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renting a car in Britain-hidden costs, problems?

renting a car in Britain-hidden costs, problems?

Old Jan 29th, 1998, 10:54 AM
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renting a car in Britain-hidden costs, problems?

We would enjoy the freedom of a rental car while vacationing in Britain this summer. However,have been discouraged by experiences of friends(hidden costs etc.)
What would we be getting into? Have run into package deals for the car and vouchers-and really high airfare plus transfers. Would like to visit York,Bath, Canterbury, Brighton. Would rail be an option for part of this excursion? An end in London would be nice for two or three days. We seem to be getting bogged down trying to plan with our travel agent. How about a suggestion for one or two central locations from which we could explore the countryside. Suggestions are very welcome!
Old Jan 29th, 1998, 03:55 PM
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We are always annoyed at all the extra costs that are added on when we rent a car in England. Last visit we negotiated a great deal here in Canada and were assured that we could avoid extra costs by using our 'gold card' for CDI etc. When we returned the car there was tax for this and that and the price was very high. It seems unavoidable. I have come across a company in Toronto that offers car rentals in Brit and they claim that their prices are all inclusive. We haven't used them though so I can't really say whether it's true! We are in the same boat. We visit my Dad in Devon every year and have always had a rental car. This year we are really considering using the bus service instead. The places you mention are all on the 'day-trip' run from London so getting around would be no problem. You don't have the freedom that you have with a car but then again you don't have the headaches of driving either...it's not that relaxing for a driver who's not used to driving on the 'wrong' side...so I'm told! As for London... having a car is a liability not an advantage. Buy a Travel Card and have fun riding the 'tube' and the buses..they will take you every where you want to go within London.
Old Jan 30th, 1998, 04:16 PM
Mike Miller
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I've rented automobiles in the UK twice and wouldn't want to go any other way. It is always cheaper to rent them from the US. My travel agent got me a very good price with Thrifty for a Ford Mondeo (Countour) of 80 pounds per week. I used my visa for the collision damage waiver but they added another charge they did not tell my agent about for liability which totaled $98 (US). When I got back, I emailed a complaint to Thrifty and they promptly offered to refund 1/2 of it which seemed fair enough. My advice is to rent something maybe a bit smaller than what we did. Some of the narrow roads were scary with a mid size car - especially when a large lorry (truck)was coming the other way. If two of you are going, I think you will be money ahead with a car over rail which is very expensive in the UK not to mention the convenience. Also, take some RainX anti fog solution which you can buy in any auto parts store or Walmart. The cars don't have air conditioning and the anti fog will keep your windshields perfect on rainy days. Check out the car rental sites then check with your travel agent. Enjoy!
Old Feb 1st, 1998, 07:52 PM
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We too have always rented a car when traveling to England to visit family. We have always booked our car through British Airways and up until this year they have always used Hertz. We have never had to purchase any additional insurance due to using our credit card that covers that and we always pay before we go. The nice thing about Hertz is there is no drop fee. We always spend our final night in London and want to get rid of the car when we get there and have always picked up at the airport and dropped in London. Twice there has been a problem and unfortunately when you are in a foregin country it is very difficult to resolve any problems on the spot. However, upon returning to the states and contacting Hertz here they have always refunded any amount we were overcharged. BA now uses Alamo, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that there are no problems!
Old Feb 4th, 1998, 11:48 AM
Martin Hafer
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If I were going back to Britain, I would only do so with a rental car, as it was the best way to see a lot in a short amount of time. Be careful of thieves who prowl the "hot spots" for tourists--we had all our luggage stolen at Caerphilly Castle's parking lot (though the trip was still great). You might try contacting a rental car broker, as they generally give you much better rates on AVIS or Hertz cars than if you contact these companies directly. Try either Europe By Car (1-800-223-1516) or Autro Europe (1-800-223-5555).
Old Feb 4th, 1998, 01:00 PM
Bob C
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The main problem we have had is that the taxes are
not quoted to you when you book your car in the US.
When we picked up our car at Heathrow the price
quoted us was correct but then VAT of 17%25 was added
then a 10%25 airport tax. So a $1000 rental became a
$1270 rental.

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