Where to pick up hire car in London

Apr 5th, 2006, 07:02 AM
  #1  
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Where to pick up hire car in London

We depart London on a Thursday morning in late June,to go to Oxford. My original plan was to take a train to Oxford and collect a rental vehicle there when we leave in the early afternoon.This would have saved on stress and reduced costs (we will return the car to Newcastle airport 12 days later around midday). Unfortunately I underestimated the cost of British train travel. By the time I pay for 4 tickets (2 adults and 2 teenagers) it equates to 2 days car hire!! Consequently I'd now like to collect the hire car out of the main London area, (but not so far out that I have to pay a fortune for train tickets) on the way to Oxford. We will be spending the night in Bath so will definitely need a car. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Apr 5th, 2006, 07:21 AM
  #2  
Neopolitan
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The last car we picked up in London through AutoEurope (AVIS) was on the west side of London right where a major road turns to the motorway to head to the West. It couldn't have been easier. How did we find this? We called AutoEurope (remember that phone thing we used to use before internet days) and talked with a representative who was able to suggest which pick up locations would be most convenient for what we wanted to do. 1-800-223-5555. You might ask to speak to someone who is most familiar with London. Our guy could tell us exactly how to get to each place and how easy it would be to drive away from there.
Be sure to tell them up front that you need to return to Newcastle so they can only look at the agencies that would allow that return.
 
Apr 5th, 2006, 07:25 AM
  #3  
 
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A number of hire companies have offices close to the Edgware Rd W2 which is only a few hundred yards from the divided highway A40 road to Oxford. Or try Heathrow.

But it really does sound as if you've managed to find an extraordinarily expensive way of buying railway tickets. Tell us what you've done and you'll provoke several experts here to tell you how to do it cheaper.

Alternatively, share the name of this spectacularly cheap hire company.
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Apr 5th, 2006, 07:33 AM
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Check your rail ticket price again!!

Ask for cheap day return tickets (even if you need singles) and travel after 10am (I think that's the cut off...before that it's peak commuter time)
London to Oxford return is about $15 return....or 6.50 GBP per adult (over 15)
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Apr 5th, 2006, 07:34 AM
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If you've got cheaper car hire I'd like to know more too!!!
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Apr 5th, 2006, 09:18 PM
  #6  
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We thought it would be a good idea to get moving early as we have to make it to Bath that evening. Coming from Australia I look at the distance and think piece of cake, but someone advised that we should allow 3 times as long to travel (? because 3 times as much to see along the way). I thought I'd tried non peak hour and probably checked up until 9.40ish. Thank you all for this, I will go back and check the train prices as you are quite correct- the car hire isn't that cheap.
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Apr 5th, 2006, 09:23 PM
  #7  
Neopolitan
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"the car hire isn't that cheap."

So true. When you do find anything that IS cheap in London, please let us know. So far, I don't think I've been able to find it.

Edgeware Road -- yep, that's where we got our Avis car I mentioned above which couldn't have been easier. Funny thing though, I just looked up Avis locations and couldn't find one there.
 
Apr 6th, 2006, 12:13 AM
  #8  
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Well I checked prices to Oxford for 2 adults and 2 under 15's (up until 11am), but the cheapest fare I can get is still 50 pound for the 4 of us. Given I still have to rent the car for the day, unless I can get this amount down to about 30 pound I think I'll go back to plan B and try to hire on the outskirts of London. Is it possible I can't access the less expensive fares is because we'll be travelling in late June?
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Apr 6th, 2006, 12:58 AM
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Why would cheap fares in late June - when traffic's starting its summer decline - be particularly difficult to find? It's when the young ladies and gentlemen are pretending to study and the biotech zillionaires are zapping backwards and forwards that cheapos get difficult to find.

If you really want to get public transport to Oxford, and £50 for four is too much for you, then these options:
- buy a Network Card (details on the nationalrail site), giving all 4 of you 35% further discount on all offpeak travel. Won't amortise on this journey, but might cut fare costs on other bitrs of your holiday
- Get the bus (www.oxfordtube.com normally offers the cheaper deals, but Oxford bus is funkier). About £25 for the four of you.

But, to be honest, I can't see the point. For people used to driving on the proper side, hiring a car in Oxford is slightly more of a (trivial) pain than hiring in London: traffic's pretty well identical in London to Sydney, but Oxford's congestion and oncoming bikes might confuse Antipodeans. Meanwhile hotel to railway or bus to Oxford hire place involves more luggage schlepping than just getting to Edgware Rd.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 01:36 AM
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"but the cheapest fare I can get is still 50 pound for the 4 of us"

There is a £38 "Apex single" fare which you can book from 6 weeks or so in advance - June is more than 6 weeks ahead, therefore you can't book it yet
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Apr 6th, 2006, 07:32 AM
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I agree w/ CotswoldS -- I would much rather pick up a car on/near Edgeware road than in Oxford. Even discounting the cost savings. Oxford is a wonderful place - but not for a car.

It is actually an easier drive from London to Bath than from Oxford to Bath. Not shorter, but easier. Do you have to go to Oxford on your way to Bath?
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Apr 6th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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Hit post too soon - meant what is the rest of your route like? You could go from London directly to Bath and then work Oxford in after wandering through the Cotswolds or something like that.

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Apr 10th, 2006, 06:50 AM
  #13  
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Recently rechecked the car hire for a med-large vehicle and it's about £400 (AutoEurope and Avis)for 13 days (which includes our 3 hour day :9-12ish, that I was trying to avoid). This seems quite reasonable, so will probably go with all the advice to collect car in London. We are staying in Earls Court, have yet to access a map that tells me where Edgeware Rd is, but there must be somewhere convenient. I'd like to keep our baggage schlepping (thank you CotswaldScouser for the addition to my vocab- do I pronounce this briskly or is it rolled off the tongue as if one has had a few too many drinks?)to a minimum. Thanks alanRow for the advice about advance purchase tickets-I was a bit annoyed that there were no buttons next to the least expensive option, now I understand. I haven't booked the car yet, but at this stage I think I'm leaning towards collecting a car in London (outside the congestion fee zone)and hoping they provide a good street map. At least we have familiarity with Left hand side driving.
JanisJ, we leave London on Thursday June 22 (that night in Bath). We spend Fri, Sat and Sun until 7pm in Tunbridge Wells, catching up with our 18 year old whom we won't have seen for 5 months, and seeing something of Southern England. We had intended to also spend Sun night there but are now thinking we could travel 1 1/2 hours from 7-8.30 towards our next destination, possibly Oxford (rather than the Thursday we leave London).
The Mon/Tues we are considering staying in Shrewsbury in an attempt to make it to Northern Wales on the Tuesday (I came to Britain in 1984, briefly, and didn't make it to Wales- so it's top of my must go list- but if the weather is truly awful,I like to have other options). Wed/Thurs we are booked (and paid)in York, so not much flexibility there.
We are planning a travel diet lean on cathedrals and museums (that doesn't mean none- just need to be selective with teenagers in tow)and moderate on scenery and walking (town & country), with some shopping thrown in for teenage daughters. Oxford is a definite, so if we exit London and go straight to Bath, the only other opportunity for Oxford is the Monday after we leave Tunbridge Wells. Is my plan to leave TW on the Sunday and travel 1 1/2 hours feasible, or is the traffic returning to London after a summer weekend likely to make this a useless exercise? Would we be better to get up early on the Monday morning and drive to Oxford, or should we stick to the original plan (which I'm not so keen on now)and go Oxford-Bath on the Thursday we leave London?
Oh and I do realise this is a bit rushed, put it down to only having 2 weeks in Britain and it could be another 20 years before I get back.
I am trying to defuse the pace a bit by just choosing a couple of things to do on any given day. Any further input is much appreciated.
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Apr 10th, 2006, 07:01 AM
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www.multimap.com for streetmaps.

It's Edgware Road, W2. Only one 'e' It's important you look for W2, since this is the longest street in London. Not quite Yonge Street in length, but still a lot more than moszt of us would want to walk up and down.
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Apr 10th, 2006, 07:08 AM
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can you rearrange any of this? I ask because driving from London to Bath and then all the way back across the country to Tunbridge Wells is a REAL bear.

If there is any way you could work it out - I would take a train to Gatwick, pick up a car there, drive to Tunbridge Wells, stay your 3 days there, then drive to Bath, up to Oxford and then on toward Wales, taking a couple of days getting there.

Another, probably easier, option - Stay one more night in London and do Oxford as a day trip by train from there. Then leave London on the Fri a.m. to LGW and drive on to Tunbridge Wells. Then to Bath for Sunday night and drive from there up into N. Wales.
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Apr 10th, 2006, 07:10 AM
  #16  
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Neopolitan, I haven't had a chance to check location of car hire yet (our internet- non broadband, is currently staging a go slow: I suspect sabotage as my teenagers are desperate for b'band). I think I mispelt Edgware- put in an 'e'. Everybody I've spoken to who's hired a car in London seems to have done so from Marble arch.
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Apr 10th, 2006, 07:16 AM
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it IS Edgware Rd and it terminates at Marble Arch. So people saying "near Marble Arch" and saying Edgware Rd are really talking about the same area.

It is generally at the NE corner of Hyde Park. The good thing about Edgware is it is very close to the direct rout out of London to the west.

But as I said in my last post - your itinerary will have you in the car for HOURS. Going directly to Royal Tunbridge Wells would be a LOT easier.
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Apr 10th, 2006, 08:07 AM
  #18  
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Going away to mull over your advice ( and sleep). Whilst we annually drive 1700km (1000+miles) one way in less than 2 days to visit family it isn't fun and it isn't at all touristy, so I'm not keen to set us up for that sort of experience. However, I am having quite a bit of trouble getting my head around 160 miles of apparent "country" driving being a 'BEAR' and ???possibly a whole day driving (Bath to Tunbridge Wells). Your angusish at my route has me headed back to the drawing board for plan C, London to York in 1 week via Tunbridge Wells and hopefully Oxford, Bath and a dash of Wales.
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