By Sara Clemence
April 15, 2016
Family looking out of car overlooking a beach
Credit: (c) Alistair Berg

According to the old conventional wisdom, the best way to rent a car in Europe for more than a couple of weeks was…not to.

Savvy road-trippers knew that with short-term lease programs from the likes of Renault and Peugeot, you could get a brand-new car, VAT-free, with no-deductible insurance and zero travel restrictions, for less than it cost to rent. But rental prices have dropped dramatically, and now a lease only starts to make sense if you need a car for at least a month.

According to Auto Europe, the biggest bargains are to be had in Italy, where the cost of a week-long rental dropped by 32 percent from 2014 to 2015. Prices fell by 12 percent in the U.K. and 11 percent in Germany.