Nutmeg Avios

How to get a one-way Europcar UK rental for just £1!

This is one of those odd little deals which has been running for a while – at least 18 months – but which you won’t know about if you are a new reader, and may well have forgotten about otherwise.

Europcar offers 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?!

The Europcar £1 rental page is here (this may not work on mobile).

Europcar £1 car rental

Your best chance of finding a deal is if you want to travel TO London, usually to Heathrow.  If I look at Liverpool to Heathrow, for example, there is a £1 car available at any point between 22nd January and 18th February which is as far out as they go for early booking.

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.

PS.  My last article on earning miles and points when renting from Europcar is here.  I will try to update this soon.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. Simon Cross says:

    The link seems to be to the normal car rental page. Is there a special one way one pound page?

  2. I did this in summer from my town to Gatwick and was worried if the car would be big enough for family of four plus luggage. When I got there I was given a massive 9 seater Vauxhall Vivaro van! Not bad for £1.

  3. When I went to New Zealand a while back, several car rental companies were doing similar deals if you’re heading north towards Auckland. Managed to get 2, Queenstown to Picton and Wellington to Auckland for free (other than for fuel), they also gave me two days to get to the destination.

  4. RussellH says:

    You may get cars to London at this time of year, but last summer when I was booking well in advance the only option down south was Luton, which does have a direct rail link to LGW (where we needed to get to), but Luton turned out to be far more of a hassle than I expected.

    We arrived a good hour late, thanks to the M1 being blocked S of Northampton, but fortunately they were not worried about that. But the car hire place is a complete mess, appallingly signed, and we then had to drag cases across a rutted car park to the bus stop to the airport, where we had to go to get a second bus to the station. If we had been in time we could have stopped off at the station on the way and dropped my partner and the cases, but as we were running late and potentially running up a bill…

    Europcar’s IT is not brilliant either. I got an invoice for someone in Australia, and a whole batch of sales junk from Australia as well…

  5. As mentioned, it’s great value but you wouldn’t want to rely on it for taking a family of (say) 4 with luggage to the airport. Although the confirmation email promises a 5 door 5 seat car, if you pick up from a small site you can end up with a Fiat 500 (happened to me at LBA and also at Telford). Picking up from the airport OTOH is fine (LHR offered a choice from the Corsa/Fiesta/Polo range). Europcar’s standard compensation for getting a smaller car than promised seems to be an upgrade voucher for your next rental.

    • RussellH says:

      Yes, the above rental got me a Peugeot 108, into which we and our bags fitted very snugly. No room even for a cat, though, let alone a third person!

  6. IslandDweller says:

    It’s great value of the circumstances work for you, but you have no guarantee on what you’ll get.
    I’ve had a luxurious huge Volvo estate on one occasion, but a tiny Vauxhall Corsa the next time.
    Europcar have a bad reputation on playing silly buggers with post rental charges. They billed me for fuel even though I returned the car full, got it checked AND they gave me a “nothing to pay” receipt – it took time and hassle to get that sorted. If you use this, keep all receipts and insist that the car is checked before you leave the return depot. I’m happy to ‘drop and run’ with Hertz but will never trust Europcar on that,

    • Lady London says:

      Sorry to say this but never drop and run with Hertz either. Be especially wary at any airport location of any rental car outfit. Get the car checked and get them to confirm the rental is closed with no damage to car acknowledged by them to be returned full . Then, still check the slip of paper to ensure it shows 0.00 to pay regardless of what they’ve verbally confirmed.

      Even good locations can suddenly try things on when you’ve been renting from them happily for many years. I’m looking at you and the 15euros you tried to added at dropoff just recently, for no particular reason Hertz MXP.

      • the real harry1 says:


        they are all cheats

        the agents are bonused on the made-up scratches they can identify & make you pay for

        as a positive, they might sort of moan & grimace but they do seem to respect a boring customer who insists on pre- & post-inspections in excruciating detail plus who takes a few photos

        • As I’ve mentioned on here before, a Hertz staffer once offered to ‘overlook’ some clearly old damage (albeit not marked on the docket) on a car of mine in return for a £50 bung. He wasn’t working for Hertz for long after that.

  7. The link hasn’t been working on mobile for over a month now. It’s just the normal page. Shame. This was good when it was around.

    (Rob’s edit – fine on desktop though!)