This is one of those odd little deals which has been running for a while – for at least five years – 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. Most are for trips to Heathrow or Gatwick.
(EDIT: February 2021 – the £1 offer has now been withdrawn. It may return once travel returns after coronavirus, but clearly at the moment Europcar doesn’t have many cars which need returning to airport locations.)
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?!
How do you book a £1 Europcar car rental?
The Europcar £1 rental page is here (this may not work on mobile).
Availability is obviously not guaranteed but you might be lucky. A lot of readers have taken advantage of this offer.
Your best chance of finding a deal is if you want to travel TO London, usually to Heathrow. If I look at Liverpool, for example, there are cars this week to Heathrow, Stansted, Luton and Birmingham.
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.