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Can anyone provide advice on car rentals in the UK?

Fort Ann
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Can anyone provide advice on car rentals in the UK?

We are planning a trip to England/Wales this summer. We like to get away from crowded areas so we plan to rent a car rather than taking buses or trains. We are flying in to Manchester England and then plan to go to Wales. Some questions:

1. We have heard that we are likely to get a "mini" car. Will this be large enough for two adults plus several pieces of luggage?

2. Is there any problem/issues in renting a car in England and then driving it to Wales?

3. In the past when renting a car in the US we were surprised to learn that some rental companies charge extra for both of us to be able to drive. Other companies do not charge extra as long as it is your spouse. Is this the same in England?

Leicester, United...
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1. Re: Can anyone provide advice on car rentals in the UK?

Rental companies have a range of cars but having a small one enables a low "rentals from £x.... I'd suggest paying a bit more and getting a more comfortable car.

No issues renting in England and driving to Wales or Scotland for that matter. Ireland can be a different matter. And yes, some companies will charge extra for additional drivers

Carmarthen Wales
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for Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire
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2. Re: Can anyone provide advice on car rentals in the UK?

agree with the Tony, there is no problem driving through England,Wales and Scotland, there is usually an extra charge for additional drivers in the uk, hire cars in the uk usually go in groups,ie group A,B,C etc, so it is the size of the car and not the make you can ask for, agree if you have the smallest group and want to travel around a bit, pay a bit extra and get a better sized car

London
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3. Re: Can anyone provide advice on car rentals in the UK?

All the major companies (Hertz / Avis) etc have car guides with pictures, so you can see the sort of vehicles in each category. Note that these are a guide, you rarely get the actual make of vehicle shown in the photo - but it should be something similar.

The very smallest vehicles (Fiat 500 etc) are not suitable for touring as they don't have a big enough boot to hide more than a rucksack - look for "compact" group - Ford Focus or similar - if you need a reasonable size boot

All the major rental companies in the UK charge extra for additional drivers - it makes no difference whether you are married or not. Insurance cover only applies for those specifically named on the rental agreement.

Occasionally some companies have 'deals' which make the second driver cheaper. The Avis-BA scheme offers a second driver if you hold membership of their executive club scheme (even the lowly blue card).

With Hertz the "family pack" offer gives you second driver for £25 total, it is usually £9 per day.

Fort Ann
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4. Re: Can anyone provide advice on car rentals in the UK?

Thanks

Ebbw Vale, United...
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for Santa Eulalia del Rio, Ibiza
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5. Re: Can anyone provide advice on car rentals in the UK?

It’s also worth remembering that most UK cars are manual shift and you will pay a lot more for an automatic. In the UK we have different driving tests and licenses for manual (full license) and automatic (restricted license). You would need to check if your US license would allow you to drive a manual shift. I know a friend of mine could not drive a manual car in Greece on his US license.

Phil

Fort Ann
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6. Re: Can anyone provide advice on car rentals in the UK?

Great tip, thx. We've gotten international driving licenses in the past, but this is our first trip to Europe.

Altadena, California
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7. Re: Can anyone provide advice on car rentals in the UK?

I have read many negative reviews of various car rental companies in the UK including Alamo and auto europe. Anyone have a neutral experience with a car rental company, i.e.., you got what you thought you had agreed to?

UK
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for North Wales
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8. Re: Can anyone provide advice on car rentals in the UK?

Yes I use Hertz and have had no problems.

There are several major car entail companies in the UK and they rent out thousands of cars weekly with no problems.

Yes there will be instances of complaints but by and large they have been in business a long long time and they get it right most of the time

You should have no more risk over here of a bad rental than you would in the USA.

All rental cars have air con, apart from the very basic and really small ones perhaps. They will have done less than 15000 miles if you rent from a major company and in very good condition

Just as you would expect back home

Don't worry

Wales
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9. Re: Can anyone provide advice on car rentals in the UK?

Never had any problems with Europcar (touch wood!).

London, England
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10. Re: Can anyone provide advice on car rentals in the UK?

I've rented about 60 times in the last couple of years with the major companies and I've never had any issues.

Typically I find the staff to be friendly and professional. I've even returned cars with scratches on without charge (but don't rely on that).

I take a large pinch of salt negative reviews about car hire companies but I'm sure there are some genuine ones.

BTW Auto-europe are simply an agent. I can't see the point in using them. Dealing direct is easier.