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Travelling in Europe, rent a car/van or buy one?

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Travelling in Europe, rent a car/van or buy one?

I am travelling to Malta for a few months, and am then wanting I travel up through Europe (Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden etc) and wasn't sure whether it was possible to rent a van for a few months? Say June-November. Would it be better to buy an old used car? I am thinking about the cheapest way. Maybe public transport would be the way? Except my luggage would be a burden.

Destination Expert
for Valletta
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1. Re: Travelling in Europe, rent a car/van or buy one?

Their are some companies that sell the Voltswagon camper vans and then buy them back off you after the 6 months but I dont know their name.

Binghamton, New York
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2. Re: Travelling in Europe, rent a car/van or buy one?

Hi, Europe by Car rents and leases new vehicles. I used them severla times in the past. I'm not sure if they have offices on Malta, but perhaps you can lease a car in France or Germany and drive to a port in Italy and than cross to Malta on ferry. With that particular company, it was cheaper to lease/buy a car if you plan to use if for more than a month. It works same as rental, just signing all those papers was a bit scary. We did not want to end up with a vehicle. But, really, it's just a divverent version of rental. I'm sure that there are different rental comanies as well. I assume that most of them originate in France or Germany, but such should not be a big deal to you as you plan to travel for a while regardless! Safe driving!

Westchester County...
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3. Re: Travelling in Europe, rent a car/van or buy one?

I have traveled in Europe and the Caribbean involving extended periods of between six weeks to over seven months. There are students, retirees and others who find themselves in similar circumstances and might consider another option; somewhat more involving and decidedly less secure for some is the prospect of buying and selling a previously used vehicle for an extended visit elsewhere. Clearly such a choice is not suited to everyone.

For myself, this has been the choice for a total of seven such adventures. Overall, I've never had a major problem and usually made money at the end on the car I'd bought somewhere else; certainly overall this is the case. Thus beyond gas, insurance and the occasional minor repair (there are almost always unavoidable travel related expenditures with any option), it's always worked out.

Could something go wrong? I couldn't imagine any option without inherent potential complication of which we're all aware. I used to do (home AND) auto exchanges as well as purchases, but these days, that can get a bit too involved in circumstances involving loss of control and insurance policies.

My usual m.o. involving extended trips is, in advance to establish an excellent insurance coverage base, take a day or two investigating vehicles for a couple of hours, spend - in today's dollars, pounds or euros-

a few thousand after getting my potential choice checked out as reliable by a reputedly good mechanic for a nominal fee, and then allow myself a comfortable enough time selling the vehicle in advance. Usually I'd post enough in advance in a local paper (now on the internet as well) when and where the car would be available to be seen, with discrete contact information and then take the best offer.

For some, this proposition and strategy simply has too many potential perils. For myself I consider it a challenge and reward system, one in which I have considerable confidence and, over time, experience. It's never going to work for everyone, so caveat emptor/buyer beware. For the adventurous, good luck!

Edited: 11:57 am, June 03, 2013
4. Re: Travelling in Europe, rent a car/van or buy one?

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