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Rental Car Company Advice

We need a rental car from 9/20-23, picking up in Liverpool and dropping off in Bath. We are 4 adults with carryon bags and backpacks for our personal bags. Looking on Auto Europe the cars are ghastly expensive. I found a less expensive option in Scotland, and have arranged a one week rental there with Celtic Legend. Does anyone know of a trusted local rental company with a good reputation for me to check out? Thanks for any tips you can provide.

Posted by
8234 posts

I went into Expedia, and the rates charged vary greatly between the big national companies. Hertz in Liverpool was much, much less expensive than National Car Rental, for example. I suggest you join Hertz' frequent renter club and then see what prices are quoted to you in Liverpool going to Bath.

Posted by
16868 posts

I assume you are looking at full-size cars? What is ghastly expensive for that size?

One problem may be that Bath does not have an airport, so rental offices for returns are more limited.

Costco Travel will rent you a full-size car for those 4 days for £361 (or an SUV for £385), but you must return it at Bristol Airport, which is not far—-a short train ride. But that may be too much trouble with luggage and all.

Posted by
457 posts

The drop-off charges are going to drive the cost way up ... did a quick look at Enterprise (Hertz wouldn't allow a drop off) ... pick up 9/20 1:00pm Liverpool airport, drop 9/23 1:00pm Bath (that's 3 full days, if you return later, even if only a few hours, you'll probably have to pay for another full day) ... Standard size almost $1200 ... if you return to Liverpool, it's about $450 ... where are you going after Bath? ... it's about 3.5 hour drive back to Liverpool, can you go to your next destination from Liverpool? ... I know backtracking isn't preferred, but might be in this case for $750 ...

Posted by
10392 posts

On AutoEurope the rental from Liverpool to Bath with an automatic transmission was $1636 without additional insurance. I looked at AutoEurope.eu from Liverpool to Bristol and it was €428 without additional insurance. Expensive, but more reasonable. I’m considering rearranging this portion of the trip so we won’t need a car. We are supposed to spend 3 nights in Chipping Campden (Cotswolds) and 2 nights in Bath, with the intention of going to Stonehenge/Avebury/Salisbury before dropping the car off in Bath or I guess Bristol. While staying in CC we were planning to go to Blenheim Palace. If we go from Liverpool to Woodstock, spending 2 nights there, we could walk to Blenheim Palace. We could add a night to Bath and do a day tour to S/A/S and even the Cotswolds a different day. Hubby and I have been, but my friend really wants to go. If we could travel from Liverpool early enough we could go to Blenheim that day, spend one night in Woodstock and have 4 nights in Bath. There’s a lot to think about.

We are traveling to London after Bath.

Posted by
107 posts

Liverpool to Bristol and it was €428 without additional insurance. Expensive, but more reasonable.

It’s not likely they are charging In Euros.

Posted by
6113 posts

An automatic is in some instances double the price of a manual plus you have a one way drop fee, hence the high price.

Posted by
10392 posts

melvinsmith3, this was on autoeurope.eu, and they were charging in euros. What’s unusual about that? When I book a car for Europe on autoeurope.com they charge in U.S. dollars.

Yes, automatics are more expensive. I’ll have a rental in France as well and I’ll rent a manual, but for driving on the “other side” I figure the less I have to deal with in operating the car the easier it will be to drive concentrating on staying on the correct side of the road.

Considering the cost of the rental we have decided to eliminate the Cotswolds and spend 4 nights in Bath. We can do organized day trips from there for less than the cost of having a car.

Thanks for your help everyone.

Posted by
16868 posts

My adult son and I visited Stonehenge from Bath by taking the train to Salisbury, renting bikes, and riding from there on a quiet back road. We stopped for lunch at a pub I remembered from my college days, the Wheatsheaf, a lovely pub in Lower Woodford. That was a great day!

Posted by
203 posts

Rental car prices are high and the logic of prices is hard to understand.
In our example we did plan to rent a car in London (any locations) and return in Exeter or Plymouth. It was crazy expensive. Finally, we found an offer to pick-up the car in Ipswich (we will arrive by ferry from The Netherlands in Harwich) for less than half of the price.
I used rentalcars.com (belongs to booking.com) and the car rental company is Europcar. The one-way fee is about 50 pounds.

Conclusion, it’s highly recommended to play around with different pick-up and drop-off locations.

Posted by
10392 posts

Lola, that sounds like fun. I’ll suggest it to the group.

We have decided to eliminate the need for a car in England by spending 4 nights in Bath and doing a couple of tours from there.

Posted by
16868 posts

It is about 10 miles each way to Stonehenge. It looks like the roads have changed a bit since we did that in 1998, and there is a different access point for Stonehenge. You should get local advice on the best route to take to avoid biking on the busy motorway.

If you don’t want to bike all the way to Stonehenge and back, you could combine lunch at the Wheatsheaf with a visit to Old Sarum, closer to Salisbury. This is the pub:

https://www.wheatsheaflowerwoodford.co.uk/

My fondness for the place stems from an evening spent there in 1967, touring southern England by car (a 50’s Morris Minor) with 3 college friends. After a lovely afternoon spent hanging out with the stones at Stonehenge (no fence in those days), we ended up at the pub, which was frequented by RAF officers from a nearby airbase. They were very friendly and plied us with hard cider, pickled eggs and crisps while we played darts. When it was time for us to leave, we asked for directions to the nearest “lay-by” (the 4 of us were sleeping in the car). The publican said we should just stay in their carpark, and we could use the loo out there. He likely was concerned because the driver had consumer all that cider. In the morning, his wife brought us a tray with tea and toast, and would not accept any payment.

I have never forgotten their kindness and the fun of that evening, and I always intended to return. It was 31 years before I managed that, and now that another 24 have gone by I hope to take my husband there next time we are in the UK.

Posted by
2063 posts

Rather than hire bikes from Salisbury, you could catch a bus from the railway station. It runs regularly trhoughout the day and the ticket price also includes entry to Stonehenge. The tour also includes Old Sarum, a hill fort that was the original settlement before Salisbury. Fukllk dertails and options here.

https://www.thestonehengetour.info/

Posted by
107 posts

melvinsmith3, this was on autoeurope.eu, and they were charging in euros. What’s unusual about that?

They are still not charging you in Euros and many Muricans think that the UK uses Euros. Is all.

Posted by
33301 posts

southern England by car (a 50’s Morris Minor) with 3 college friends. ... directions to the nearest “lay-by” (the 4 of us were sleeping in the car).

You've got to be pretty flexible to use a Morris Minor as a hotel room.... 4 in one, good grief...

What a kind landlord. and wife.

West Country cider can take your head off (about the same time I was pulling pints in my uncle's country pub near Cheltenham) if you're not careful. RAF boys, darts and cider. What could possibly go wrong. The pickled eggs probably saved the day.

Posted by
10392 posts

melvynsmith3, they were charging in euros, not pounds and not dollars. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling throughout Europe and I do understand what the $,€ and £ symbols mean. I’m not sure why you feel the need to correct me when I know what I’m talking about and you don’t.

Posted by
10392 posts

Lola and Nigel, great stories! Thanks for sharing.

Posted by
16868 posts

We were young, foolish, and on a very tight student budget. We did stay in hostels in London and Dublin, rode night trains from Germany to to Paris to Calais/Dover, and took the overnight ferry both ways between Holyhead and Ireland to save on lodging. I think it was only 3 nights sleeping in the car in England, but yes, it was a tight fit!

Posted by
154 posts

Beware of europcar. I made a reservation and when I arrived at the counter they tried to upswell me many times. I listened in and heard that they were doing this with all the other customers.