Monday, June 27, 2005

Europe 2005 - A Car Duty Free

So one of the choices we made was to drive a car around Europe. Since we are 2 people it is a little cheaper the the train pass but the main reason is since we are going during the Summer we need some way to escape the busy tourist areas to make it easier to find a hotel. So it is actually cheaper to buy a car here then it is to rent it. The way it works is you lease the car directly from the car maker. (In our case Peugeot but Renault does it too, but since they are both French car companies it is much cheaper to pick up and drop off somewhere in France. This is the main reason why our trip pattern of a circle starts and ends in France.) The way the savings work is that since you have to buy the car as someone outside the European Union you pay no tax on it. When you are done with it, they buy the car back again with no tax and turn around and sell it as a used car which apparently has a much lower tax. So whoever buys it basically gets a new car with a couple hundred miles but only pays used car taxes on it. So everyone is happy except the high tax hungry France. (Which should make all you France haters out there happy- you know who you are.) It works out to be about half of renting a car. ($1800 including full insurance instead of $4000 with deductible in our case) and the car is brand new (2 kilometers when we got it.) and is guaranteed to be the type of car you ordered. The down side (As we found out) is that they can't switch airports since it is registered in your name.
So L. and I both wanted to get a lockable trunk for our bags. It just so happens that the cheapest one was a convertible. So purely in the “interest of peace of mind” we decided to spend the extra $500 and go tooling around through Europe for a couple of months. The funny thing is that the engine size and dimensions are almost identical to my Honda del Sol. (actually I found a del sol in a parking lot so by parked next to it, the Peugeot 206cc is a little taller.) it is supposedly a 4 seater but those back seats are for insurance reasons only.
L. says it is the easiest manual transmission she ever drove, and I really like the way the convertible hard top works. If they sold Peugeot in the USA still I think I would get this car. (since I like small cars anyway.) oh well I guess we will have to just enjoy it while we are here. When I was younger I always thought I would have to rent a german car like a Porsche or BMW for the autobahn but flying along at 200 kilometers with the top down sounds fun too. I guess we will have to see.

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