This very interesting car rental deal had passed me by but was raised by Harry in the comments section this week. I thought it deserved a wider audience.
Europcar is offering one-way UK car rentals for a flat fee of £1, including basic insurance.
This is not a marketing ploy. The company is trying to save itself money by using you as free labour to get cars back to their original location or to re-allocate vehicles across sites. Why pay a truck to haul a vehicle across the country when you can find someone willing to pay you £1 for the privilege?!
Your best chance of finding a deal is if you want to travel TO London, usually to Heathrow. If I look at Sheffield, there are 5 cars available for 23rd June at £1 and 5 cars available for 30th June. They can be dropped at either Heathrow or Kings Cross.
You need to pay for petrol, of course, so this is not necessarily cheaper than taking the train. You also need to complete the journey within 24 hours of when you collect the car, and of course you need to get yourself to your nearest Europcar depot in the first place.
That said, I’m sure there are occasions when this could work out nicely.
Also available …. cheap one-way hire to or from the airport
If you can’t find a good £1 deal, it is worth knowing that Europcar offers special one-way rates to or from most of its branches to or from major UK airports.
This allows you the convenience of driving to the airport without the requirement to pay a heavy parking bill whilst you are away.
PPS. Hertz has a different scheme which involves taking cars back to a different European COUNTRY, mainly from Heathrow. See here.