car or no

Jun 16th, 2001, 12:47 PM
Dennis Stanley
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car or no

We are a family of five and will be visiting London for nearly a month. Should I hire a car? Dee Ess
Jun 16th, 2001, 01:28 PM
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In London? No way!!
Jun 16th, 2001, 02:15 PM
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You definitely don't want a car in London - you couldn't park it if you had one and in 2 days you would consider divorce due to the stress. You can get absolutely anywhere by tube/bus/cab or on foot.

But if you are spending any time outside of London -- a few days in the Cotswolds, or Kent, or the west country -- then you will want to rent a car but don't pick it up in London. Hire it from one of the airports. Reason: rates are lower, there is good public transportation to the airport, and you will be outside of the M25 (the freeway that circles greater London). So you can just get in the car and drive w/o fighting the London traffic.
Jun 16th, 2001, 02:44 PM
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Second both opinions....never , ever take a car into London. do short term rentals if you are going somewhere for just a few days. If you are plannig on doing just 1 day trips to majors sites, Youk, Lincoln, Brighton , Bath , etc. take a train. And airport pick up is really easy , but whatever you do get an automatic, even idf you are used to driving manuel, everything is reversed and it takes quite a while for the brain to become re accustomed!!
Jun 16th, 2001, 03:07 PM
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Jody just gave you the #1 tip on a car rental in England. AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION! I am very comfortable with stick cars and get them all the time in Europe.....except England. Concentrating on the driving is enough without having to learn to shift with your left hand and bring the stick towards you instead of away from you. If you do rent a car for the outskirts pay whatever the fee is for automatic.

Car in London? Absolutely no need and no use.
Jun 18th, 2001, 12:13 AM
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There are already two very long and comprehensive threads on this board about driving in the UK, so let's not start another one.

Anyone thinking of driving in the UK should enter "driving" in the search field above to find them and print them out. They are full of great advice, facts, and tips.

Jun 18th, 2001, 02:11 AM
Nigel Doran
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Use public transport, even for day trips to places like Cambridge and Oxford, Bath and Canterbury. Hire a car for a weekend or a few days (actually, doing touristy out-of-town trips during the week might be better than joining the hordes at the weekend/).

Then again, if you really want to live like a Londoner, and enjoy all the expense and stress of owning and using a car, then go ahead!

Look into Travelcards that you can buy here. A weekly Zone 1 and 2 pass is valid for all tubes, overland trains, light rail and buses within those 2 zones. Likewise, Zones 1 - 3, 1 - 4 etc. The 1 - 2 costs about 18. Daily passes are about 4. You could get a monthly pass too for each of you. It requires a photo as does the weekly.
Jun 18th, 2001, 04:03 AM
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I will not get into the discussion of driving IN London, since like others, I have chosen never to do it.

But I do think that mastering a manual transmission was not that big a deal - - no more than for any other aspect of "other side" driving - - in Windsor and environs - - and same experience in Australia. Get an automatic if you insist, but at a considerable excess price from the rental company. It's your money, I guess.

Best wishes,


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