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6 Reasons Why It's Better To Explore Europe By Car

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, driving in Europe offers the most flexibility and widest opportunity to accomplish everything you’ve dreamed of doing while you are there. From cruising along Norwegian fjords to crossing into Asia via Istanbul's Bosphorus Bridge, a car gives you the freedom you need to experience the Continent on your own terms.

Here are six reasons why a long-term car rental in your best choice for a spectacular European vacation or long-term stay:

1. Better Use of Time

While there are low-priced airlines that fly between most European cities, when you add in the time needed to get to and from the airport, flying often takes as much time as driving (if not more). Flight delays can stall your trip even further. And you'll still need to find transportation when you land at your destination.

2. Flexibility

Trains and airlines offer transportation to their selected destinations, with departures and arrivals scheduled at their selected times. However, the full flavor of Europe is found in the destinations that are not on the tour-route schedule, or on a schedule of any kind. A car gives you the opportunity to explore those out-of-the-way sites and cultures at the exact moment and for as long as you choose to do so.

3. Cars Can Be Much Less Expensive

Especially if you're aiming at lesser-traveled sites, a car can be much less expensive than a train or plane. Plane fare to smaller, less popular cities can be exorbitant, and the cost of train tickets is multiplied by the number of travelers. A car carries travelers to the exact destination of their choice for the price of the lease and gas. You'll have more time to explore your destination and more Euros in your pocket to spend when you get there.

4. You'll Live More Like a Local

You'll certainly feel like a local after honing your parking skills on Europe's narrower (by American standards) streets. And there's nothing more local than slipping quickly into and out of the local boulangerie (bakery), boucherie (butcher) or fromagerie (cheese shop) on your way to your wayside B&B. A car offers easy access to the local village so you can mingle with the community you are visiting, not just with other tourists who happened to book the same tour.

5. Off-the-Beaten-Track Destinations Offer Fewer Crowds

There's a reason why the big cities are always crowded with tourists: that's where the tours go. Smaller but no less significant cultural and historical sites often have considerably smaller crowds, leaving you more room to explore. Even when they are also on a tour list, most don't experience the sheer volume of tourists like the major tourist attractions do. The opportunity to cruise through villages and small cities at your own pace lets you find the art and historical notes that are unique to that area, and usually with no crowds at all.

6. An Infinite Number of Destinations

There is so much to see when you leave the big roads behind, something you can’t do on a tour bus or train. Just as an example, the shortest road distance between Paris and Berlin is 1052 km (about 650 miles). You'll drive past the largest Roman settlement north of the Alps (Trier), through numerous wine regions (check out Bacharach), several great beer towns (Heidelberg), and miles of World War I and II historical sites (Nuremberg).

In your car, you can pull off the highway onto every side road and explore each distinct detail. The trip can be done in as little as ten hours; for the true explorer, ten years may not be long enough. And that's just one of thousands of European roads that will take you deep into the Europe you've only imagined.

Long-term car rentals are second only to buying a car outright to get you into the heart and soul of European culture, history, and civilization. If you’ll be staying in Europe for an extended period of time, it’s nice to have a reliable vehicle that you can depend on whether you’re exploring the great unknown or just picking up some groceries at the local shops! And with the Peugeot Open Europe program, you can pull it off at a better price than you’d spend on public transportation.

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