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I've heard this said dozens of times on here. "Just hire a car for long journeys" Well i can tell you that after this weeks experience, never again. Really makes me wonder if the people saying these things have actually done it or not...

I've got a LEAF 30, which i use for commuting, clearly not great for a long trip and doesnt really fit three children. I've also got two old ICE cars. Between the three cars we get by, but with a third child having arrived 4 months ago, we made a conscious decision to get a larger EV, and ordered an Enyaq which can replace the LEAF and provide a vehicle that suits all purposes.

Unfortunately, the Enyaq isnt here yet (ordered in May, with a delivery date of August/September!) and several months ago we booked a holiday to Legoland for the October break with the kids expecting we'd have the Enyaq for it. So with no Enyaq, a LEAF that can barely drive the length of itself and deosnt fit the family anyway, we discounted one ICE as the head gaskets have been giving warning signs for a while now and i dont want to risk it, leaving us with the other, not ideal but it would do, until it puked all its power steering fluid over the driveway last week...

So we figured, lets just hire a car.

We jumped on a few comparison sites and realized the first issue, trying to filter for cars that are actually large enough is near impossible, they wont guarantee a particular car anyway, leading to having to overcompensate to ensure we get something thats actually big enough to fit three kids in the back. So after much messing about, i booked a 7 seater people carrier for the 7 days. £400. ouch!

Then the next issue... £60 surcharge because we want to collect out of hours (10am on a sunday apparently is out of hours) and then it complains the place cannot accept the car back on a sunday because they have no secure drop box (and 10am sunday is out of hours), so i'd have to drop it elsewhere for another surcharge (or extend the hire, at my cost). And all of this inconvenience is happening in Edinburgh, 30 odd miles away from where we live, because its the nearest place with hire facilities. So picking the car up is going to be a 2 hour round trip, with the whole family.

So fine, suck it up, pay all the extras and stump up far too much money for 7 days hire of some shitbox people carrier of unknown make/model. At least its sorted.

Except it isnt, because this morning, less than a week before i'm supposed to leave they email saying the booking is cancelled as they dont have any 7 seater cars. Great. Back on the comparison sites and find prices are now higher, and selection is even more limited, so unless i want to hire a range rover for 1500quid i'm pretty much stuffed.

Excellent!
 

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Zoe Devotee
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Legoland from Scotland? Should have booked the train months ago when you would have got a cheap deal and booked a hire car more locally. Would have worked out cheaper I don't doubt.
 
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Rental companies have been hit hard by the chip shortages. They’re not getting the volume of new cars they need to sustain their business model.
Prices have therefore shot up and availability right down.

I used to rent cars through work for very little for the odd weekend but it’s not been possible to do recently so I asked some of our fleet guys what’s happening.

Once new car production stabilises the situation should get back closer to normal. Bad timing.
 

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I've heard this said dozens of times on here. "Just hire a car for long journeys" Well i can tell you that after this weeks experience, never again. Really makes me wonder if the people saying these things have actually done it or not...

I've got a LEAF 30, which i use for commuting, clearly not great for a long trip and doesnt really fit three children. I've also got two old ICE cars. Between the three cars we get by, but with a third child having arrived 4 months ago, we made a conscious decision to get a larger EV, and ordered an Enyaq which can replace the LEAF and provide a vehicle that suits all purposes.

Unfortunately, the Enyaq isnt here yet (ordered in May, with a delivery date of August/September!) and several months ago we booked a holiday to Legoland for the October break with the kids expecting we'd have the Enyaq for it. So with no Enyaq, a LEAF that can barely drive the length of itself and deosnt fit the family anyway, we discounted one ICE as the head gaskets have been giving warning signs for a while now and i dont want to risk it, leaving us with the other, not ideal but it would do, until it puked all its power steering fluid over the driveway last week...

So we figured, lets just hire a car.

We jumped on a few comparison sites and realized the first issue, trying to filter for cars that are actually large enough is near impossible, they wont guarantee a particular car anyway, leading to having to overcompensate to ensure we get something thats actually big enough to fit three kids in the back. So after much messing about, i booked a 7 seater people carrier for the 7 days. £400. ouch!

Then the next issue... £60 surcharge because we want to collect out of hours (10am on a sunday apparently is out of hours) and then it complains the place cannot accept the car back on a sunday because they have no secure drop box (and 10am sunday is out of hours), so i'd have to drop it elsewhere for another surcharge (or extend the hire, at my cost). And all of this inconvenience is happening in Edinburgh, 30 odd miles away from where we live, because its the nearest place with hire facilities. So picking the car up is going to be a 2 hour round trip, with the whole family.

So fine, suck it up, pay all the extras and stump up far too much money for 7 days hire of some shitbox people carrier of unknown make/model. At least its sorted.

Except it isnt, because this morning, less than a week before i'm supposed to leave they email saying the booking is cancelled as they dont have any 7 seater cars. Great. Back on the comparison sites and find prices are now higher, and selection is even more limited, so unless i want to hire a range rover for 1500quid i'm pretty much stuffed.

Excellent!
Are any of the cars you own 7 seaters, or did you just specify the 7 seater so you didn’t get ‘downsized’?

You just hire a ‘Class D’ (Enterprise speak) car that will have 5 seats minimum, and in my experience you’ll be upgraded to something even bigger if they can’t supply something for your hire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Legoland from Scotland? Should have booked the train months ago when you would have got a cheap deal and booked a hire car more locally. Would have worked out cheaper I don't doubt.
Perhaps, but we wanted to visit some friends on the way, so we're stopping off near blackpool for instance on the way down. Further, it was originally intended to be a nice trip in the new car.

Additionally, many hours hours on the train in these post-pandemic-but-not-really times really doesnt appeal in the slightest.

Also, I dont see how hiring a car at the end of the train journey actually helps in any way? I'd still need a vehicle large enough for 3 children, and now having arrived in Windsor on the train., i've no child seats for them... We've also planned at least one day trip while we're in Windsor.
 

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Suggestion made sense when rental cars were cheap and easy to get.

The world has changed.
 
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Are any of the cars you own 7 seaters, or did you just specify the 7 seater so you didn’t get ‘downsized’?

You just hire a ‘Class D’ (Enterprise speak) car that will have 5 seats minimum, and in my experience you’ll be upgraded to something even bigger if they can’t supply something for your hire.
Hire cars are messed up at the moment. There’s not enough stock so prices are silly and then they cancel on you.

£400 is pretty good for a people carrier for a week.

But if you don’t have status with these companies you’re going to have issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are any of the cars you own 7 seaters, or did you just specify the 7 seater so you didn’t get ‘downsized’?

You just hire a ‘Class D’ (Enterprise speak) car that will have 5 seats minimum, and in my experience you’ll be upgraded to something even bigger if they can’t supply something for your hire.
Trying to fit three childseats into a car is a difficult excercise at the best of times, when its your own vehicle and you can research what actually fits. I went with a 7 seater ("Sharan or similar") because they are generally larger cars and are usually designed in such a way that they have three seperate seats across the rear bench, which generally makes fitting child seats a much easier/more assured process. the third row usually folds and theres normally masses of room in the back as a result for all the crap that ends up required for three children on a weeks holiday.
If they instead provided some midsize crossover, it'd be literal dice roll as to wether they'd actually fit, and because they wont guarantee any particular model, you cant even check up front.

I got stung by this a few years ago by Enterprise in the USA. I booked a luxury SUV for 4 adults and a child in a car seat. The examples provided were all decently large vehciles (from memory they said Audi Q5 or Cadillac XT5) and when i turned up they handed me the keys to an Evoque, which barely fits four adults in comfort.
I ended up having to pay a massive fee at the desk to swap the Evoque for a Ford Expedition.
 

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Zoe Devotee
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Just a thought, 2 car seats in back, one in front, partner in the seat between the car seats. So long as its a sensible sized car its not a squeeze.
 
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Trying to fit three childseats into a car is a difficult excercise at the best of times, when its your own vehicle and you can research what actually fits. I went with a 7 seater ("Sharan or similar") because they are generally larger cars and are usually designed in such a way that they have three seperate seats across the rear bench, which generally makes fitting child seats a much easier/more assured process. the third row usually folds and theres normally masses of room in the back as a result for all the crap that ends up required for three children on a weeks holiday.
Sorry, I forgot to add that caveat last time I suggested people get a hire car on the odd occasion they need one.

"EVs are great for 95% of your needs, and you can always hire a car for the 5% it doesn't*"

*Unless you need to fit 3 child seats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just a thought, 2 car seats in back, one in front, partner in the seat between the car seats. So long as its a sensible sized car its not a squeeze.
That was the plan originally with the ICE car (an A4). I figured if i'm hiring something and paying nearly 500quid for the privilege, i might as well get something bigger.

Currently thinking of just taking the LEAF and putting up with the charging, because a few extra stops feels less annoying than forking over 600quid for a car thats still too small. Tonights job: see if we can actually fit all 5 of us in the LEAF in a not-silly manner.
 

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Just a thought, 2 car seats in back, one in front, partner in the seat between the car seats. So long as its a sensible sized car its not a squeeze.
I did this returning from IKEA one time and nearly died. my belt was on but neither my hips or shoulders could fit between the car seats, unless at 90 degrees. Not gonna work!
 

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That was the plan originally with the ICE car (an A4). I figured if i'm hiring something and paying nearly 500quid for the privilege, i might as well get something bigger.

Currently thinking of just taking the LEAF and putting up with the charging, because a few extra stops feels less annoying than forking over 600quid for a car thats still too small. Tonights job: see if we can actually fit all 5 of us in the LEAF in a not-silly manner.
You can't :(
 

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I was going to hire a Kona from Onto to tide me over whilst I wait for my EV to arrive. Except there aren't any 'in my area' so I worked my way down the list till I could get something 'in my area' before the year 2072

So lucky me, in December I can have a Pink Twizy for a month as long as I am happy to pay £50 delivery.

In all seriousness, why isn't the fee for delivery just included in the cost? How else am I and the vehicle to meet? The lead time was so long for anything remotely useful for me to use that I just decided to keep the ICE instead and hope it doesn't depreciate too much in the meantime.
 

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Just a thought, 2 car seats in back, one in front, partner in the seat between the car seats. So long as its a sensible sized car its not a squeeze.
That would be a squeeze in most cars with the seats my kids used to have. Certainly was in the Cee'd Estate I used to own. My Leaf (a Gen 2) looks like a similar width across the back seat. OK for short journeys but no way would I want to go from Edinburgh to Legoland like that. Perhaps you have narrower child seats?

Even at the best of times, 3 child seats is going to be a tricky case for car hire and strongly suggests you do need a 7 seater (or an old Fiat Multipla/Honda FR-V?)
 

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It would be cheaper to get an EV from Onto for a month.


£559 for a month all inclusive. 245 mile range.
 

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I’d like to know what a Scottish family is doing going to England for their holiday?
 

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Which model do you have on order?

Scotland to Legoland, that’s like 400miles of motorway driving. Having just done a 135mile motorway trip in my Enyaq I can tell you that at this time of year, if you put the ACC at 70mph then about 150miles is the most you’d want to risk on 100% (of the 60 model). And your following legs will be shorter due to only going to 80% on the rapids, so you’re still talking about at least 2 if not 3 stops even in the Enyaq. Now if you’re stopping anyway that’s fine, nobody should drive 400miles without a break, but it’s a far cry from just filling up before leaving and getting there on a single tank.

In normal times renting isn’t that bad, but it’s still uncomfortable due to the risk of being screwed over in the case of an accident. You should always seek a third party insurance for the rental excess, it’s much cheaper than the one offered by the rental company.
 

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Suggestion made sense when rental cars were cheap and easy to get.

The world has changed.
Indeed. We used to run one car, I'd book a "Corsa or equivalent" at the local Sixt for about £20/day if I was going away for a weekend and my wife needed our main car.

That branch closed before covid, these days it's £70/day or more for the same at a place further away.

I ended up buying a petrol MPV before inlaws flew in to visit a couple of years ago, the cost of a couple of weeks rental of one was ridiculous. It doesn't do many miles, but it's cheaper to keep that on the driveway insured and MOTed than it is to rent cars a few times a year.
 
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