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Europcar launches Long Term Flex to tackle car finance confusion

Europcar has launched Long Term Flex in response to a study it undertook that looked into the misconceptions around car finance.

The research, commissioned by Europcar Mobility Group UK, found that many motorists didn’t understand what a car finance deal does and doesn’t include despite various forms of credit being used by many motorists to finance a car purchase.

Of drivers who previously used car finance, only 53% admitted to fully understanding the terms and conditions of the deal they signed. There was also confusion about what was and wasn’t included in a car finance deal. In particular, the study found a misperception of what was included in a PCP plan with almost a quarter (23%) believing breakdown cover was included, and nearly 1 in 5 believing servicing was part of a PCP. These are rarely included in a PCP, yet they can be significant costs associated with vehicle ownership.

Aiming to tackle the confusion, Europcar Mobility Group UK with the Europcar brand has launched a new way to ‘use’ a car called Long Term Flex.

Designed to give drivers an all-inclusive motoring solution, Long Term Flex offers brand new cars without a 3-5 year finance agreement or outright purchase. Drivers choose their desired vehicle from a wide range of models, their length of term for a minimum of 6 months and preferred mileage and can get on the road without any large upfront payments, the company said.

“Our latest research shows that having access to a car is vital – over half (57%) of those we surveyed use their car every day”, explained Gary Smith, managing director, Europcar Mobility Group UK. “However, the typical 3-5 year finance deal is a financial pressure that some may prefer not to have in the current economic climate.

“Long Term Flex offers the freedom to take a ‘holiday’ from car ownership for a period of time – perhaps if circumstances change – or the driver is literally going on holiday. And there’s no penalty for taking a break, unlike the hefty early termination charges typical of conventional car finance deals.”

Less than half of motorists (45%) correctly identified that at the end of a PCP a final payment must be made to take ownership. And almost a quarter (23%) admitted to not being sure if they could take ownership at the end of a PCP without making a further payment.

Unlike traditional leasing contracts, Long Term Flex offers drivers the flexibility to opt out of their contract after just 6 months without any early exit penalty. And they can buckle up for up to 18 months on the road, after which it’s easy to repeat the process and pick up a completely new car.

TV personality, radio presenter and self-confessed savvy-shopper, Gaby Roslin who worked with Europcar on its campaign said, “With a leasing deal you have to fork out for your monthly payment, a balloon payment at the end of the three years and you have to pay for maintenance and then roadside assistance too which can be very costly. Long Term Flex from Europcar is fantastic because you get maintenance, servicing and road side assistance all included – all of the things we don’t budget for. Plus, you can easily take a holiday so if you’re going away you don’t have to pay for a car that you’re not using – you also get to drive away with a new car every six months which is great.”

The flexible service offers a variety of models – such as the Fiat 500, the hybrid Hyundai Ioniq or the new Mercedes A-Class – with a choice of 1,000 or 2,000 miles per calendar month, enabling drivers to opt for the most suitable solution without paying for excess mileage. And Europcar delivers the car straight to the customer’s front door at the start of the agreement.

To find out more about Long Term Flex visit https://longtermflex.europcar.co.uk/

Written by Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.

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