UK Car Hire vs Public Transport

Discussion in 'Car Hire, Taxis and Limos' started by Ants, Jan 2, 2007.

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  1. Ants

    Ants Junior Member

    Nov 24, 2006
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    Sydney, Australia
    Hi all,

    I'm looking for some advice for travel in the UK, I'm wondering if it's better value to get public transport around the country or is petrol/car hire enough to justify getting a car? I suppose I'm looking for around 10 days hire with travel being mainly outside cities.

    I'm sure that's a fairly vague question with lots of variables to take into account but I thought I'd pop it out there nonetheless.

    :)


    Oh - and please feel free to post any links, I love collecting them ;)
     

  2. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    For travel anywhere outside central London, I always rent a car and drive. For travel in and around London I use public transport. Petrol is about 2.5 times more expensive than in Australia, but most rental cars are reasonably economical (and small). Rental costs are reasonable.
     
  3. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    I'd second what NM said. A car in rural UK is so very convenient, but in London so very inconvenient. Engine sizes tend to be smaller than in equivalent sized cars here in deference to the petrol prices. Not to say regional public transport there is necessarily bad, but a car offers much greater flexibility in getting to smaller places off the beaten track.
     
  4. StevePER

    StevePER Established Member

    Oct 17, 2004
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    When we were in the UK we did the public transport thing LHR-Oxford-York-Edinburgh and LHR-Bath-London. Anything more rural than that and you would probably want a car.
     
  5. Ants

    Ants Junior Member

    Nov 24, 2006
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    Sydney, Australia
    Are car hire sites like 1car1 any good in terms of their prices?
     
  6. stryker

    stryker Member

    Sep 28, 2006
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    My advice would be to stick with Avis or Hertz (they are really quite competitive), and under no circumstances should you prepay (if you make a change or cancel it will be a real hassle and will probably cost you quite a bit of money).

    Have a look at Avis Rent A Car and www.hertz.com.au.

    Just my few bob's worth, based on my own experience. I do visit the UK several times a year and I do hold a British passport.
     
  7. Tooner

    Tooner Active Member

    Nov 7, 2006
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    I agree with NM and others - public transport in London (especially buses - at least you can see things), and rent-a-car outside London. If you are travelling long distances though, look at a rail pass bought in Oz, and book a hire car from the nearest centre to where you are going - driving long distances in the UK is an absolute pain!

    Hope this helps!
     
  8. Ants

    Ants Junior Member

    Nov 24, 2006
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    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks for the help :) I'll keep looking around at those sites suggested. Sounds like some good advice.
     
  9. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
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    NM,

    Any thoughts about the Edinburgh area :?:
     
  10. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Public transport in Edinburgh is reasonable in my experience, but not as good as London. We only hired a car once we were ready to get out of Edinburgh (and further afield than Glasgow - good public transport between these cities).
     
  11. vaccav

    vaccav Junior Member

    Sep 26, 2004
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    In Edinburgh: you'd be highly unlikely to use a car to get around whilst staying in Edinburgh. Edinburgh is small enough to walk or use the bus.

    You'd maybe consider a car for getting around to see things outside of Edinburgh but tourist buses are also a reasonable option. EG If you're going up to St Andrews or up to Loch Ness then these tend are on the tourist trail and tourist buses are not a bad option. Cars can also be used though and I guess it comes down to personal preference and how many of you are travelling.

    Vaccav
    (currently in Edinburgh)
     
  12. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    I disagree here. In UK/Europe a prepaid rate can sometimes be a lot cheaper than the regular rate and be worth purchasing. If the flexibility isn't so important there can oft be a good saving

    Dave
     
  13. NM

    NM
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    Each time I have been to Edinburgh I have driven. Last time we stayed at a Travel Inn hotel in the eastern suburbs and drove into the Castle and Royal Mile area. Parking was not a problem. I have no experience with public transport in Edinburgh.

    Do note that almost everywhere you go in the UK you have pay for parking. Pay-And-Display is the order of the day in even the small towns. So do take that into account when comparing costs. Expect to pay around a pound per hour on average.
     
  14. stryker

    stryker Member

    Sep 28, 2006
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    #14 stryker, Jan 4, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2007
    Yes, that's fine, but don't ever think of changing your booking. It'll cost you dearly.

    I'm presently having a battle with Hertz (yes, I'm a #1 Club Gold), about a pre-paid booking I made for the UK (how stupid of me). If you have a problem, you have to ring Dublin (there is no other way).

    Don't believe me? Ring up Hertz Australia and ask them what feedback they have received about prepaids in Europe. Being charged twice, etc, etc.

    My advice to everyone is just don't do it, as the non-prepaid rate isn't that much more expensive and you can change it at any time without penalty.

    Caveat emptor.

    Convenient, Dave? I'd rather pay more and get the flexibility, thanks.

    And in future, I will.
     
  15. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    If you don't need the flexibility, then you can save money, just like airline tickets. If you need the flexibility of changing, then the prepay rates are not appropriate

    I wouldnt use the prepay since my corporate rate is so low, but I have done in the past

    Dave
     
  16. IrvYalom

    IrvYalom Newbie

    May 24, 2007
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    public transport in London, car outside London.
     
  17. acampbel

    acampbel Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    351
    2
    Yep .... that's a good rule.

    The only exception would be if you were just moving between a few major cities with limited excursions, in which case trains/buses can be fine but you will do better to pre-pay or get some sort of pass. I found just rocking up to a station for a ticket can be very expensive.

    Also the cheap car rentals are OK but beware of km limits and the plethora of extra charges. I would use reputable firms if your budget can stretch to it, and pick up early-bird specials for free upgrades and other goodies.

    And although petrol is expensive, if you multiply all the public transport costs by 2 (or 4 in my case) then you may be surprised how cheap hiring a car can be ... as well as infinitely more flexible. I must have seen every standing stone in mainland UK on our last trip!


    Cheers,

    Andrew

    .
     
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