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  • Crafty 157 posts

    Hi all. Never hired a car in the UK before. Need one for 24 hours to get to a client 150 miles away. Live near Manchester airport.

    Whilst I’m seeing plenty of choice, prices are higher than I hoped. I’m sure in the past I used to see nifty tricks on here for a better car hire price – such as £1 one way deals, sadly not helpful to this case.

    Are any still around, or is it just a case of price comparison and fingers crossed for no bandits?

    Grant 123 posts

    I always find that Autoslash gives me the best rates for UK rentals.

    HughM 76 posts

    I currently have a paid-for Barclaycard for Avios, which put me in the President’s circle with Avis. They are mostly airport-based and tend to be dearer, but have better weekend opening hours (so your weekend can be 1 day rather than 2). I haven’t actually used them in the UK, but always count them in to my calculation. Sometimes combines with American Express.

    I status-matched the Avis to Enterprise (platinum), awarded for a short time of just one month, but it got me an upgrade from medium compact to SUV. You have to ask and explain membership grade. They said the one-month time limit doesn’t count, but I haven’t tested that. Enterprise lays out staff business cards on the counter, so grab some and connect with them on LinkedIn. It helps to remember/be remembered.

    Status match gave me executive with Europcar, which I use in both the UK and Italy. It gave me one upgrade from medium compact to a Kia estate; but last time I had to pay £6 a day extra for upgrade to an all-electric MG. You need to beg a bit. It doesn’t normally just happen. I’ve never had the free upgrade in Italy but then it’s a mixed blessing (use more fuel, harder to park). A good perk with Europ is the free weekend after 3 hires. No need for status for that. So, if there’s only a tenner in it, go for Europ.

    I recommend trying an electric hire: quiet and surges past tractors. Some Hamptons have a charge point. Hotels tend to know where the nearest is. Dawdle over coffee while it charges.

    I too always look out for the 1 pound/euro deals. Do register with Europ. There’s a birthday voucher: £10 basic, £20 executive.

    Preferred car? I guess the MG petrol, because the fuel gauge is a set of dots that looks full even after 80 miles.
    Always worth checking van prices. They can be quite a bit lower than a car. Favourite van? Renault Trafic, did 150 miles and fuel gauge still looked full on return. Gutsy performance, swallowed up several beds. Great visibility. Colour: white.

    davefl 1,436 posts

    Preferred car? I guess the MG petrol, because the fuel gauge is a set of dots that looks full even after 80 miles.
    Always worth checking van prices. They can be quite a bit lower than a car. Favourite van? Renault Trafic, did 150 miles and fuel gauge still looked full on return. Gutsy performance, swallowed up several beds. Great visibility. Colour: white.

    Don’t rely on that happening in the future. Newer cars and locations have telematics that reports the actual fuel level. I got caught by Avis at Phoenix Airport who scanned the car from his handheld and charged me because the tank was 96% full, not 100%

    HughM 76 posts

    Worth knowing, thank you.
    In Italy they want the till slip from your last fill-up, within a certain radius, but they seem relaxed about it.

    HughM 76 posts

    Also, if the car is electric, you can return the “tank” empty! And that comfortably repays the £6 a day.

    JDB 4,841 posts

    Also, if the car is electric, you can return the “tank” empty! And that comfortably repays the £6 a day.

    Is that true for all companies? My son was looking into hiring a car with Hertz this week and the only thing they had was a Polestar – they guaranteed that it will be at least 50% charged at pick-up but that that you must return it at least 75% charged to avoid a ‘refuelling’ fee/charge.

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