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-   -   Travel in Great Britain this summer on a budget (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/travel-in-great-britain-this-summer-on-a-budget-13030/)

John Feb 1st, 1997 03:21 PM

Travel in Great Britain this summer on a budget
 
Are you really sure you need a rental car? I highly recomend not driving in London since there is little parking and driving itself can be quite hectic. You might consider a Britrail Pass for travel outside of London. You can get to all of Britains major cities by rail.

Al Galletly Feb 6th, 1997 05:50 AM

Totally agree with the post advising against a car in London -- useless. But if you're spending 3-4 weeks exploring the countryside in England, Scotland and Ireland, I'd definitely hire a rental car vs. using the trains. There's simply no better way to explore the many backroads and small villages than by auto.

Jane Martin Feb 9th, 1997 07:46 AM

Auto Europe has great deals on rental cars. 1-800 223-5555. On the weekly special, 7 days is the same as 5. I have a weekly rate for this summer at $131, for a Ford Escort type, straight shift, not including any extra insurance. You have to check with your insurance co. to see what extra insurance you may need. My rental is thru Avis. Auto Europe uses other name companies as well. If you book a room at a Best Western, they will give you a number for a discount with Auto Europe. I agree, don't have a car in London, but I have talked with many people who have successfully driven all over the English and Scottish countryside.



mary Feb 18th, 1997 04:20 PM

I spent two weeks in England last May and had a rental car. No problems driving in the countryside, but I agree, don't try it in London. Unless you have driven a car on the opposite side of the road, with the steering wheel on the opposite side of the car and the gear shift backwards from what you are used to--DON'T get a standard--get an automatic. Brit Air has a good package you can get a car and tour England stopping at B&B's at a very monimal rate. The countryside is not to be believed--be sure to spend time in the Cotswolds--Burton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, Broadway are all not to be missed. If you love beautiful countryside--you will love your trip.

Julie Hardesty Mar 14th, 1997 06:45 AM

I agree with everyone else. No car needed in London. But outside the city, the car is great. The best view of Stonehenge (and cheapest) is from the highway that runs to the southwest. If you do decide to rent a car, check with car agencies about pre-paying. It does save money.

I would also recommend picking the car up at the airport when you head out into the country. Heathrow is right off the M4 and it is easier to get used to "wrong side" of the road and car driving on the highway than on a two lane road. Rentals will be manual transmission unless you specifically request automatic. Automatics also cost more.

Good luck!

Ruth Mar 14th, 1997 02:23 PM

When you arrive at your first 'round about' you will know that an automatic transmission is worth it's weight in gold! It made all the difference in my enjoyment of driving in England!
In each town or village you will find a tourist room-finding office. They will book a B & B for you in your price range and with the amenities you require. I think B & B's are the only way to go. You will meet some of the world's lovliest people and see the real Britain. If you are really on a budget, join the International Youth Hostel Association. Don't let the 'Youth' throw you. The accomodations are for all ages, except in Bavaria. If you choose carefully from the handbook they provide, you can stay in some really unique, interesting and comfortable places - even do your own cooking, if you wish - for about $10 per night, per person. If you reserve ahead, you can usually get a 'family' room for 2 instead of the dormitory.
Pub meals are wonderful and not expensive. Have fun! I'm crossing the pond to Britain again this summer for the 7th year in a row - I can't get enough!
One last caution regarding driving there - when you are on a country lane and the center stripe disappears, it means that the road is no longer two lanes wide. Beware! Someone is surely coming around the next corner in your lane! Somehow, it all works out. Cheers!

Ruth Romer Mar 14th, 1997 02:24 PM

When you arrive at your first 'round about' you will know that an automatic transmission is worth it's weight in gold! It made all the difference in my enjoyment of driving in England!
In each town or village you will find a tourist room-finding office. They will book a B & B for you in your price range and with the amenities you require. I think B & B's are the only way to go. You will meet some of the world's lovliest people and see the real Britain. If you are really on a budget, join the International Youth Hostel Association. Don't let the 'Youth' throw you. The accomodations are for all ages, except in Bavaria. If you choose carefully from the handbook they provide, you can stay in some really unique, interesting and comfortable places - even do your own cooking, if you wish - for about $10 per night, per person. If you reserve ahead, you can usually get a 'family' room for 2 instead of the dormitory.
Pub meals are wonderful and not expensive. Have fun! I'm crossing the pond to Britain again this summer for the 7th year in a row - I can't get enough!
One last caution regarding driving there - when you are on a country lane and the center stripe disappears, it means that the road is no longer two lanes wide. Beware! Someone is surely coming around the next corner in your lane! Somehow, it all works out. Cheers!


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