax, as well as unknown provenance and therefore reliability to worry about, or I could buy or lease a new car. The latter appeals, but it’s not exactly the most financially prudent way of getting over a couple of months of hardship.
This is where Europcar stepped in, as its Long Term Hire product seemed to fit the bill for me perfectly. With Europcar I could hire a car for anything from 28 to 84 days, which would get me out of my self-created hole.
And, unlike most leasing deals, there are no long-term commitments, no massive deposit payments, and no restrictive mileage limits.
Granted, it’s not cheap. However, it’s an awful lot cheaper than buying or leasing a new car and, with prices starting from £335 for 28 days, it’s not a great deal more than running your own car. Bear in mind there’s no insurance costs (even for an additional driver), car tax or maintenance to worry about, and Europcar will even deliver the car to your door.
Mileage limits vary, but start at a handy 840 miles per 28 days. Pay a bit more and that can be extended as far as 3,260 miles, which is the equivalent of more than 42,000 miles a year. They’ll even valet the car every month, just to make sure it’s kept in tip-top condition.
The big kicker though? If I get bored of a car, I can change it for a different model, or move up or down a grade to something more practical. Or less practical, if I’m in the mood.
I’m a couple of weeks into my time in the Europcar Long Term Hire Volkswagen Golf, and it’s been great to drive around in something comfortable, economical and, above all, reliable. I’m not sure I’d have felt quite the same way in this heat wave in a £300 Renault Laguna. Of course, if the weather holds out, I might just change the car to something more, well, convertible…