Hire/Drive in Europe
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    Fellow Frogger! sfrawley's Avatar
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    Default Hire/Drive in Europe

    We are going to Europe for three months (two in France and one in the UK) and intend to get a car (probably a C3 or 208) in France on the Eurodrive leasing plan. We were going to hand the car back before leaving France and hire another in the UK, but the daily Eurodrive rates make it very attractive to hang on to the car and use it in the UK.

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    The only problem is driving a LHD vehicle around in the UK. I guess that people over there take their cars back and forth across the channel all the time and think nothing of driving on the "wrong" side of the road, but it worries me a little. Has anyone here done this and would you recommend it, or am I better off leaving the Frog in France and paying quite a bit more for a RHD car in the UK?
    Stephen
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    '16 Renault Master

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    UFO
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    Take the car with you. Yes it may freak you a little at first, but by the time you get to the UK you will be familiar with driving a LHD car and your perceptions will adjust easily. To alleviate emergency action situations where you may be intent on grabbing the gearstick in a manual, try to lease a full auto or in the Citroen range the M/A are the excellent EGS gearbox that also has "flappy paddles".

    Of course being an AFer there is only ONE place to go. Talk to Michelle at Eurogroup in Perth.

    Tax-free Car Lease - EuroGroup ? Rod Slater's Eurocars and Eurodrive

    We are just in the process of arranging our fourth car with Michelle. It seems weird that we live south of Sydney and in the long run there is doco sent from Sydney (the Citroen Drive Europe office for Australia) to Michelle in Perth and then back to us. BUT we get a 5% AFer discount and it makes it all worth while.

    Possibly your only catch will be that you cannot return the car in the UK so you would have to bring it back to France (Calais port).

    In this brochure you get the full guff on the range of vehicles and the rules and costs. Don't delay in contacting Michelle so that you are sure you can lock in the vehicle of your choice. There are limited supplies of some models each year. The only choice you don't get is colour.

    Tax-free Car Lease - EuroGroup ? Rod Slater's Eurocars and Eurodrive

    I could go on and on and on and on about the TT program, but you may have read lots of it before.

    As an example, for this year we are getting a C4 Picasso EGS for 28 days, pick up Paris, return Frankfurt. Including previous hiring and "free" days on the booking plus our AF discount it is costing just over $2400. That is NO surprises - fully reg and insured in our names - and we pay in $A before we go. SO easy.
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

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    UFO
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    Sorry, should have added, having a front seat passenger who is driving aware whilst driving in mainland Europe and also in UK helps. Also helps on those rare ocassions in the UK where you might need to pay a toll or parking fee - unless you have REALLY long arms.

    They are also you handy cash manager at the autoroute(you of your money) toll booths.
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    On the motorways it can be difficult without the aid suggested but in towns and narrow British country roads driving on the kerbside can be an advantage. The bits you want to avoid are on or near the pavement like pedestrains and bikes and elswhere, soft verges and ditches.
    I have driven all four combinations over tens of thousands of kms with no problems, until I went round a roundabout in Wollongong the wrong way around.
    I have driven an H van with very limited visibility from Folkstone to Scotland and back and find the LHD a positive.
    A auto is one less thing to think about but in days past I got used to changing gear with the window winder.
    I have seen a car set up for a gymkhana with the steering reversed. Now that is a challenge!
    Try to avoid driving with no other traffic. Following the crowd avoids those panic moments when you do not know how to turn right or to negotiate a roundabout. For practice go to Hemel Hempstead and negotiate the roundabout of roundabouts. It is the British driving test equivalent of circumnavigating the Arc de Triomphe.
    Totally agree with UFO - talk to Michelle.
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  5. #5
    sans witticism SLC206's Avatar
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    Definitely no issues driving a LHD car in the UK.

    The only tricky bits are as suggested: ticket machines and toll booths. If you always have a front passenger, these should not be an issue.
    Regards,

    Simon

    2018 308 GTi 2011 DS3 DSport
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    Fellow Frogger! sfrawley's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I was going to go with Eurogroup anyway.

    You have almost convinced me to take the car to the UK. Now for choice of vehicle. Peugeot and Renault have the advantage over Citroen of a LHR drop-off (although Renault's drop-off price is exorbitant), so I will have to factor in a return trip to Calais for the Citroen. I was going to go with a manual as I figured that I would get the hang of a RH gear change but I might rethink that based on your comments.
    Stephen
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    '16 Renault Master

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    dvr
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    Got back recently after 7500+k's on the continent and UK. Best summer they've had for decades. Picked up the lease-buyback in Amsterdam and left it at Heathrow. Cost about $400 extra to do that. We had a manual Pug 308 diesel, 1.4l, which averaged 4.6l/100k overall. So getting over 1000k's per tankful softened the fuel cost. Diesel is cheaper than petrol everywhere except UK. Go figure???

    LH driving was quickly adjusted to and as mentioned there are advantages in the UK with LH drive. If you get to London find somewhere to leave the car and use the tube and buses. Use their oyster card and top up as necessary. There are a few Park at my Place sites where owners let you leave the car at their place for a fee. 3 weeks of that 10mins from our accommodation near Baker Street Station cost us GBP180. The same in Paris was a little cheaper as were a lot of other european cities. Turin, park wherever you like, don't run their red lights just slow down and check if it's clear to go! Crazy. (I'd recommend Prague if you can, great city, reasonably priced and no language problems as most speak conversational English. Go on a segway tour there if you're up for it.)

    Oh and trying to use your credit card doesn't always work. Seems many smaller enterprises no longer have the facility due to charges and fraud I believe. Best to check first.

    You'll come back convinced us aussies are the most ill disciplined, aggressive, poorly trained and un- courteous drivers around.
    Last edited by dvr; 14th January 2014 at 12:22 AM.

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    I agree with all that except the last line. There are a lot now of poorly trained and indeed untrained drivers on the French roads. Large numbers of drivers are unlicensed and hence uninsured. We have become conditioned to driving in processions whose speed is determined by the draconian controls of radar and police suveillance. The politics is becoming quite anti-car and towns like ours are being re laid out such that the roads hold down the speeds by design. Agression goes nowhere if there is no physical space to overtake. The Australian style of road use just doesn't work.
    A GS would be completely outclassed in Australia by modern standards of acceleration and manoeuvrability, here they fit just fine once again.

    There is no point in renting a car for its performance - you will only get frustrated, best to choose the model for economy and protected luggage space.
    The one downside of these leasing schemes is that the car has red TT number plates and shouts foreign tourist to every robber in town.
    The streetwise park for meals etc in view of the restaurant, empty the vehicle at every overnight stop, keep valuables out of sight and in certain towns, lock the doors while driving.
    Last edited by gerry freed; 14th January 2014 at 04:24 AM.
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    Fellow Frogger! JAJEA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfrawley View Post
    We are going to Europe for three months (two in France and one in the UK) and intend to get a car (probably a C3 or 208) in France on the Eurodrive leasing plan. We were going to hand the car back before leaving France and hire another in the UK, but the daily Eurodrive rates make it very attractive to hang on to the car and use it in the UK.

    The only problem is driving a LHD vehicle around in the UK. I guess that people over there take their cars back and forth across the channel all the time and think nothing of driving on the "wrong" side of the road, but it worries me a little. Has anyone here done this and would you recommend it, or am I better off leaving the Frog in France and paying quite a bit more for a RHD car in the UK?
    You have been provided with great advice to date of the way to go.

    My advice, have you considered the possibility of reducing the 2 month stay in France and making up the balance of your 2 months after your month in the UK, thus returning the car at say Charles De Gaulle (if that's where you picked it up from).

    John

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    Fellow Frogger! sfrawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAJEA View Post
    You have been provided with great advice to date of the way to go.

    My advice, have you considered the possibility of reducing the 2 month stay in France and making up the balance of your 2 months after your month in the UK, thus returning the car at say Charles De Gaulle (if that's where you picked it up from).

    John
    Unfortunately we cannot do it that way as we have tickets out of LHR and have planned the last ten days of our trip to be car-less in London. We just have to figure out the cheapest/most convenient way of handing the vehicle back, either paying extra at LHR or making a return trip to Calais.
    Stephen
    '03 P406 HDI
    '16 Renault Master

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    If you do take the ferry over the Channel be aware (as I wasn't) that there is a huge difference between a booked fare and a turnup fare. I think it was 29E booked and 130E turnup!!

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    If only we had driverless cars. You could pat it on the rear bumper and say "home,Frog" and it would drive itself back to CDG!
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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    I would absolutely love being able to sleep in my Xantia or 605 whilst it piloted smoothly through traffic. The two current options - tilt tray and chauffeur are not cost-effective.

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    UFO
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    For money we have had great success using ANZ Travelcard. All other banks offer this type of service now. Make sure whichever you choose that it is a chip card and of course has PIN. Do some research but we have found it well worth it. Mrs UFO and I have a separate account each and each account comes with two cards - one is the "spare". We therefore carry each other's spare just in case one of us gets robbed or loses a wallet. Multiple currencies can be setup on each account.

    Personally (touching wood etc etc) over 3 TT leases since 2008 we have never had an incident of theft or attempted faked sabotage etc. We have travelled in Italy, Austria, Czech Rep, Germany, England, Netherlands.

    However ensure the auto doorlock is on (by default it should be) and never leave anything visible in the car if away from it and remove all gear at night.

    Make sure you can reach the provided safety vest and triangle from within the car (eg put it under the seat) and in France you must now carry TWO disposable breath testers at all times. Stupid law.
    Craig K
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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    The law on breath testers has been quietly forgotten.
    http://www.service-public.fr/actualites/002673.html
    from the 28th feb 2013 it remains compulsory to carry them and there is no punishment for not doing so. ie it is dead.
    The vests must be accessible before exiting the vehicle. The triangle can be in the boot.
    Last edited by gerry freed; 14th January 2014 at 11:40 PM.
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    dvr
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    We'd empty the car like UFO and leave the tray off the hatch. Also we'd leave the glove box open or jammed with junk or clothing, which we'd leave on the seats and floor too. The logic being if any robber was checking the car out he'd only see rubbish inside.

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    Tadpole
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    Take this from an Englishman who used to drive abroad, and lived in Spain. You don't notice after the first 15 minutes. Left hand drive, right hand drive...it's all the same once you get going.

  18. #18
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Depends on age. At 20 I never even noticed even when I spent half my weeks in the UK and half in France. Today in my seventies I don't adapt too easily.
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    dvr
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    Just think "I should be sitting beside the middle of the road". (Unless you're in the UK with LH drive or vice versa.)

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    Fellow Frogger! sfrawley's Avatar
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    I have paid the deposit with Eurodrive Perth for a Peugeot 2008 1.6HDI 6-spd auto (a model not available here). We pick it up at CDG and drop it off at LHR after spending 60+ days in France and the UK. Thanks to all for your useful info.
    Stephen
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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Bonnes Routes!
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    UFO
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfrawley View Post
    I have paid the deposit with Eurodrive Perth for a Peugeot 2008 1.6HDI 6-spd auto (a model not available here). We pick it up at CDG and drop it off at LHR after spending 60+ days in France and the UK. Thanks to all for your useful info.
    When do you go? We arrive CDG 25 July to collect a C4 Picasso. In 2010 there was an almost AF meeting at the southern end tourist area of Viaduct Millau as Mrs UFO and I in our DS3, plus little UFO and his Sally (in a Renault!) were there and I think it was Person S or another Froggy was there in a TT plated C3 Picasso in that flash metallic gold. Stupidly I didn't say "gidday" - partly because at the time I was having, what Gerry may remember is termed "A Nogent la Rotrou moment".

    It sounds like your 2008 has maybe the same drivetrain as the C4 Picasso. An EGS type gearbox perhaps?
    Craig K
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  23. #23
    Fellow Frogger! sfrawley's Avatar
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    We are spending two weeks on foot in Paris then picking up the car from CDG on 18 April (Good Friday!) then heading north towards Amiens. I know there is a pickup location in Paris but I thought that Paris traffic was not the ideal situation for a first-time LHD driver. The 2008 has the EGS gearbox which I assume is a dual-clutch type as on VWs. One Youtube review canned it for thumping the gear changes so it will be an interesting experience. I have always wanted to spend time with this type of gearbox to compare it to a conventional torque converter type so am looking forward to it.
    Stephen
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  24. #24
    UFO
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    Yes probably picking up at CDG would be best. Amiens is great - we spent a few days there in 2012 going out to Villers–Bretonneux and the area for a day, then spent time around Amiens and did a tour of the Floating Gardens

    Driving into Amiens is like driving into an English town - you will work out why.

    Parking in town when you drive in is easy and reasonably priced, under the cathedral. The cathedral is one of the largest etc in France and is certainly worth a visit.

    Maybe on your way to Amiens you could do a minor detour to Senlis and Chateau Chantilly.

    Anyway, whatever you do - ENJOY!

    The EGS gearbox is fine to drive. We are on our third EGS C4 now. Two TT leases and one we own!
    Craig K
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  25. #25
    sans witticism SLC206's Avatar
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    I'll get briefly technical - the EGS is not a dual clutch arrangement like the VW system.

    Put simply it's an automated manual, ie. an actuator to operate the clutch and an actuator to operate the gear changer. The VW system is a tad more complicated.

    I had no problems with the 6sp one on the Picasso I drove for a month in 2009. It was just fine.
    Regards,

    Simon

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    www.peugeotclub.asn.au

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