Rent (Hire) a Car outside London...

Feb 5th, 2002, 07:19 PM
  #1  
Kim
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Rent (Hire) a Car outside London...

I would like to book a rental car for use outide of London.

Ideally, if we could take a short train trip to a rental agency "just-on-the-outskirts" that would be great. We are headed in the direction of Bath.

Any suggestions as to how far out to go before commencing the drive?

Cheers
Kim
 
Feb 5th, 2002, 07:23 PM
  #2  
janis
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I would just rent the car at LHR. Every major and some minor car rental agencies have offices at Heathrow and the connections from central London are excellent. Plus the airport lies right on the M4 which is the main route to Bath.
 
Feb 5th, 2002, 07:32 PM
  #3  
Mark
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I'd suggest going a little farther out to Slough ....a couple rental companies have offices near the station. If you plan on spending a night or 2 in Bath, take the train to Bath & get the car there when you're ready to leave town...the savings of a day or 2 car rental will make up for the train fare.
 
Feb 5th, 2002, 08:17 PM
  #4  
Patrick
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A few years ago when I researched this, we found that we could rent a car in Exeter for about half what the charge was at Heathrow, so we took a train there. The rental car place (through Auto-Europe but I think an Avis was right across from the train station.
 
Feb 5th, 2002, 09:24 PM
  #5  
Rex
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I agree that the "majors" - - at the najor locations are likely to be your best bets.

But one exception to that is if you need a one day or two day rental.

We had a better price quote for a two day (minivan) rental from Woods Car rental (located near Stansted - - but other locations as well) - - http://www.woods.co.uk/branchinfo.asp - - than any other quote I could find (comparing it to 3-day rental rates form other companies).

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 09:30 AM
  #6  
Rex
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topping, for kim...
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 09:38 AM
  #7  
Lori
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Be sure to verify that smaller locations (outside of Heathrow) have automatic cars if that is what you want.
(well worth the extra couple of dollars I think)
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 09:52 AM
  #8  
Julie
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Maybe I'm missing something, but why not just take the train to Bath, and rent your car there? Wouldn't that be easier?

Julie
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 10:08 AM
  #9  
janis
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Julie - absolutely not. that is a myth started by Rick Steves - "take the train to Bath and rent a car there". First - the train connections from LHR to Bath are not straightforward - you either have to go to Slough or into London and back out again. secone - bath is one of the most congested city centres in the UK. it is very hard to drive in if you are not familiar with the area. I drive in Bath - but not by choice and the uninitiated have a REALLY hard time. If you have driven in Bath years ago you have no idea how much the traffic has worsened.
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 11:17 AM
  #10  
Ann
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Don't know about train connections, but I do know that you pay more to rent cars from airport locations, because there is always an airport surcharge. If you don't mind the hassle, rent off airport.
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 02:23 PM
  #11  
JP
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It's not just airport surcharges any more. Since people started to avoid surcharges by renting somewhere other than an airport, something called "premium location" surcharges have been invented. Now you will be charged a surcharge for renting from a location anywhere in or near just about any town big enough to have heard of.
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 03:23 PM
  #12  
janis
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the main reasons I suggested renting the car at LHR are:

1) more choices so likely cheaper rents. Yes there are airport surcharges - but all the consolidators can get you cheaper weekly rents from LHR because they can pit the various firms against one another. Competition breeds lower rents.

2) renting elsewhere complicates getting back to LHR to fly home since some provincial agencies do not allow one-way rentals. If you pick up and drop off at LHR you are placed best for either transferring back into London or catching a flight out.

3) smaller agencies may not be able to guarantee you an automatic. I always rent sticks because they are MUCH cheaper, but many folks prefer automatics, and these must be reserved ahead of time because they are in the minority. Just about everyone in the UK can drive a stick.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 12:02 PM
  #13  
Tony
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Just some important things you should note about driving in the UK:

American's just can't drive in this country. There are more accidents around Heathrow exits involving American's than any other class of traveller with a car. The traffic is fast, using a roundabout at busy times is impossible if you are not quick with gears (yes there are no automatic drives over there) and the result - American's splattered all over the junction - and to top it off a frustrated commuter who has spent the past hour travelling a couple of miles will give you a verbal thrashing for it.

So take your life in your own hands - American's and UK roads were never meant to be combined.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 02:13 PM
  #14  
Don
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Kim, have a look at easyJet car rental. I have not rented from them personally and am only going on information from their website. Looks like they have 3 London locations. Price looks to be unbeatable: Mercedes A-class and SMART cars from £7 per day. www.easycar.com
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 02:19 PM
  #15  
janis
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EasyJet may be an option - but be sure to compare closely. They only rent one very small model - plenty large enough for one or 2 adults if they have only carry-on luggage, but not if there are two or more adults/kids if they have more luggage.

They also do not offer unlimited mileage. So when you add the mileage and insurance they are only a little cheaper than other agencies for their smallest models.
 

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