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I need to move to UK for a year, and get everything set in less than three weeks. For the time I'll be in UK, I'll need a car. I'd like to find a car lease/rental that can take care of maintenance and problems, so I don't have to worry about it, offering a decent monthly price for a car.

I'm definitely not interested in keeping the car after I'm leaving in a year, as I don't plan to stay in a country driving on the left side of the road. Because I'll have a lot of work, I just want to not worry about the car, having one that works well for the time I need it.

I've looked on Internet for leases and rentals, but leases often only start at 24mo, and rentals are for short period of time… I'm waiting for enterprise and avis to call me back to give me their long term rental options, and I called a car dealer to find out lease deals for 1 year.

So do you guys know of options, ways to get a car in UK for the time of my relocation?

  • looking at this answer, I'm trying expatride/intl autosource as well. If there are other sensible options I might haven't thought of, or specific to the UK, I'd be interested as well. – zmo Jul 21 '14 at 15:25
  • What sort of age of vehicle are you looking for? New? Nearly New? Under 3 years? 3-8 years? Older? That's likely to have a big impact on the best place to look. – Gagravarr Jul 21 '14 at 16:56
  • I'd prefer a rather new car, not necessarily really new, but a car that has less than 3 years, definitely. I know the car looses most of its value the first year, so it's indeed a good idea not to take a new car :-) – zmo Jul 21 '14 at 16:58
  • Did you ask your new employer? If they already run a Company Car scheme, then giving you one through that is likely to be the simplest way to sort it – Gagravarr Jul 21 '14 at 17:06
  • of course I did, but they do not already run a company car scheme, and they consider it's too soon for the firm to start running one. – zmo Jul 21 '14 at 17:07
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I had exactly this issue in Canada, being posted here for 9 months. I'll have to answer for Canada, but I think the situations will be similar.

One year leases are possible, but dealers don't like them. Someone will probably do one, but you will pay more for it than proportionately for a 2-year.

Renting long term from a car rental is also possible, but is extremely expensive. My company went this route (for bizarre accounting reasons) and paid more than three times the rate that a lease would have cost. On the other hand, that rate included insurance, which would have been also extremely expensive as a new driver in the country.

If I had to do this again I would go the 1 year lease route, or even a longer lease with an option to turn it in early.

  • after doing some research, for the same kind of car, a one year lease will cost about £500/mo, which is the same price as a one year rental… It's just insane! I'm now considering keeping the french car for the whole year, given I found an insurance that covers for 12 months abroad (I was ready to get up to £300/mo for a decent car, which imho is still a lot). – zmo Jul 23 '14 at 0:13
  • I'm accepting your answer, because you're pointing out the problem I'm running into, which in the end has no solution. In less than a year at £500/mo, one can buy a pretty decent 3/4 years old car… I find it weird that it's almost impossible to find rentals or leases at a decent price, even if it's with older cars. – zmo Jul 24 '14 at 23:51
  • @zmo I don't think you are allowed to keep your French car for a whole year without registering it in the UK. See: gov.uk/importing-vehicles-into-the-uk/temporary-imports where it says "maximum of six months". You can register the car in the UK (and then register it back in France), but you will probably need to replace the headlights (so that "dipped" are in the right direction). Keep the old lights for when you return to France. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Apr 24 '18 at 11:45

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