The Bottom Line
If you're driving in Italy or Europe for more than 17 days, the Citroen buy back lease program is an excellent choice. More economical than a regular car rental, the lease program price includes comprehensive insurance coverage with zero deductible and there are no hidden costs. The price you're quoted is what you pay.
Best of all, you have a brand new car, exactly the model you choose. Note: the Citroen Car Lease site is best for those in Canada as you pay in Canadian dollars. Here are my reviews of 2 equally good car lease programs with prices in US dollars:
Peugeot from Auto Europe
- Excellent Insurance Coverage
- No Hidden or Extra Charges
- Can Pick Up and Drop Off at Different Locations
- Get a Brand New Car
- Lower Cost than an Average Car Rental
- More Paperwork up front than with a Car Rental
- Only Italy pick-ups are Milan and Rome airports
- Extra Charge for Pick-up in Italy
- Citroen offers a good buy back car lease program for vacations 3 weeks or longer, usually at lower cost than a rental car.
- Price includes complete insurance coverage and there are NO hidden charges. Extra charge for pick-ups outside France apply.
- Car leases are for a brand new car and you'll get the exact model you choose.
- Prices are in Canadian Dollars.
- 24 hour toll-free assistance number within Europe.
Guide Review - Review of Citroen Car Lease Buy Back Program
I used the Citroen buy back lease program in spring of 2009. Although it took me a little while to do the paperwork prior to my trip, the pick up and drop off process was easy because everything had been taken care of before hand. I was picked up in a van at the airport and taken to the car lease center. The person there went over the car with me (the exact model I had reserved) to be sure I understood everything, told me how to find the closest gas station (cars aren't pre-filled) and even gave me a copy of a map with directions to my first stop. Drop off was easy, too.
Car leases must be arranged and paid for at least 30 days before you pick up the car. After everything is in order, you get a voucher stamped paid, directions for picking up the car, the 24-hour toll-free number for assistance, and a carrying case with a little notebook and pen to keep your papers in. Note that prices are in Canadian dollars (US residents may be charged a foreign exchange fee by the credit card company).
I often hear stories of people being charged extra for their car rentals (usually because of insurance problems) and I just read an article by someone who had been charged about $1500 extra on a 36 day rental. You won't have to worry about anything like that happening with a car lease. My husband could drive the car, too, without any extra charge.
If you're only visiting Italy, the down side is that there's an extra charge for pick-up and drop-off in Italy (or anywhere outside France). The only Italy locations are the Rome and Milan airports (where many travelers from North America arrive). There are French locations, such as Nice, near the border so you could avoid the charge by choosing a French pick-up site. Even with the extra cost, a lease is usually far more economical (and a more pleasant experience) than a rental.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with discounted services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.