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England Car Rental 101: Wisdom from an Experienced Traveler


England car rental rates are slightly higher than the US, but not as high as Europe.













England Car Rental

by Richard Hill, Ph.D.

Rick Hill drove in Ireland and the UK last year and
wishes he knew then what he knows now.

Thinking of driving on your trip to England? Car Rental 101 will provide the background you need to minimize expenses, stress, and cross-cultural strain. Yes, you CAN save money, be an independent traveler, and communicate with folks separated by a common language while driving on the “wrong” side of the road.

ENGLAND CAR RENTAL 101: Good News First

1. License. Your U.S. or Canadian driver’s license works fine; no need for an international license unless you’re going on to continental Europe.

2. Gas. Yes, gas is around $6 a gallon in the UK. But you won’t be paying much more to gas up your gas-stingy England car rental than you do for your U.S. guzzler. My compact Nissan rental cost about as much to run as my six-cylinder van back home.

3. Rental rates. England car rental rates are slightly higher than the US, but not as high as Europe. See Lesson 1, below.

4. Courtesy. Procedure for England car rental is essentially the same as in the U.S., and the desk workers are professional and courteous. Most English drivers are sane, too. They do like you to stay in slow lanes if you’re not ignoring the speed limit as they are, and they can get a bit testy in cities if you’re poking along in, as I tend to do. But overall, I found that I, not the other drivers, was my biggest problem.


1. Driving on the left. Scary at first, but you’ll soon get accustomed. Drivers coming at you on the right will remind you to keep you to the left; the harder part is getting used to that extra chunk of car to your left, since your steering wheel is on the right.

2. Roundabouts. You’ll find these traffic circles all over the UK, Ireland, and Europe, doing the work of off- ramps and 4-way intersections. Just remember that the drivers already in the roundabout always have the right of way. Miss your turn? Just go around again.

3. Narrow roads. Most roads in English towns and countryside are paved-over 19th century horse byways, so you’ll get a crash course in tight squeezes as you pilot your England car rental. To practice ahead of time, find a busy alley in your city with lots of cars parked along the side and plenty of delivery trucks coming at you.


ENGLAND CAR RENTAL Lesson 1. Arrange your rental before you go; you’ll get better rates from both the big chains and the locals. Comparison shopping on the web is easy, and you can do it all online. Check several companies overseas as well as the regulars (Hertz, Avis, etc). If you’ll be gone for a couple of months, leasing saves big, and the collision damage wavier is included.

ENGLAND CAR RENTAL Lesson 2. Check with your insurance company to see if you’re covered for England car rental (they usually do, but NOT for Ireland). You probably won’t need to buy the expensive desk offers.

ENGLAND CAR RENTAL Lesson 3: Get a Platinum Visa card that covers whatever deductible your insurance carries and the miscellaneous items the England car rental companies don’t cover. My Platinum Visa paid me back when I had to go out of pocket for a flat tyre (note the local spelling) in Northern England. Car Rental companies in the UK don’t pay for such incidentals, even if you have a blowout.

ENGLAND CAR RENTAL 101 Lesson 5 Save all your paperwork and take photos of the car before you leave the lot. England car rental companies aren’t vicious about scratches and such, but they are sticklers for evidence if you have a dispute.

ENGLAND CAR RENTAL: OPEN BOOK FINAL EXAM. An England car rental will take you many places unavailable or inconvenient via public transportation. Just do your above-listed homework ahead of time, and you’ll pass with flying colors!

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All information herein provided is for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of local experts, doctors, and hair stylists. All PulseMEDIA writing is done by professionals - do not try this at home.

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