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London Car Hire

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I will be staying in Richmond, Surrey, during September 2014. I intend to spend a few days in and around Port Isaac while I am there. I will be needing a small car for driving around in Cornwall.

I looked at two options:
1. Take the train from London to either Bodmin or Truro and hire a car there.
2. Hire a car in London and drive down.

Option 1 looked attractive until I started doing the budget. Then it became clear that adding the return rail fare to the car hire became quite expensive.

I then looked more closely at option 2. After lengthy research into car hire options in London, the cheapest place I have found to hire a car is Gatwick Airport. The quotes I am getting there are almost half the quotes I am getting in central London. Even adding in the cost of getting from Richmond to Gatwick, it is still looking like the cheapest option.

Am I missing something?
Will the cost of petrol to drive all the way offset the cost of the train fare to Cornwall?
Are there cheap car hire companies operating from Gatwick that I have to watch out for?

All advice will be gratefully appreciated :)

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