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Car travel vs. Train travel

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Car travel vs. Train travel

My spouse and I are planning a trip to the United Kingdom in September. Our plan is to fly to London and then make our way to Glasgow and fly home from there.

Our trip is going to be roughly two weeks. I did quick research and to rent an automatic car is roughly $600.00 CAD for two weeks.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any information about what's more budget friendly. Car travel or train travel.

Which train passes at the most budget friendly?

Any tips would be most welcome and really appreciated!


Bingley, United...
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1. Re: Car travel vs. Train travel

Depends what you want to do and where you want to go

BTW what's $600 in real money?

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2. Re: Car travel vs. Train travel

Whether car rental or train is the best option depends on where you intend to visit. For some places (example, ancient cities such as York) a car is an absolute liability and the train makes much more sense. But there are some rural areas with no train service at all. If you have a travel plan we can make suggestions, but without that your question can't be answered.

London, United...
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3. Re: Car travel vs. Train travel

It's 335 GBP but if you want to spend about half the time in London maybe and then make your way to Glasgow then having a car for the second part of your holiday would allow you to see a lot more than train journeys would . If you just want towns and cities on the way then the train will do it for you but to really see some of the sights a car would be better. Many of the best historical houses, castles and more are usually set in the countryside. And do not have a car till you leave London. Everyone uses buses and underground trains in London.

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4. Re: Car travel vs. Train travel

As has been said without an idea of what you want to see and do you can't get a realistic answer.

You may find a combination of train travel and car hire works out well for you but to be honest without more info it is all guesswork.

leicesteshire uk
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5. Re: Car travel vs. Train travel

The car rental you quote for 2 weeks seems reasonable but how long do you plan to stay in London?

A car will be no use whatsoever to you in London. Parking charges are beyond a joke. Minimum overnight charges are £25 a night..........let alone the Daytime parking prices (if you can find a place to park!).

In MHO you would be better off using the London Underground system while you are there.

Go to the nearest Underground station to your hotel, find the ticket office and buy an "Oyster" card to use on the underground tube system. Just touch the card onto the big yellow button on the turnstiles. Much cheaper than paying for each journey individually.

The Oyster card splits London into "Zones".......Zone 1 will probably suit all the tourist sights you need to see.

As to whether you should rent a car or travel by train to Glasgow, as "hardygeranium" says it really does depend on what you want to see. If you're looking to stop off at cities such as York than a train would be fine............but you need to factor in taxis from train to hotel and then to "sights".

If you want to get out and about and see some of our lovely country-side and Stately homes etc then you will most definately will need a car. Fabulous Derbyshire and Chatsworth House (if you like English country houses); the stunning Lake District; beautiful Yorkshire and Castle Howard are really only "do-able" by car.

If you decide to use trains then you will need to know that train prices in the UK are cheaper the earlier you book them. The cheapest seats are normally available 12 weeks before a journey. Check out "thetrainline.com" for an idea of prices.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Car travel vs. Train travel

'Which train passes are most budget friendly?' None of them.

Keep an eye on the informational website www.nationalrail.co.uk and book point to point rail tickets *directly with the train operator* from about 12 weeks before your travel dates. You may use thetrainline.com if you have plenty of money to waste, but it's generally not recommended for those on a budget.

A car in London is simply a burden between parking, petrol at about £1.30 a litre and the Congestion Charge. Depending on how long you plan to stay in the capital, you may buy Travelcards at a National Rail ticket office and use them with the offers at www.daysoutguide.co.uk which will give you all the travel in London you want and save pounds whilst sightseeing. You will find more information about those offers under Top Questions About London at the London forum.

Please think in pounds rather than $CAD. Use www.xe.com to calculate the exchange rate and know that it may / will change every day between now and your departure date.

If your flight from GLA to Canada on your return will be through Heathrow then please ensure you allow more than the minimum connection time at that aiport. Even if you book a through ticket, which will have your bags checked through, allow time for potential delays in departure from GLA, arrival at LHR and the effort needed to make one's way from a domestic flight to international departure (that may involve a terminal building change, depending on the airline[s] you book).

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7. Re: Car travel vs. Train travel

Thank you all for your responses! Very useful information.

So far our itinerary looks likes this - and obviously it's subject to change.

London - Newbury - Oxford - Liverpool - York - Glasgow

My only desire for the car was the ability to stop in smaller towns on the way to our major destinations. I definitely would not rent the car for when we're in London as there is no need. Our plan is to only stay about 3 days in London.

It sounds like the train is a better option. Maybe renting a car for just a day or something would make sense to go on outings to the areas around bigger cities.

Thanks all!

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8. Re: Car travel vs. Train travel

My personal view would be that in London the car would be more of a liability than a help. Outside of London it has the advantage that you can get to lots of places that are only accessible by car, you can stop when you want if something catches your eye and you are not encumbered with luggage if you are enroute to your next hotel as you can leave it in the boot (trunk).

That however is a very general view with no knowledge of what your detailed plans are. You do however need to be aware that there are quite a lot of places not easily/quickly accessible by public transport.

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9. Re: Car travel vs. Train travel

Anna it looks like train would be the best way and as someone said rent a car for a day or two in one of them.

There is no reason why you can't plan a stop somewhere small and interesting in the middle of a rail journey. Also from a train you will travel through countryside in comfort with a panoramic view. In a car you will be on motorway with mostly a view of the road and one of you won't be able to look around anyway.

10. Re: Car travel vs. Train travel

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