Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Leasing a Car While in Europe Can Have Value-Added Advantages

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Leasing a Car While in Europe Can Have Value-Added Advantages

Article excerpt

Q. Some time ago I saw an article on car rental and how to save on VAT (value-added tax) in Europe. It had to do with buying and reselling a car instead of renting. I believe the rental period had to be three weeks or more. Please advise.

A. Kemwel has a lease system that sounds good. New cars are registered in your name for a minimum of 23 days, price starting at $469, including unlimited mileage and full collision coverage, free of taxes. The tax-free feature is important since the VAT on car rentals can be as high as 30 percent depending on location. Get details from Kemwel at (800) 234-1426.

Another company, Europe-Car, (800) 223-1516, includes collision insurance, unlimited mileage and tax in its rental rates, and drops its rates for people who rent for long periods.

Avis, Hertz, National and some other major U.S. companies also operate in Europe, so call their toll-free numbers to check out possible lease deals.

Dodging the VAT can save money for Americans who plan to do considerable shopping in Europe. We are expected to spend $1.5 billion on retail purchases in Europe this year and to collect a record $80 million in tax refunds.t

That forecast comes from Jon Schjolberg, a director of the Europe Tax-Free Shopping System, which streamlines VAT refunds for foreign visitors. Schjolberg says that shoppers can save as much as 20 percent of the original price of goods. (VAT refunds are not made on services, such as hotel rooms and car rentals, but only on goods the visitors intend to take home.)

Minimum-purchase requirement for refunds of the VAT varies in each country and runs from about $20 to $200. That's the total purchases made in the country, not the per-item cost.

For a free flyer on Europe Tax-Free Shopping that explains the procedure for getting your tax money back, write to Europe Tax-Free, Box 9012, East Setauket, N.Y. …

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