So you’ve already seen that we spent a night in Oxford as part of a road trip, so here is our second instalment.. the car hire.
We were approached by Travel Supermarket to hire a car and take it anywhere we fancied to have some fun! The website was so easy and within about 10 minutes we had a car booked in for one night, two days and hopefully a lot of fun in between.
Our closest pick up point was about 15 mins from home which was perfect and we could pick a compact car to keep the price down although there were more luxury options that did tempt me!
We were then put through to Europcar’s website to continue our order…
So this is when the disaster began; Travel Supermarket were awesome, they got me the cheapest deal for the dates we had picked which was Bank Holiday weekend so it was quite a pricey time to travel, but as soon as Europcar took over it went downhill.
We received our booking confirmations for pick up on Sunday morning at 10am and dropping back on Monday at 8pm so we had plenty of time to enjoy ourselves. Then on Thursday I get a call from my local branch of Europcar starting they would cancel our booking as they weren’t open on either of those days despite having paid a premium to have them open. After a good half an hour of arguing with the woman on the phone who was so rude, muttering under her breath and totally unhelpful I gave up; this wasn’t suitable to deal with at work! I sent an angry tweet to Europcar and within an hour I had an apology call and the issue was sorted; I could pick up the car on Saturday and return Monday where they open for me to return the car.
Fast forward to Saturday, I rock up to Europcar in Romford and claim my car… it did take about an hour to pick up so make sure you give yourself time to sort out paperwork and ensure the car is in a condition you’re happy to drive.
We got the car, a Fiat 500S, home and at first drive I wasn’t impressed at all, but I did hope I’d get used to it!
Sunday morning came around, we packed up the car, plugged in the iPod and got on the road. It was a 60 mile drive to the first port of call; Go Ape in Wendover Wood. We made it there in one piece despite the car not wanting to go anywhere over 40mph and having to take hills in second gear!
We then hopped back in the car for another 30 miles to our hotel in Oxford. The little car was great for tiny cobbled streets and little car parking spaces!
We spent the afternoon having a lovely picnic, then the evening having amazing tapas, and yummy breakfast in the hotel. In the morning we hopped back in the car for a 40 mile drive down to Windsor to see the Queen, but more on our actual activities in the next installment!
It was a 65 mile drive back home and to drop the car back off.
Dropping the car back was super quick and easy; check over to see if I had done any damage, petrol check and we handed the keys back over.
So, what did we learn this weekend; Travel Supermarket is quick, easy and reliable to use. I’d use them again in a heartbeat. Europcar; not so much. They were fine after we had complained about their behaviour. The Fiat 500S; it’s still top of my list of cars I greatly dislike!