Having researched options on the Web, the Hertz auto lot in Bath is about a mile closer to our hotel for pickup and convenient drop-off in Edinburgh, Scotland. AutoEurope.com gives a very low rate without insurance options like collision damage waiver or theft protection which I believe my credit card would pick up. Going to the Hertz website, gives only one option, the more expensive which I believe included all insurance options. Anyone have recommendations on whether to rent direct from Hertz website or go with a consolidator who reviews many firms for best deals? And does anyone have any positive or negative experiences with the major rental firms; autoeurope.com, rentalcars.com, europcar.com and/or the major travel Websites like Kayak, Expedia, etc.? I am leaning toward AutoEurope.com unless I hear warnings from any of you. Thanks.
No warnings... just an aversion to prepaying for the rental car. I rent frequently in the US and Europe and I can tell you from experience that the rental rates change often... sometimes in the same day. It is just like the airlines, only with a rental car you can hold your car, then if the rates change you simply cancel the first reservation and make a new one at the lower rate. I will book the car I want, then check every week or so, right up till the day I am renting. With just one rental place (Hertz) you might not find as much competition, but it will still come down if they have lots of cars and no renters. Double check your CC and be sure what they offer. Recently I have been using insurance through Amex... it's about $30 for a month of so...you just need to cancel it when you come home. I have heard good reviews but never used it.
I've never had a problem with getting what I booked through Auto Europe. The paperwork is easy to read, so do read all of it. See also insurance notes at http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/car-rental-cdw.
I rented a car from Hertz in Bath (some time ago).
It might have been my first time driving on the Wrong Side. When I made the reservation on-line, I checked the box for automatic transmission box (I only pay the extra for automatic when driving on the wrong side, a concession to retaining my sanity while driving there).
A couple of days before departing the US, something told me to take the time to call the UK Hertz number from the US. On the phone to them I said something like "As you can tell from my accent, I'm American and I really need the automatic transmission." And she said something like: "Oh...really?"
Well, when I got to the Bath Hertz office, the customer service person said, rather proudly: "This vehicle is right from the factory, I picked it up last night from the train yard. Because you requested an automatic."
And sure enough, that brand new automatic transmission car had 2km on the odometer, the distance from the train station to the Hertz office.
Thanks for all your replies & help.