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hiring a car on visit to the UK

hiring a car on visit to the UK

Old Apr 25th 2014, 4:18 pm
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

Originally Posted by Ditz33 View Post
I'm not sure it works in terms of where your credit card is registered etc. I find if i am looking on a UK website and it quotes in GBP, then im able to book full coverage. but when i go to book using a US site in USD, the full coverage/cost of extras isnt so transparent. maybe im looking in the wrong place.

But, if i can use a UK based car hire comparison site, pay in GBP, with a UK drivers licence, but pay using a credit card registered in the US, then im hopefully ok. i wonder if i need to pretend that my address is the UK one where the licence is registered?

As you can see im terrified of all the small prints/ways they can catch me out and charge me double when i pick it up!! (i've walked out of a car rental company office at LHR without and a car and 2 small, tired children after they tried to screw me over with a whopping 800gbp bill for 'additional' insurance)
I think if you book from a US site it doesn't include the insurance, from a UK one it does. I don't think the licence matters (in my view, the UK one is not valid once you move). You can check both ways online. We are looking at it ourselves for August but haven't booked yet.
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Old Apr 25th 2014, 4:29 pm
  #17  
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

Here is what what Rick Steves has to say.

I've had very good experience with the consolidators Auto Europe and I forget the name of the other one. You have to pay in advance in $ in the US. The cars are from the major agencies but you don't which one until you get the voucher via e-mail.
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Old Apr 25th 2014, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I use AMEX car rental insurance when I rent a car, and it's cheap and really helps bring down the cost of renting a car when I am in the UK. However, I always wondered if push came to shove how great the coverage would be in reality. I found out last year when I was hit by a drunk driving on the M4 only 4 hours after arriving in the UK. AMEX were great, and they handled everything and I was completely covered.
Completely agree. Definitely the way to go. Something along the lines of a flat fee of about $25 per rental for primary cover. Not sure if there's a maximum duration though - I think OP is going for a long rental.
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Old Apr 25th 2014, 4:44 pm
  #19  
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
Here is what what Rick Steves has to say.

I've had very good experience with the consolidators Auto Europe and I forget the name of the other one. You have to pay in advance in $ in the US. The cars are from the major agencies but you don't which one until you get the voucher via e-mail.
But you can call and request a specific provider if you don't like the assigned one. I seem to recall some of the selections on the site specified the provider to?
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Old Apr 25th 2014, 6:04 pm
  #20  
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

Originally Posted by Ditz33 View Post
Just wondering if anyone has any insight on the best option to hire a car in the UK (or, should i say - the cheapest!)? Our previous experience of hiring cars in the UK (with US licence) hasn't been the best!
We usually want to get full cover - but we've been stung when they don't include it in the quote, but then insist on adding it on at ridiculous rates when we pick up the car.

We have US driving licenses, but we still have our UK ones too.
This summer we are moving to another country but will be spending 2 months in the UK first. Technically those months we will be homeless! We still own the property in the UK which the old UK licenses are registered to, but its rented.

So, can we hire the car with our UK licence or would we have to use the US licence??

thanks in advance
I can't see that anyone has really addressed the OP's comment about being stung with insurance at pick-up. This happened to me at LHR. I thought I had done my research but they insisted I had not booked liability coverage. It became a very expensive deal.

I would be extremely cautious about relying on credit card coverage. What does it really cover and what proof do you have?
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Old Apr 25th 2014, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
I can't see that anyone has really addressed the OP's comment about being stung with insurance at pick-up. This happened to me at LHR. I thought I had done my research but they insisted I had not booked liability coverage. It became a very expensive deal.

I would be extremely cautious about relying on credit card coverage. What does it really cover and what proof do you have?
Sue mentioned it in her post above. Like Sue and several other BE members I use my AMEX card to pay for the rental car. For under $30 I get full coverage for the car I rent.

My husband booked through Kayak on our last trip...it used Rentalcars.com. The car was from Hertz...it was upgraded and cost us $249 for 2 weeks. As always we used a US driving licence.
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Old Apr 25th 2014, 6:29 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
I can't see that anyone has really addressed the OP's comment about being stung with insurance at pick-up. This happened to me at LHR. I thought I had done my research but they insisted I had not booked liability coverage. It became a very expensive deal.

I would be extremely cautious about relying on credit card coverage. What does it really cover and what proof do you have?
I always take a copy of the credit card company's coverage with me in case they try to scam me at the rental location. I've never had an issue when I've said I've got credit card coverage, including at LHR many times with multiple rental companies.

Like others I book my car through brokers such as Auto Europe and Kemwel.

Last edited by Giantaxe; Apr 25th 2014 at 6:35 pm.
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Old Apr 25th 2014, 6:33 pm
  #23  
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
I can't see that anyone has really addressed the OP's comment about being stung with insurance at pick-up. This happened to me at LHR. I thought I had done my research but they insisted I had not booked liability coverage. It became a very expensive deal.

I would be extremely cautious about relying on credit card coverage. What does it really cover and what proof do you have?
this is what happened to us. We thought we'd booked basic insurance, but they insisted it didnt have any and that she would not allow the car to leave them with no insurance! it was a complete con.
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Old Apr 25th 2014, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
Sue mentioned it in her post above. Like Sue and several other BE members I use my AMEX card to pay for the rental car. For under $30 I get full coverage for the car I rent.

My husband booked through Kayak on our last trip...it used Rentalcars.com. The car was from Hertz...it was upgraded and cost us $249 for 2 weeks. As always we used a US driving licence.
Dammit... we used to have AMEX but the company switched it to MAstercard. Wonder if they offer the same thing....
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Old Apr 25th 2014, 7:14 pm
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

So, an update! i got a call from a UK rental broker (Rentalcars) after i'd done an online quote. I was totally upfront about my situation, and got some good advice!
He said the US clients don't get fully comprehensive insurance offered as most have their policies with credit cards, and that if that's the case we have to print off the details to show the hire company. he also said that US customers often get better deals (not sure how true that is - but i'm going with it). So, i'm going to make a booking with my US credit card and address, and ive actually found a deal that includes full insurance at a low rate which i'll get just to save hassle of checking with credit card companies etc.
In terms of which licence to use.... he's said it doesnt matter, so i'll probably just use the US one.
phew....
Now just have to get my head around paying more to hire a car than i would to buy one................. :-O
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Old Apr 26th 2014, 12:53 am
  #26  
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

The other consolidator is kemwel.com.

On the insurance end of things, look your individual credit card. Not all Amex cards carry it, others charge you extra.

Also, it is possible that your card issuer [e.g. the bank] may have CDW.

Final point -- check with your U.S. insurance carrier to see if you have international liability coverage.
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Old Apr 27th 2014, 5:52 am
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
Sue mentioned it in her post above. Like Sue and several other BE members I use my AMEX card to pay for the rental car. For under $30 I get full coverage for the car I rent.

My husband booked through Kayak on our last trip...it used Rentalcars.com. The car was from Hertz...it was upgraded and cost us $249 for 2 weeks. As always we used a US driving licence.
Agreed on Amex. You have to register one time for additional coverage, then whenever you reserve a rental car, use your registered Amex card. Amex charge a one-time fee for the rental to assume primary insurance.

I haven't had to use this coverage in the UK, but did need to use it in Vegas. Left the car in the hotel car park overnight and someone keyed the side of the car, we discovered the following morning.

You do have to file a police report. This ended up being really difficult in Vegas because the incident occurred the day before we left. We spent a good half day trying to find an open police station and never found one. In the end we ran out of time, but were fortunate we could locate the police at the airport and file an official report before our flight out.

I ended up being a communication middle-man between Avis and Amex in order to get the payment finalized, which was a bit annoying. But everything worked out in the end.

I always book Avis at LHR. This is because I stay at the Sheraton Skyline the night before our return flight. I arrive at the hotel, unload the family and bags, drive over to Avis to return the car, then walk back to the hotel. We use the Hoppa to get to LHR the next morning.

Avis have a vast amount of Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) codes floating around on the net. The FlyerTalk Avis forum is a good place to go hunting for AWD codes.
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Old Apr 27th 2014, 7:16 am
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

Another Amex user here... Before we got our Amex I used liability coverage through visa. Never had to make a claim though.

Last UK rental was with Hertz.... I would NOT recommend them.
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Old Apr 27th 2014, 5:54 pm
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

Last year we rented cars 3 times while in the UK, once for 6 weeks, and we were extremely pleased with Enterprise, who will pick you up and drop you off for no extra charge, and their rates were very competitive.

Our US credit card included car insurance but the Enterprise basic rates included full insurance with a 600GBP deductible, so it was easy to decline the sales pitch to pay extra and eliminate the deductible.

We also used our US Licence, I can't see any advantage in attempting to use our UK licence.
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Old Apr 27th 2014, 6:59 pm
  #30  
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Default Re: hiring a car on visit to the UK

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
Last year we rented cars 3 times while in the UK, once for 6 weeks, and we were extremely pleased with Enterprise, who will pick you up and drop you off for no extra charge, and their rates were very competitive. .....
Do you have any tips for getting the "very competitive" Enterprise rates? I have checked a wide variety of the recommendations on this thread, and some of the well-known travel sites that I use or know of, and the leading 3-4 sites are quoting right around £200 for the 12 days I need the car for.. ..... Enterprise came in with an offer of £264, 30% more than the rates that several others are offering! Being picked up and dropped off would be great, but it's not worth 30%, I could get two taxi rides for less, and buses for a lot less still.

Before anyone says that they've rented cars for much less, it is probably because of the size I need and I am likely physically unable, or at least unwilling, to fit/fold myself into a smaller car.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 27th 2014 at 7:05 pm.
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