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Some car rental questions for the Brits.

3716 Views 20 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Andrew*Debbie
We're heading to Blighty in late September and will be renting a car to travel around the southwest. No London driving. I was wondering if anyone had recommendations for a car hire agency. We used Sixt a couple years ago in Germany and they tried to pin some non-existent damage on us after we got back to the US. I won't use them again.

And due to the highway robbery cost of renting a GPS, I'll be buying a map card for ours and bringing it with me. Does anyone know if the cigarette lighter ports on the cars there are the same as here in the US? We'll probably be renting a VW or small Audi/BMW, so I would think they'd be the same, but you never know.

I'd appreciate any other dos and don'ts from anyone who's done this before. I'm hoping to find some driving simulator software for the UK, but it seem to be rare, if it exist at all.
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Sixt is even worse in England, I specifically reserved an A1 and prepaid for it for a months use. Show up at the one in Heathrow, no A1 in sight, ended up with a Golf TDI and then they told me I could drive back down from N. Yorkshire later on in the week to pick one up. Ended up returning it a few days early and they wouldn't refund me the days I didn't use.

One thing about the Audi/VW's, they use that MMI interface, so you can't use a normal usb cable for your ipod. They typically have SD slots though, so you can fill one up and use that for music.

If a road has street lights, it means 30 mph, no street lights mean 60 mph, divided highway is 70 mph. The only time it deviates from this is when a speed is posted. Round-a-bouts are probably the toughest, just remember go left.
Depending on where you're driving, you may want a smaller car. That's why I was trying to get an A1 for my last rental. Our 1er wasn't too bad to drive around, but I didn't like taking it up on curbs when parking. Driving our MDX around the Isle of Skye was a little dicey, it was as wide as some of the roads.
The 1er is what I'd consider an average size vehicle, it wasn't bad driving there, but 2 door coupes aren't the greatest for getting out of your vehicle in parking spots. Most people are really considerate when it comes to getting out of their vehicles and not door dinging you, but it does happen. Parking spaces are much tighter together, so much so, that the MDX could almost touch both white lines on each side in some of the smaller spots. The one nice thing about having the bigger vehicle is people move over for you. Just watch out for lorries, had one decide to pass another car coming toward me on a two lane road and luckily there was a soft shoulder and not a hedge or wall or else I was goner.

You should be able to just park in the middle of Bath and just walk around, great city to visit for the day. I just wouldn't recommend driving in London, take the train or tube in from outside and use it to get around. Outside of London it's not a big deal, just be careful on tighter roads that have hedge rows and walls that you can't see around.. If you watched the cycling on the Olympics, those are the roads you'll be driving on.
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