Car rentals & train questions re:UK

We're renting a car in the Cotswolds for 4 days. I'm wondering if it is better going through Expedia where the rentals are priced in dollars (at a fixed exchange rate?) or directly with the car rental agency (i.e. Enterprise) in British Pounds. Any thoughts? We're taking the train from Heathrow to Reading, switch trains to Cheltenham Spa and rent a car there. We return the car and travel by train to York, where we'll just rent a car for the day to go to the moors. We'll take the train from York to London King's Cross. Train Question: How much time should I allow for customs, baggage pick-up before getting on the train at Heathrow? We'll be arriving at 6:20 AM on 9/10

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7971 posts

1. Find the car through kayak. The exchange rate won't fluctuate that much and you don't know which way. Avoid Expedia like it has a social disease. Also, most of the places that quote in dollars have small print saying that you'll be charged in the local currency at time of pick-up and that the dollar price is only a rough guess - - unless you pay in advance and that opens a whole new can of worms worthy of an entire book. 2. If you rent the car at Heathrow you'll have a better ion and more probability of getting an automatic if that's a factor. Getting a car out west means you'll be paying for a car and a train on the same day. The westward escape from the airport is a piece of cake and the roads are easy to work all the way in to the Cotswolds. 3. You can drive up to York in four hours, also easy roads, and the same car/train/day logic applies. Do the moors first and then ditch the car. You'll also save a bunch by having the car for one longer period rather than two short ones. 4. Should you, against impeccable sage advice, stick with the train notion - - two hours should be sufficient. If you have a wad of money tied up in the tickets, make it three. Now watch, you'll be clear of the crap in an hour and be standing around tapping your toe, but that's Heathrow. One more reason to pick up a car ans scram as soon as you're ready.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8742 posts

What Ed said. For the reasons he said it. BTW - there is no train from Heathrow to Reading. To go to Reading you take a Railair coach. Rubber tyres on asphalt. The only trains from Heathrow are a) The Underground, and b) the Heathrow Connect and Heathrow Express to London Paddington.