When Europcar first launched this deal I assumed it would be a short-lived promotion. A headline-grabbing one admittedly but not much more than a marketing gimmick.
But now, more than two years on, it’s still running. Here’s a closer look at what exactly is involved.
Rentals for just £1
Essentially, this is a case of Europcar needing to move cars to different rental locations and enlisting your assistance to do so instead of using a presumably costly alternative. And they’ll charge you just £1 for doing so.
How it works – what you get for your £1
As you can see from the graphic above, the process is fairly straightforward. You pay your £1 and in return you get a one-way rental with a large mileage allowance and 24 hours to get the car to the pre-agreed drop-off point.
What’s not included
- Optional extras you add during the booking process or at the rental location, such as a child seat or a GPS
- Additional protections you add either during the booking process or at the rental location
- Re-fuelling costs (Europcar will provide the vehicle with a full tank, and this should be full when you return the vehicle. Otherwise, a fee will be applicable according to our local Terms and Conditions of Hire)
- Any tolls or fines incurred during your trip and any administrative charges linked to these fines
- Any repair costs from damage not covered by the protection subscribed and any administrative charges linked to these repairs
- Miles driven outside the allowance given with the booking
Where is the £1 deal available?
There are multiple pick-up locations covering Europcar branches throughout the UK.
Here’s a sample one-way journey from London Enfield to Heathrow Airport:
This offer isn’t limited to the UK however, with participating rental offices in:
(Click on the links below to visit that country’s dedicated offer homepage)
Why is Europcar offering this deal – what’s the catch?
There isn’t one apparently. Here’s an excerpt from the Europcar website:
You may be wondering why we’re offering you car rental for just £1. You may think there is some kind of catch. But don’t worry, there is a logical reason behind our crazy offer!
Often we need to relocate a particular vehicle, so it’s ready for its next rental, or so we can return it to the manufacturer. So, if you need a car for a day and don’t mind which car you drive, this option is for you! But don’t worry, all our OneWay vehicles are Economy size and above!
Transporting the vehicle by truck is very expensive for us, so if you can pick up and drop off the vehicle where we need it, you can use the car for a whole day for just £1 – we both benefit!
How to book
When taking advantage of this deal, you should bear in mind the following:
- If you keep the vehicle longer than the time allowance provided, the public rate will be applied to your rental.
- The vehicle driven is chosen by Europcar
- Modifications to your booking are not possible. However, you may cancel the booking free of charge up to 24 hours before the rental pick-up time. For cancellations made after this time, Europcar will not refund the £1 charge.
- Only drivers over the age of 21 are eligible for the Oneway offer
The ability to book this deal in advance also seems to vary by location. Playing around with the different destinations a bit, some pickups are only available for the coming week with others bookable up to three months in advance.
This can be a really useful way to get to/from the airport or a similar journey where you’d ideally like to drive but don’t fancy paying the high costs often associated with one-way car rentals or airport parking.
Yes, as you do still have to cover petrol it’s worth running the numbers to make sure that this doesn’t end up more costly than a taxi etc. But the bottom line is if you can make the pick-up/drop-off points work for you, it’s impossible to go wrong at this price!
Header image credit: Solarisys / Shutterstock.com