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Thread: trip to UK - rent a car

  1. #1 trip to UK - rent a car 
    Forum Sophomore M_Gabriela's Avatar
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    Hello, as suggested by Exchemist (thank you) I want to ask you for the best company to rent a car...according to your experiences...
    I've been reading and every company I check always have negative opinions. I'm thinking it is inevitable.....
    Also if you have tips of places to see, they are welcome.. I'll visit England, Scotland and Ireland.
    Should I visit Belfast???


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  3. #2  
    Your Mama! GiantEvil's Avatar
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    I’m still waiting for you to come visit the Pacific Northwest. Legal Pot, hundreds of available microbrews, Portland is tittybar capital of the world, and I live here! Don’t visit now though, cold and rainy. I would like to visit South America sometime. Want to go to jungle and see snakes, and giant spiders like Theraphosa blondi. There’s also Anacondas in the Llanos.
    Last car deal I made was with a local scam-lot. Now I’m out some money and a car. You should come help me with my next car deal. As it is, I’m gonna just deal with not having a car till I save enough to buy outright used from a private party.


    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
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    Cat's Cradle.
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  4. #3  
    Forum Sophomore M_Gabriela's Avatar
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    You are insane... The other day I went to the beach....(South of Buenos Aires)... and I saw a freaking Black Widow..... they are little but very scary....hehe. In the north of Argentina you can see really big spiders like Tarantulas...ew..
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  5. #4  
    Forum Sophomore M_Gabriela's Avatar
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    First I have to visit Thailand and Malaysia.... then I want to visit Korea and Japan.... but I will probably go vacationing to Argentina next time because my pockets can't handle that many trips....
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  6. #5  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_Gabriela View Post
    Hello, as suggested by Exchemist (thank you) I want to ask you for the best company to rent a car...according to your experiences...
    I've been reading and every company I check always have negative opinions. I'm thinking it is inevitable.....
    Also if you have tips of places to see, they are welcome.. I'll visit England, Scotland and Ireland.
    Should I visit Belfast???
    I have not been to Belfast so can't really comment. I have made a few trips to Ireland and it is charming but I would not make it the focus of the trip, honestly. There is more going on on the big island.

    I suspect for you as a visitor from the New World, the biggest difference will be the amount of history that we have around us over here. So some visits to old towns and museums seems an obvious thing to include. If you are interested in this there is masses to see in a number of places: apart from London, Oxford (where PhDemon and I studied!), Cambridge and Bath spring to mind, for a start.

    Regarding the natural scenery it is all very gentle compared with what you will be used to, I expect. But I certainly recommend a trip to the West of Scotland for the highland lochs (there is a hotel I like to stay in on the Firth of Clyde) and if you drive you can stop off in the Lake District which has very pretty scenery.

    On the car thing I would not worry much about who you choose. It seems to me they are all fairly similar in price and service. Just get something small: cheaper and easier to manoeuvre and park in narrow streets. You will need to manage driving on the left of course, so take it easy at first if you are not used to it. Traffic manners are quite gentle in the UK, so provided you have good lane discipline and signal your intentions in advance, you should be fine. But do watch out for pedestrian crossings: pedestrians will expect you to stop for them every time, without fail.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Sophomore M_Gabriela's Avatar
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    Thank you Exchemist!! very detailed! In Scotland I'll go to Edinburgh, and we'll rent a car and drive to St Andrews and then to Dunfermline cause I saw it was very pintoresque. And then to Stirling, Fort William and Isle of Skye. Then I want to visit Inverness or Aberdeen though I'm not sure.... I will spend about 4 days in Scotland....I have 18 days... but I'll use a lot of them for London and the surroundings..
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  8. #7  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    I studied in Cambridge and Durham too

    Seriously though Durham is worth a day out, as is York, if you are travelling through the north-east
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  9. #8  
    exchemist
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    Yes, you could go up the West side via Lake District, see Scotland and return via Hadrian's Wall, Durham and York on the way South.
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  10. #9  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_Gabriela View Post
    Thank you Exchemist!! very detailed! In Scotland I'll go to Edinburgh, and we'll rent a car and drive to St Andrews and then to Dunfermline cause I saw it was very pintoresque. And then to Stirling, Fort William and Isle of Skye. Then I want to visit Inverness or Aberdeen though I'm not sure.... I will spend about 4 days in Scotland....I have 18 days... but I'll use a lot of them for London and the surroundings..
    I have a brother who lives near St Andrews. At the castle, there is a very interesting tunnel, dug by people during a siege of the castle during the wars of religion after the Reformation. They intended to blow up the walls, but the inhabitants heard the sound of the digging and quickly dug a "countermine" to intercept them. Both tunnels connected and you can pass from one to the other, provided you are not too fat - the gap is narrow.

    You will need a good waterproof for Skye - it always rains.
    Last edited by exchemist; January 23rd, 2018 at 04:25 PM.
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  11. #10  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Do please note that the vast majority of cars in the UK are not automatics (i.e. they're "stick" with a manual gear change).
    Not sure about where you live but I have heard horrendous (and usually true) stories about visitors from the USA not realising this - including one guy going flat out up the M1 in a Mini (yes it was a long time ago!) in 1st gear all the way.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  12. #11  
    Forum Sophomore M_Gabriela's Avatar
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    My sister drives with manual gear change. No problems with that.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Sophomore M_Gabriela's Avatar
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    Hello again. So I have 3 more questions:
    1) I read that you can buy Data Roaming SIM Cards. Do you know how it works? Because roaming costs are pretty high... but using this SIM I can upload data in order to use internet... right?
    2) Public Transport. is there a card one can buy to use public transport for a limited time? For example, when I went to New York there was this card for USD 30 that lasted a week, but one could use infinite times for subway and some buses... Is there something similar in London?
    3) I'm saving money in USD. What's the best place to buy GBP?

    thank youuuuu
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  14. #13  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_Gabriela View Post
    2) Public Transport. is there a card one can buy to use public transport for a limited time?
    In London definitely. It's called an Oyster Card. Pre-pay (I think - and top-up as required) for the Tube (subway), London Buses, some river links, Dockland Light Railway and rail services within London.
    I've got one somewhere - from my last job - and there's still (I think) a couple of quid or so on it. If I find it then you can have it for the cost of postage.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  15. #14  
    Forum Sophomore M_Gabriela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by M_Gabriela View Post
    2) Public Transport. is there a card one can buy to use public transport for a limited time?
    In London definitely. It's called an Oyster Card. Pre-pay (I think - and top-up as required) for the Tube (subway), London Buses, some river links, Dockland Light Railway and rail services within London.
    I've got one somewhere - from my last job - and there's still (I think) a couple of quid or so on it. If I find it then you can have it for the cost of postage.
    You are very kind! but no worries... Thanks for the data!!
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  16. #15  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_Gabriela View Post
    Hello again. So I have 3 more questions:
    1) I read that you can buy Data Roaming SIM Cards. Do you know how it works? Because roaming costs are pretty high... but using this SIM I can upload data in order to use internet... right?
    2) Public Transport. is there a card one can buy to use public transport for a limited time? For example, when I went to New York there was this card for USD 30 that lasted a week, but one could use infinite times for subway and some buses... Is there something similar in London?
    3) I'm saving money in USD. What's the best place to buy GBP?

    thank youuuuu
    Dywyddyr has got there before me on the Oystercard thing. You can get these at any large Underground station - probably at the airport in fact. Although as you are hiring a car I suppose you may want to wait until you need the Oystercard before getting one.


    I'm afraid I can't help much with the SIM card and currency exchange questions. I must admit I tend to use my bank card when travelling and put up with the exchange conversion charge the bank makes on the transaction. I suppose it might be worth finding out from your bank how much they charge for this and use that as a baseline to judge other currency conversion deals.
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  17. #16  
    Forum Sophomore M_Gabriela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by M_Gabriela View Post
    Hello again. So I have 3 more questions:
    1) I read that you can buy Data Roaming SIM Cards. Do you know how it works? Because roaming costs are pretty high... but using this SIM I can upload data in order to use internet... right?
    2) Public Transport. is there a card one can buy to use public transport for a limited time? For example, when I went to New York there was this card for USD 30 that lasted a week, but one could use infinite times for subway and some buses... Is there something similar in London?
    3) I'm saving money in USD. What's the best place to buy GBP?

    thank youuuuu
    Dywyddyr has got there before me on the Oystercard thing. You can get these at any large Underground station - probably at the airport in fact. Although as you are hiring a car I suppose you may want to wait until you need the Oystercard before getting one.


    I'm afraid I can't help much with the SIM card and currency exchange questions. I must admit I tend to use my bank card when travelling and put up with the exchange conversion charge the bank makes on the transaction. I suppose it might be worth finding out from your bank how much they charge for this and use that as a baseline to judge other currency conversion deals.
    Yeah... but I wanted to have some money in my pocket.... I will pay everything I can with credit card though...
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  18. #17  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_Gabriela View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by M_Gabriela View Post
    Hello again. So I have 3 more questions:
    1) I read that you can buy Data Roaming SIM Cards. Do you know how it works? Because roaming costs are pretty high... but using this SIM I can upload data in order to use internet... right?
    2) Public Transport. is there a card one can buy to use public transport for a limited time? For example, when I went to New York there was this card for USD 30 that lasted a week, but one could use infinite times for subway and some buses... Is there something similar in London?
    3) I'm saving money in USD. What's the best place to buy GBP?

    thank youuuuu
    Dywyddyr has got there before me on the Oystercard thing. You can get these at any large Underground station - probably at the airport in fact. Although as you are hiring a car I suppose you may want to wait until you need the Oystercard before getting one.


    I'm afraid I can't help much with the SIM card and currency exchange questions. I must admit I tend to use my bank card when travelling and put up with the exchange conversion charge the bank makes on the transaction. I suppose it might be worth finding out from your bank how much they charge for this and use that as a baseline to judge other currency conversion deals.
    Yeah... but I wanted to have some money in my pocket.... I will pay everything I can with credit card though...
    OK but you can get pounds from any UK cash machine, using your bank card, provided you are OK with the conversion charge your bank makes. At least you should be able to - and your bank can advise.

    Funnily enough, the first time I ever did this overseas was on a trip to Buenos Aires, back in the 80s!
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  19. #18  
    Forum Sophomore M_Gabriela's Avatar
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    Ohhhh. Buenos Aires in the 80's... mmmmmm
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  20. #19  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_Gabriela View Post
    Ohhhh. Buenos Aires in the 80's... mmmmmm
    I recall being told it was a great place to buy leather garments. Unfortunately, not being kinky, or not in that way at least, this did not appeal very much. My future wife had a good business assignment there in the 90s: used to be given opera tickets by the boss and learnt to ride a horse. All seems a long time ago now.
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