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Rental car vs train travel

Ventura, California
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Rental car vs train travel

Going to be in the UK for two weeks starting in the midle of March. Which is the best way to get around the country, rent a car or take the train? I will be traveling alone and would like to keep costs down. Rental cars are only about $18.00 a day but I hear gas is expensive. Is there an unlimited travel ticket that can be purchased for the train like on the continent? (i.e eurail pass). Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Dallas, Texas
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21. Re: Rental car vs train travel

You can buy a Britrail flexipass for fewer days for less money. Just figure out how many days you will actually be traveling somewhere and buy a pass that covers that many days.

I have used the Britrail passes and like them because they are completely flexible. You can change your plans at the last minute for no extra cost. The advance train fares work like advance discount airfares in the US--if your plans change there are no refunds or exchanges.

Another thing you can do is take the train to Cornwall then hire a car locally for a few days while you are there. Just be prepared for narrow roads. It is very very different from driving on California freeways.

El Dorado Hills...
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22. Re: Rental car vs train travel

Keep in mind, the $18/day quote from Enterprise is most likely base. Your insurance policy in the US is unlikely to cover liability or physical damage in the UK, so you'll have to add those costs from the rental agencies in as well as the fuel.

I'm in a similar situation. Most likely I'll opt for the car myself because of the flexibility, but I'll be renting it after the London portion of my trip.

El Dorado Hills...
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23. Re: Rental car vs train travel

Keep in mind, the $18/day quote from Enterprise is most likely base. Your insurance policy in the US is unlikely to cover liability or physical damage in the UK, so you'll have to add those costs from the rental agencies in as well as the fuel.

I'm in a similar situation. Most likely I'll opt for the car myself because of the flexibility, but I'll be renting it after the London portion of my trip.

Bucks, UK
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24. Re: Rental car vs train travel

Before you rush out and buy your Britrail pass, consider how many train journeys you will actually be making and the likely fares

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

If you can book in advance, train fares can be surprisingly cheap, and unless you will be using the pass most days, individual tickets will probably work out cheaper. Don't forget there are also coach services which often run where the trains do not eg

http://www.nationalexpress.com

London, United...
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25. Re: Rental car vs train travel

maps.google.co.uk will give you an estimated cost of petrol for any journey. I have no idea how accurate this is, but it's probably in the right ballpark.

Another thing to check about the rental car option is whether it includes unlimited milage. It is not unheard of for there to be a maximum number of miles per day/hire period and extra charges if you exceed this.

Haughton, Louisiana
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26. Re: Rental car vs train travel

I am going to England with my husband in April and have been researching the same thing. Google maps will estimate your fuel costs for you. We are going from London to Dover and Canterbury, to York, Newcastle and Hadrian's wall country and then Edinburgh, and back to London. Hoping to figure this out too. Good luck!

Haughton, Louisiana
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27. Re: Rental car vs train travel

I checked with another site and did some math. I think google maps is accurate.

Haughton, Louisiana
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28. Re: Rental car vs train travel

That is good to know because when I researched the Britrail pass it was over $375 each for me and my husband. We want to go from London to Dover and Edinburgh for a week. It appeared to be less costly to rent a car but I am sure a train would be much faster.

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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29. Re: Rental car vs train travel

I think google maps is accurate.

________________________

In terms of what? Time to travel? It can be wildly optimistic. Someone posted on here very recently to say that they had not understood before their trip how windy the roads were, and that it took 2-3x what Google maps estimated to get from point a to point b.

Try the aa routefinder, or via michelin. Better sites, but still optimistic.

UK
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30. Re: Rental car vs train travel

Hoping to figure this out too. Good luck!

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The OP has been and gone, travelled last March.