A car hire in the UK makes sense if you are traveling from one country to another or visiting distant towns where there is no reliable means of transportation. In addition, you are independent and can go where and when you want. However, in big cities that have good transportation systems, a UK car hire should be considered carefully taking into account the prices of petrol and rental costs.
Knowing what you want to do and where you want to go can help you decide whether a UK car hire makes sense. If you are traveling from one place to another or will tour the entire UK, then it is a practical option. You should also decide where you intend to pick up the UK car hire; in a major city or in a small town. That said, London is not really recommended as a place to pick up your UK car hire. The traffic is awful and you’ll not find any space for parking. You will have to check with the hotel you’re staying in, if parking is available and check the fees. Otherwise, your UK car hire parking fees will cost you the same as staying one night in a hotel especially in big cities such as London. There is also the congestion charge applied to road users entering London city during charge hours or from 6:00 to 18:00 so this is another consideration if you’re thinking of picking up your car in London city.
Most of the American rental companies are represented in the UK such as Avis, Hertz, Budget and National. Thus, it should be easy to find a suitable UK car hire. Shop around for car rental prices and check the websites of UK car hire companies. You can go as far as putting dates, adding options, and insurance to see how much it would cost you to hire a vehicle for a few days or an entire week.
Read the driving requirements in the UK. Drivers must be at least 17 years old and possess a valid driver’s license to drive in the country. National licenses issued by EU countries are valid in the UK while drivers from non-EU countries should have a valid international driver’s license. Make sure that your driving permits are valid for the duration of your UK travel or at least one year.
Pick your package, apply discounts codes if you have one and choose where you want to give back the car. This is important especially if you have to go back to the same city where you got off on your way back home. Enter your mode of payment and credit card details. Make note of specific times when you are expected to pick up the car. If you’re taking the UK car hire at an airport, you are usually asked for a flight number. For flights arriving late, make sure to mention this on your booking sheets so that there will be no surprises when you get to the airport.
Pay for your booking and print the voucher. Make sure to bring this with you when you get on your flight as this is the document, along with an ID or passport that you need to show when you pick up the UK car hire. When you pick up your car, inspect the condition of the car and take note if there are bumps and scratches. While this is difficult to do in the night, make a best effort just in case you’ll have a bad experience with a UK car hire. It never hurts to be prudent and meticulous.
The UK is one of the few countries in addition to Malta and Cyprus in the EU which drive on the left. If you have never driven before on the ‘wrong side’, it can be disconcerting to fumble for the door on your left when you should be looking for it on the right. Don’t worry, it is a matter of practice, but the principles are the same when using a manual car. It’s just that the gears have to be manipulated with the left hand and to watch for traffic coming from your right.
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