60 Day Car Rental in England

Trip planning almost done – still the car rental to book. After two nights in Bath, we will pick up a rental car and drive up to the Nailsworth cottage.

I started looking up rental and leasing prices and WOW! Expensive! I decided to book without insurance since it is about half the price. I have done this before. We charge the car rental to our AMEX card and AMEX provides the coverage. Then Chris started a thread about car rental insurance and someone pointed out that AMEX does not cover you for more than 30 days (or maybe 45). I knew that – but had forgotten.

I did a bunch of searching, looking at car rental agencies and leases and buy-backs. To make a long story short, I found a rate on Enterprise that was almost half the AutoEurope rate. Because I have read on the message board about people getting AutoEurope to meet a competitor’s rate, I decided to give it a try. And they did! So, I have booked our car with AutoEurope, with full coverage (and a $1300 deductible). Below I show all the different prices I found and compare renting to leasing.

Searching for the best rate for a 60-day rental

We want an automatic (for us it is enough to cope with driving on the other side of the road plus want to start doing some driving on this trip and I don’t do well with manual), so that almost doubles the cost right from the start. In the end, we went for a larger car because it was only another $200 over the 60 days – but a compact would have been good enough. I will quote the prices for a compact automatic below.

These prices are for a 60 day rental, compact car, automatic. I tried different agencies and different pickup locations with AutoEurope (sometimes that gives you a different price). All prices are with Unlimited Free Miles.

DATES: January 4 – March 4, 60 days
DROPOFF: London Gatwick Airport

Car Rental Companies

AUTOEUROPE US Bath, Brass Mill Lane
Opel Astra with ac, Automatic, Compact, 4 Doors, A/C
1,966.30 USD Basic (Basic Rate includes taxes)
3,881.22 USD Inclusive

AUTOEUROPE US Bath, Westway Garage
Rover 25, Automatic, Compact, 4 Doors
1,966.30 USD Basic
3,754.10 USD Inclusive

AUTOEUROPE.CO.UK Bath, Brass Mill Lane
Opel Astra with ac, Compact, Automatic
1,972.42 GBP Inclusive, Price includes refundable excess
** AutoEurope.co.uk is more expensive than AutoEurope.com

KEMWEL (owned by AutoEurope) Bath, Brass Mill Lane
Opel Astra with ac, Automatic, Compact, 4 Doors, A/C
1,886.96 USD Basic (Basic Rate includes taxes)
3,411.64 USD Inclusive
** Kemwell is $400 less than the AutoEurope.com price for inclusive.

VAUXHALL VECTRA 2.0 GLS AUTO, Vehicle type: 4-Door
$2,600.92 plus $1243.80 for coverage, total $3844.72
** Similar to AutoEurope price. AutoEurope is a broker and uses Europcar, Avis and National (and others).

Volkswagen Golf or similar, (Compact Special), 4 Doors, 5 Seats, Aircon, Automatic
1,547.21 GBP, insurance 239.40 GBP, Total Payable: 1786.61 GBP

1car1 Bath
Vauxhall Astra
1,427.40 GBP, One Way Charge 55.00 GBP, Total Payable: 1,482.40 GBP
Pickup Bristol
** Price is getting better, but for this one we have to get from Bath to Bristol

Class D, Large Compact, Vauxhall Astra, 3 or 5 doors, Automatic
60 days @ 15.54pds, 1095.57 GBP, plus 75 GBP to dropoff in different location, total 1170.57 GBP
Total Charges include Damage Waiver (including Theft Protection), Third Party Liability, Road Fund Licence, and VAT. Additional surcharges may apply.
** This is almost half the AutoEurope.com price!!

COMPACT – Ford Focus 1.6 Auto, Compact 2-4 Door
8 weeks at 76.84 GBP, 4 extra days at 10.98 GBP
Total Including Approximate Charges: 832.84 GBP
** I think this was with no coverage, but could not figure out from the website.

Car Leasing Companies

AutoEurope.com Peugot BuyBack
Peugot 407 Executive gas 2.0 141 HP, Automatic, Midsize, 4 doors, ac
$2,629.00 Inclusive + $305 pickup fee, total $2,934.00
Buy Back includes Collision Damage waiver with a ZERO deductible. Buy Back includes Theft protection with a ZERO deductible.
Pickup at Gatwick or Heathrow.
** This is a good price and includes all insurance and no deductible, but if we change our travel plans you cannot get a refund if you renturn the car early and there are cancellation penalties. Plus we have to go to the airport to pick up the car.

I looked at Europe by Car and the price was similar.

AutoEurope matched the Enterprise Price!

I booked the car with Enterprise. They did not require any prepayment. Then I went to the AutoEurope.com site and requested a quote. Once I was emailed the quote, I sent them my quote from Enterprise. They looked into it and verified my quote and met it!

From AutoEurope: “Thank you for your beat rate request with Auto Europe. I have confirmed the Opel Vectra with Enterprise at the rate of $2493.42 US Dollars converted from £1184.40GBP. To include: tax, miles, liability, collision, theft, road licensing fee’s, and the pick-up surcharges. This rate did not include the “One-Way Fee” of approx: £75.00GBP that Enterprise charges locally. This brings the total to approx: $2645.00USD. I have lowered the rate using National as the supplier, for a Vectra or similar. The new discounted rate is $2550.00. The road licensing fee of approx: $100.00 USD is paid locally. This would bring your total with us to $2650.00 USD.”

I have rented from AutoEurope every year for the past 11 years and I like dealing with them. People on the message board like AutoEurope. If there is every a problem, you can call their 24 hour customer support and they deal with it. Last summer we had a car that stunk of perfume and the local agency did not want to exchange it, so I called the US customer support and they got us a new car.

This is still expensive for renting a car for this trip, but the price is the same as leasing, but is more convenient for us. We had do make the full payment up front, but they refund this if you have to cancel and refund the unused part if you have to cut your trip short.

So, I am a happy camper!

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.