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Cheap car rental for U.K. trip ??


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I’ve recently booked an airline flight for a trip to the U.K. for last 3 weeks of August, as expected the flights are now more expensive and I ended up paying roughly twice what I paid in December 2019.

 

As i usually book a cheap runaround for the duration I took a look to see what the prices are like, won’t make the actual booking until closer to travel date.

 

But the prices seem to be vastly increased to my last booking, roughly 4 or 5 times what I paid for the same trip as above.

 

Are the prices really so much more now or am I missing something ?

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Just had the same problem!! I am arriving Birmingham Aug. 9th. until Sept. 5th. cheapest I could get was £54 a day = £1500 approx. The more well known companys wanted up to £100 a day. I've paid £93 for full protection but there is still a limited mileage of 100 miles per day! Flicking daylight robbery!

I've booked through Rentalcars/greenmotion

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2 minutes ago, monsieurhappy said:

Just had the same problem!! I am arriving Birmingham Aug. 9th. until Sept. 5th. cheapest I could get was £54 a day = £1500 approx. The more well known companys wanted up to £100 a day. I've paid £93 for full protection but there is still a limited mileage of 100 miles per day! Flicking daylight robbery!

I've booked through Rentalcars/greenmotion

Yes, very frustrating trying to find a deal, the advertised low prices disappear when you start to look deeper.

I’ve used Green Motion before and they were good, I had a lot of trouble getting my money back from Rentalcars when I cancelled due to Covid.

I have a theory that using a non-airport location will be cheaper and am looking at that option.

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I am told by many people that rental rates in the UK have been increased dramatically.

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Location seems to affect the quote drastically, 3 identical bookings/car etc only at different pick up/return locations.

 

Vary from £751.50 to £2819.59 !!

 

5AA0190C-19E7-4D99-BFF3-E9217616F157.thumb.jpeg.ca9d9c4c88f9cafb731b66a33ebd1b44.jpeg

 


8BF25573-D0E0-4FB3-9401-9725F447E3A6.thumb.jpeg.e9f1c0bc2222fa497e463b0d552d8a95.jpeg

 

 

B69947DA-B025-44B0-88D8-C84ED77174FB.thumb.jpeg.9521666fa5fc3d1b9e915fd703b775c0.jpeg

 

Blimey !!

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29 minutes ago, SussexExpat said:

I was considering trying this. Seems to be like an Airbnb for cars.

 

https://turo.com/

This is interesting, yes seems like you say an Airbnb for cars, prices are reasonable with drop off and pick ups available, of course insurance is on top.


Not sure if I understand their pricing regime though, look at these two comparisons:

 

F339C3CC-1CC6-499F-A837-3B86F6663B2E.thumb.png.5a267f324e90d309e77f14d4b15b0317.png


 

09699D94-412D-4EDE-B22C-00E252B334AD.thumb.png.83439cb6d3b39f2085b2f7a51e6e5c94.png

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I was in the UK up to last week ,for the past 3 visits I have hired a car ,before it was 20-30GBP /day ,this time 120GBP/day ,this was Euro Car , from Slough ,about the same price from Heathrow for a VW Polo,just out of the question ,I was told ?the chip shortage less new cars pushing up prices .

I was based in Maidenhead Berkshire ,and I wanted to go to Devon then North Norfolk,in the end I took a National Express coach both  return trips cost  me about 130GBP,and just as quick as driving.

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5 minutes ago, kickstart said:

I was in the UK up to last week ,for the past 3 visits I have hired a car ,before it was 20-30GBP /day ,this time 120GBP/day ,this was Euro Car , from Slough ,about the same price from Heathrow for a VW Polo,just out of the question ,I was told ?the chip shortage less new cars pushing up prices .

I was based in Maidenhead Berkshire ,and I wanted to go to Devon then North Norfolk,in the end I took a National Express coach both  return trips cost  me about 130GBP,and just as quick as driving.

Yes, the prices have definitely skyrocketed.

I have been visiting the U.K. for the last 27 years and it’s always been a 5 minute job to pick a decent car from a big rental company for a reasonable price.

Now I find myself considering my options; a train ride from the airport to my hometown to enable a cheaper rental or an older car from the Turo option ( posted above by SussexExpat ) to lessen the blow .

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26 minutes ago, kickstart said:

in the end I took a National Express coach both  return trips cost  me about 130GBP,and just as quick as driving.

Some years ago you could get amazing discounts with National Express if you booked several weeks in advance. I twice traveled to Manchester for a pound each way although for me it took 8 hours instead of 4 because I had to travel into central London first to get the coach

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Do you need a car at the airport?

If not consider looking far a rental from car hire firm local to you stay.  Almost certainly cheaper than the airport national groups.  yellow paages/ internet search.

Cheaper still would be a light van from similar company

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3 minutes ago, Robin said:

Do you need a car at the airport?

If not consider looking far a rental from car hire firm local to you stay.  Almost certainly cheaper than the airport national groups.  yellow paages/ internet search.

Cheaper still would be a light van from similar company

Yup, location certainly changes the situation.

Just did a comparison on cheapest option for two identical bookings, except for:

Pick up/return Manchester Airport   £1,436

Pick up/return Leeds Downtown.     £747

 

Could get taxi or train to Leeds and still be quids in !!

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6 hours ago, Andrew Dwyer said:

But the prices seem to be vastly increased to my last booking, roughly 4 or 5 times what I paid for the same trip as above.

 

Are the prices really so much more now or am I missing something ?

yes, prices are ridiculous at the moment. many reasons being given, but the most popular is that most of their fleet was sold off during the lockdown rather than mothballing for an unknown period of time during which the rental companies would still have to pay leasing. there is not much available, so you are taking a chance looking for a rental upon arrival. 

a friend bought an e-bay car with long MoT for his trip, and gave it away when he left, but if you're an expat, you may suffer on the cost of insurance.

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2 hours ago, SussexExpat said:

I was considering trying this. Seems to be like an Airbnb for cars.

 

https://turo.com/

There’s another site called Getaround with the same format but Turo looks like it is more established in the field with many reviews and flexibility on picking up and drop off.

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8 minutes ago, jastheace said:

yes, prices are ridiculous at the moment. many reasons being given, but the most popular is that most of their fleet was sold off during the lockdown rather than mothballing for an unknown period of time during which the rental companies would still have to pay leasing. there is not much available, so you are taking a chance looking for a rental upon arrival. 

a friend bought an e-bay car with long MoT for his trip, and gave it away when he left, but if you're an expat, you may suffer on the cost of insurance.

A few years ago I used to buy a cheap car from a local garage where the family lived  ,and he would buy it back from me when I left ,it worked out ok ,even then still cheaper than renting , and you had a car 24/7.

But now having to tax a brought car ,unless the rules have changed ,and insurance ,I use to cancel the policy when I left and got about 60% back .

I was only in the UK for a month ,but any longer with rental prices, buying could be the way to go ,say 1500GBP for a cheap car 500??GBP insurance ,pray for no mishaps,might work . 

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1 hour ago, Andrew Dwyer said:

This is interesting, yes seems like you say an Airbnb for cars, prices are reasonable with drop off and pick ups available, of course insurance is on top.


Not sure if I understand their pricing regime though, look at these two comparisons:

 

F339C3CC-1CC6-499F-A837-3B86F6663B2E.thumb.png.5a267f324e90d309e77f14d4b15b0317.png


 

09699D94-412D-4EDE-B22C-00E252B334AD.thumb.png.83439cb6d3b39f2085b2f7a51e6e5c94.png

To answer my own question here:

Appears that the owner gets to choose the rental amount, hence the strange variance in the above photos.

A little more competition should bring the rental costs to a more standardised figure.

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By coincidence I recently got an email from a car hire consoldator I've previously used, it included this comment "Current supply levels are low due to the ongoing issue with the shortage and delayed production of new cars been manufactured which has been ongoing for the last 2 years, and is set to continue into next year. We are here to help all our customers navigate through this tricky period".

I've read a number of stories in the media like this of late, and indeed when I was researching rental rates for a trip I was considering in August, there were either none available or were quoting eye watering prices.

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Take a one way hire from one of the main car hire companies from LHR to your home town/nearest drop off station.

 

Then hire from a local hire company for the rest of your visit.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Chomper Higgot said:

Take a one way hire from one of the main car hire companies from LHR to your home town/nearest drop off station.

 

Then hire from a local hire company for the rest of your visit.

 

 

Yes, I have come to the conclusion that location makes a big difference in prices.

Manchester Airport quotes me almost twice the price of an identical rental from Leeds Downtown. So train/taxi or 1 way hire to Leeds ( close to my final destination anyway ) to rent there will be my choice.

 

Some other conclusions:

Other rental locations in Manchester ( Piccadilly or Trafford Centre etc ) quote same high prices as Mncr Airport.

The “ car share “ options ( Turo and Getaround ) seem cheap initially but the advertised price is usually 2/3 of the final quote, insurance, tax and trip fee (?) bump the prices up.

By changing location of the rental will give me the best prices but are still twice as much as i paid in Dec 2019.

 

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4 minutes ago, Andrew Dwyer said:

So train/taxi or 1 way hire to Leeds ( close to my final destination anyway ) to rent there will be my choice.

Trying to look on the positive side - I just had a quick look at transport options from MAN to Leeds. The Trans-Pennine Express is cheap, and I guess there will be some quite interesting/spectacular scenery on the way.

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/leeds-to-manchester-railway.html

 

 

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