And the arguments we are having over a car we haven’t rented yet!
One piece of advice that I’ve received from several people who have travelled in the UK has been this: Get the smallest car you can comfortably drive, and get the collision insurance.
Makes perfect sense. They drive on the left side of the road (being an island, they can do this) meaning that traffic circles, exits, and passing spots go to the left. This feels fundamentally wrong to people used to driving on the right. Hence, you are bound to booger it up at least once and hit something.
Also, some of the roads in Scotland are barely roads. One lane, with wide spots to pull over and let oncoming traffic pass. Some of the roads in the cities are barely wide enough for a single car and are lined with parked vehicles and odd curbs. A giant lorry is probably going to clip at least one of the rear view mirrors.
Sheep have the right of way — and since they don’t understand traffic rules, are liable to leap out at odd moments in front of your car. Don’t hit the sheep. The insurance is for when you hit the big rock or tree to avoid hitting the sheep.
I’d be perfectly happy zipping around in a Geo Metro (or whatever the European equivalent is) — I’m a short person. As long as it has room for luggage somewhere, I can drive just about anything. If it was just me, I might even get one of the famed British Minis, just for giggles.
Mark, on the other hand, would have to be jammed into one of these micro-cars with a shoehorn and vaseline. No way. At least not if I wanted him to walk normally again.
I thought that a pretty good compromise would be a compact like a Ford Escort or Volkswagon Jetta. He still thinks it will be too small and we’ll have to duct tape our luggage to the roof to fit inside. I don’t know what he wants to drive — but now he’s teasing me with “minivan”. Grr.
Wait! That might solve the ‘sleeping in the car’ problem, though…
From what I can tell, car rental really isn’t too bad, as long as you make the arrangements before you leave. Much cheaper, especially for the weekly rate. Make sure you get the VAT stuff added to the quote — at 17%+ it can add up quickly.
I got a number of quotes from online companies, but I think we’re going to let the travel agent handle that part, as well. Again, we’re not too familiar with trying to make arrangements overseas, and we want to make sure it doesn’t get messed up.
Also, the recommendation is to buy a copy of the Road Rules which is a little booklet that outlines the rules of the road, right of way, traffic signs, etc. Think of it as something to read as you try to fight off jet lag, or let the navigator read it while you’re barreling along on a one-lane country road, just for a little excitement.