One Way Car Rental in GB

Old Apr 19th, 2024, 02:58 PM
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One Way Car Rental in GB

I seem to be having a lot of trouble with the details of this trip. I finally have my dates, my itinerary, my flights, and my hotels. I want to rent a car in Edinburgh on September 17 (Mon) and drop it in Bath on September 21 (Sat). So I went to a few companies to see where the drop points are and if they're open on Saturday.

I checked with three: Hertz, Sixt, and Europe car. NONE of them offer a one way rental. Right now my alternative seems to be to take a train (Edinburgh - Ambleside - Bristol or Bath) and pick up a local rental for the Cotswolds. This isn't nearly as convenient and takes away the opportunity to cruise around the Lake District.

Honestly, with wacky train fares and limited car rentals this is not a traveler friendly infrastructure. Does anybody have any ideas? Thanks!
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Old Apr 19th, 2024, 03:17 PM
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I think you are making things more complicated that need be. Use AutoEurope -- they are a broker that deals with all the above and other companies. If a one way is available they will show it. The problem may be that locations in central Bath are not open on Sat. If Bath doesn't work try dropping the car in Bristol -- much larger city and about a 12 minute train ride from Bath. Also check renting from EDI and dropping at BRS since airport locations have much longer open hours. Some central city locations have very limited hours on weekends or are closed entirely.
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Old Apr 19th, 2024, 10:40 PM
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Well the good people of the Lake the District really want walkers and cyclists
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Old Apr 20th, 2024, 01:46 AM
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I just put your dates into Holiday Autos (a similar site to AutoEurope) and Europcar came up as an option with a number of cars. I did put EDI as the start point, so that might have affected the results.
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Old Apr 21st, 2024, 05:19 PM
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Thank you all. I looked into your suggestions and found a way. Instead of dropping the car in Bath and taking the train from there, the solution is to keep the rental car and go Bath - Oxford - London and drop it at LHR. No issues with one way or day of the week. Sorry about the rant. I need to keep in mind that things can be different in the places we travel and that's why we go.
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Old Apr 21st, 2024, 06:53 PM
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LHR is by far the easiest place to drop a car. Unfortunately a car is a bee-atch in both Bath and Oxford.

Driving and parking in Bath is not easy so you may need to stay somewhere outside of the city centre and take buses in. And Oxford is a WHOLE different kettle of fish. They are proud that they've made driving as difficult as possible. Pedestrianized streets, LTN (low traffic neighborhoods) with barricades / bollards etc. To day trip into Oxford it is best to park on the outskirts in one of the Park n Ride lots and use buses.

Last edited by janisj; Apr 21st, 2024 at 06:54 PM. Reason: typos
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 05:07 AM
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Thank you janisj. Your comments are especially cogent. The car situation in Bath and Oxford is the reason I had initially planned to do these places by train. I had it all worked out: Drop the car in Bath after using it to get around the Cotswolds, then take the train to Oxford and Paddington sta. Had my hotels booked and everything, with proximity to train and town. Should have checked on the car situation first but didn't dream that a tourist destination like Bath (or a big city like Bristol) would be a problem. A lesson: do not assume.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 05:16 AM
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Given how awful the traffic used to be in Oxford it can only be an improvement in the city centre.
Even back in the seventies Oxford centre was wall to wall traffic jam, and a miserable experience as a pedestrian.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 05:30 AM
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Forgot a question. Given that I have to rebook my hotels in Bath and Oxford, I'm re-looking at a more central location. Would you recommend Chippenham, Cirencester, or stay in Bath (north side). My wife insists on a town of some size as opposed to a Cotswolds village. (Based on recommendations in another post here I was set to stay in Burford but she vetoed it.)
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 06:40 AM
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Burford would be lovely -- as Cotswold villages go it is really a small town with lots of services. But never mind -- if wife is anti that probably squelches that.

Re the Chippenham, Cirencester or Bath decision . . . please clarify is this for a base for exploring it all Bath, Oxford and the Cotswolds?? If so, not a great choice For Bath one should stay in or near Bath, but for Oxford + the Cotswolds its best to stay in the eastern-ish Cotswolds. Chippenham is fine for Bath and the very southern Cotswolds but for Oxford and the rest of the Cotswolds - not so much.

How many nights do you have for Bath, Oxford and the Cotswolds? If she insists on one base for the whole region then Cirencester is probably the best option - a town of maybe 20K population. Problems is its 90 minutes to Oxford and close to the same to Bath -- and that is before futzing around with the park-n-ride lots in both cities. So count on a two hour journey from Cirencester to each city. what with parking, waiting a few minutes for the next bus and 15-20 minutes bus ride into the city centre. Cirencester is far enough west that you will have 30 to 60+ minute drives to many of the Cotswold villages you'll want to visit.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 06:47 AM
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Cirencester is interesting in itself but you will get a bit bored of the weird traffic system there
https://www.cirencester.co.uk/visitorinformationcentre/
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 07:08 AM
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Are you panning on visiting Oxford on the way to dropping the car at LHR or as a day trip from somewhere else or overnight stay?

Maybe have a look at somewhere like Wantage or Faringdon. Not in the Cotswolds but an hour from Bath and a bus ride from Oxford. I used to live in Wantage. You can even drive to Didcot and get the train to Bath.
Just down the road is the Uffington White Horse, a truly ancient chalk carving, and just above Wantage s the Ridgeway.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 08:39 AM
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I am surprised you can find a one way rental. I just looked at Europcar and got a one way from Edinburgh to Oxford or Bath. Could it be that you put in the drop off time after 1 pm? Most car rental places other than airports close on Saturday afternoons .
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 03:59 PM
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I just booked a one-way car rental from London to Southampton through Sixt.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ChallengerGrey
I just booked a one-way car rental from London to Southampton through Sixt.
Any particular reason you chose Southampton? Change of itinerary perhaps?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 01:15 AM
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Crellston - the post you have commented on isn't the OP. I assume that ChallengerGrey was just giving an example that one-way rentals are available in the UK.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnEW2912
Crellston - the post you have commented on isn't the OP. I assume that ChallengerGrey was just giving an example that one-way rentals are available in the UK.
Yes. My comment was based on a one-way car rental in U.K. My schedule is set. We're picking up a cruise in Southampton.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 07:05 AM
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However - its not relevant because that city pair has nothing at all to do with the OP's trip.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 09:11 AM
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Thank you all. Excellent comments. Just so you know that I'm paying attention: I tweaked my schedule a bit so I can be in Bath on Saturday morning for a rental car return. Can't tweak it any more because of my flight schedule and related schedule at home. And I did find a rental car I could drop in Bath that morning. It was with Enterprise; I like them because they have an office near the Edinburgh train station and I don't have to traipse out to the airport. The problem is that the rental cost is US$1,000 higher to drop in Bath than dropping at LHR, plus the cost of train tickets to Oxford and London. I'm sure there are other car companies, as noted here, but the situation seems clear and I'll drop at LHR. Driving to LHR doesn't bother me. I've driven in Paris and I've driven in Mexico City. Haven't driven on the left for 40 years but should be re-trained by the time I get to Bath.

And thank you again janisj for your spot on advice. I'm going to convince my wife that Burford is the place because there aren't any big cities in the Cotswolds anyway. It's perfect because this is the itinerary I ended up with:

Stay in Burford as the base
Wed -- Arrive Burford around 4:00 PM (from Ambleside), walk the town and eat dinner
Thr -- Visit various tourist towns in the north Cotswolds by car
Fri -- Day trip to Oxford by car (or train)

Stay in Bath as the base
Sat -- Arrive Bath around 11:00 AM, walk the town and eat dinner
Sun -- Drive to Glastonbury (I have personal reasons for going there), spare time to be spent in Bath

Monday, leave for LHR and turn in the rented car. Picadilly line to our hotel by Earl's Court.

Thank you all!

Last edited by MichGuy; Apr 23rd, 2024 at 09:13 AM.
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