Renting a car in a foreign country can be a daunting task, what with deciding which company to use and trying to sort out the reputable agencies. Carrentals.co.uk is a site that has been helping travelers to navigate the car rental maze for ten years. Being based in Great Britain it might not be a familiar site for U.S. travelers but as it operates world-wide it’s a good website to bookmark. Carrrentals.co.uk offers price comparisons between up to 50 different suppliers including Hertz, Avis, Thrifty, Alamo, Sixt, Europcar and RentalCars and serves as a convenient booking site.
The Carrrentals.co.uk site is bright and bold with a clean, uncluttered screen. Your currency and country of residence can be selected so you don’t have to do any complicated currency exchange calculations. I found the site to work well with Internet Explorer but with Chrome it had some hiccups, sometimes displaying results for cars and other times saying no cars were available in that location. Mobile travelers can access the site with either Android or iPhone apps.
It is recommended that U.S. users choose travel dates using the calendar function rather than keying in dates as many countries (and the Carrentals.co.uk site) use the convention of date/month/year. This turns April 3, 2014 into 3/4/14, whereas in the U.S. the convention is month/date/year, as in 4/3/14. This could result in an erroneous rental dates. I entered the correct date on the calendar but kept catching my breath when I saw the date displayed in the field, which looked incorrect but was really right.
I needed to rent a car in Perth, Australia and being unfamiliar with rental companies in Australia it was helpful to have a go-to site. After entering the date of travel and location at the Perth International Airport, rates were displayed in a reader-friendly format. The lowest rate was through Sixt, a German company that I was unfamiliar with, though they have been in the car rental business since 1912, but I decided to take a chance. The price I paid was what was quoted on the initial screen plus taxes for a total of $275 for 6 days, though there were options such as GPS, infant car seats and extra drivers, which cost extra. The reservation confirmation appeared in my email in-box promptly, which I printed and brought with me to Australia
When I arrived in Perth with my husband after a long international flight we got through customs and immigrations efficiently. A little too efficiently, apparently. When we approached the Sixt counter it was unmanned. A sign by the telephone on the counter instructed me to pick up the receiver to be connected to an agent. Initially I kept getting a busy signal but finally a woman answered and explained that an agent would be right over. We settled into some nearby chairs and waited. And waited. After 15 or 20 minutes I called again and repeatedly got a busy signal. I started getting a little nervous. The Sixt poster that read, “Go with the underdog and save” was not inspiring confidence. Finally I reached the same woman, who seemed very surprised that we were still there and assured me someone was coming. After a few more rounds of this someone finally did come, a full 45 minutes after we arrived. The agent was very apologetic and said that one person mans the domestic and international counters in two far flung terminals and they allow 30 minutes for customs and immigration, and he got hung up in traffic between the terminals. He waived the second-driver fee and we had no further issues for the rest of the week, the car being clean, new and in good condition. When we left at the end of the week we just dropped the keys in a slot at the counter, unsurprisingly unmanned again.
Overall, using the Carrentals.co.uk process was positive. The Sixt rental process had a minor glitch when picked up the car, but Carrentals.co.uk doesn’t have control over their partners’ processes. They did ask for feedback to pass along to their partners. We had a great time on our Western Australia road trip in our Sixt rental car (see slideshow for some highlights.
Carrentals.co.uk makes it easy to rent cars in far flung locations.
The author was not financially compensated for this review, though she was able to sample the service for review purposes. The opinions expressed are those of the author based on her experience.