Renting a MINI in the UK is probably one of the best ways you could possibly travel. Surely train travel is a smart thing to do and buses can be a great value but nothing beats the luxury of having a car at your disposal. And what other car would you want in England than a MINI?
During my recent trip to the UK I rented a well specced Chilli Red Cooper from MINI-Rentals. It was loaded with the aero kit, driving lights, aero grille, and R90s among other things. Even in a MINI saturated environment such as London it managed to turned a some heads.
MINI-Rentals is a small, independent company located in the historic town of Winchester, about 50 minutes outside of London via train. They have a fleet of nicely equipped MCs, several MCSs, and even a couple Cabrios on order for summer delivery. I also saw a smart Roadster which was also for hire.
Booking was a very simple process and involved a web based application sent to me once we decided on the MINI we wanted. This was fantastic as we had 99% of all the paperwork taken care of before we even got there. Definitely the easiest way to rent a car I've ever seen.
While renting a car in the UK is never cheap MINI-Rentals prices are certainly some of the better around. In fact they just lowered their prices to Ã‚Â£50 per day if you rent for 4-6 days and Ã‚Â£40 for 7 days. I'm told this is as low as almost anything in the entire country. Especially if you're looking for a wide selection of MINIs.
When my wife and I arrived at the train station we were met by Anders, the owner of MINI-Rentals. He helped us load our luggage and quickly went over some UK driving specifics. Before we knew it, we were off and driving through Winchester heading for the A34 motorway.
It may seem like renting a car almost an hour outside of London would be more trouble then it's worth. However after seeing London traffic and driving through Winchester I would urge anyone to strongly consider it. Especially if you aren't accustomed to UK roads. I simply can't imagine picking up a car in London and attempting to actually drive out. Picking up in Winchester allowed us to get our feet wet on UK roads in a more laid back and sane environment. In fact we were out on the A34 Motorway in a matter of minutes with no worry or aggravation.
If you love driving you'll have a great time on UK roads. If you get easily flustered and or don't read maps well I'd urge patience and careful planning. That being said this is the place to drive a MINI. I'll go into detail about the experience in an upcoming article.
After three days of touring the country we headed back to MINI-Rentals to drop off the car. Anders was even nice enough to take us out to lunch and give us a brief history of Winchester. In fact we were so interested that we decided to stay around for 2-3 hours exploring the center of town.
Overall we really enjoyed our experience and found it to be simply the best way to travel through the countryside, villages, and even into London. Of course MINI-Rentals is a sponsor of MotoringFile and I've always urged anyone either going to the UK or currently there to checking them out. However, now I can now say with some authority that they provide a pleasant and easy way to rent a MINI and would highly recommend them to anyone.