Frugal Driving in France: Auto Europe’s Peugeot “Buy Back” Program

in Trip Planning

Recently, a friend who spent a year WWOOFing through Europe told me about a unique transportation option he chose to use during his time in France, Peugeot’s “buy back” program.

A decidedly frugal traveler, he had researched several rental options before determining that Auto Europe’s Peugeot “Buy Back” Program (i.e. literally buying a brand new Peugeot to use during his time in France) would suit his needs the best. Sound intriguing? Read on.

Here’s the scoop:
If you are a non- European Union citizen traveling to France for more than 17 days, you are eligible to purchase a brand new Peugeot, drive it during your budget vacation (like a rental car) and then sell the car back to the dealership at the end of 21 days (or longer).

What’s in it for you?

peugeot buy back photo

Participating in Peugeot's Buy Back Program is a great way to save money on transportation costs while driving a brand new car!

Price: In terms of cost, it is often less expensive to participate in a buy back program than it is to rent a car for a longer period of time. It is in the dealership’s best interest that the car is well taken care of while in the possession of its first owner (you), so they offer zero deductible insurance coverage and a 24-hour service hotline as part of the buy back package.

Convenience: If you are arriving at Charles de Gaulle airport (as most international flights do), there is a Peugeot dealer located very close to CDG where you can buy your Peugeot as soon as you land. You can also request to be picked up at the airport/train station/hotel and taken to the nearest dealership to complete your paperwork. When you go to sell the car back, you can do this at any Peugeot dealership in France.

What’s in it for the Peugeot dealership?

Avoiding the VAT: All countries in the European Union have a Value Added Tax (VAT) (anywhere between 17-22% percent) that makes luxury purchases like new cars quite expensive for the buyer. If dealerships sell cars that are “slightly-used,” it saves the owner this tax (because the car is no longer new). Don’t worry; you won’t be hit with the VAT as the first-time buyer either. Non-European citizens of the European Union are not required to pay the VAT. So, the Peugeot dealer sells you (a non-European citizen) the car (without VAT) for at least 21 days (this is the shortest amount of time you can legally own a car), you sell it back, and then the dealership sells it to an E.U. citizen or to a rental company (with no VAT, of course, thanks to the fact that you owned it first). Pretty smart, no?

Things to consider (both good and bad) if you’re considering participating in the Peugeot buy back program (vs. renting a car):

  • You get to drive a brand new Peugeot
  • The car is fully insured (zero deductible) and you have 24/7 breakdown coverage in case anything goes wrong
  • You need to keep the have the car for at least 21 days
  • You only have to be 18 to participate in the buy back program (most car rentals that require the primary driver to be at least 21)
  • You can pick up and drop off the car in different cities within France (convenient!)
  • You will be charged extra for pick-up or drop-off outside of France
  • You can return the car without filling up the gas tank (which is not the case with most rental cars)
  • The flip side of this is that the car will usually come to you with very little fuel in it, so it’s important to locate a gas station near the pick-up location before you go too far
  • This program has become very popular over the last couple of years. It’s a good idea to reserve a car as soon as possible. To do this, and for more specific information on the program, see:

Previous post:

Next post: