Speed Bump

I saw an article about how expensive car rental has become in Yurp, but in fact it seems to have become more expensive in Britishland.

A cursory look showed me that a 7-day rental in Vienna would run about $450 (base cost before add-ons), whereas at Heathrow the same car would cost $800.  Seriously?

Unlike a lot of people, I have no problem with driving in Europe or the U.K., so a rental car is always preferable to waiting for trains or buses.  (Not in the cities, of course, but around the country to small towns and villages.)  Even Britain’s perennial parking problems don’t really worry me, and I really prefer the freedom of the open road.

When I stayed at Free Market Towers back in 2017, I rented a car which, if memory serves, cost me about $320 per week, fully loaded (insurance etc.) and I fondly imagined that the next time I get Over There, I’d be able to afford the same.

Fat chance, at those prices.

And train travel has become prohibitive too, not just in Britishland but also in Yurp;  but I’m not interested in just staying in cities (ironically, other than maybe Vienna).

So here I sit:  proper fucked, as the Brits say.


  1. Ending mobility by high prices and taxation is essential to keeping the peasants on the estate.

    1. you’re right. Even the gas engine truck I bought recently has a smaller tank than the first truck I had in 2002. the glorified golf carts are worse. A gas tank can be refueled in a few minutes. The golf carts take much longer and finding a recharging station also takes more time. They want us in shoebox apartments in the city and dependent on trains and such. This creates funnels for movement and deer or other game can speak to what happens in funnels.


  2. Supply and demand I fear. After covid restrictions mostly ended there was, and is, a release of huge pent up demand for travel.

    Kim, your own posts clearly yearning to go somewhere are solid evidence of that demand.

    Only Democrats and their international co-conspirators fail to understand what happens when demand increases but supply does not. I honestly believe that Biden & Co had no bloody idea at all that restricting oil production would increase fuel prices.

    So cheer up, that demand will soon be satisfied and prices will drop. I’m evidence of that. We travelled through France and the UK for nearly 4 weeks in May, then promptly booked a 4 week combination cruise from LA to Miami via Panama plus time in Florida for January.

    My wife asked me where we are going in between and after Panama-Miami and I told her “Nowhere, I’m already tired of travel and spending”, and she agreed.

  3. And if you want a REAL shock – fuel at the local station today is £1.89 for petrol and £1.98 for Diesel.

    A litre………..

    1. For my Murkin Readers, multiply each of those numbers by 1.2 and then by 3.8 to get the $/USgal cost.

      1. As a service for the FBI agent monitoring this site, that’s
        $8.62 for gasoline and $9.03 for diesel.

        1. I remember my first time driving in England, back in 2006. At the time, the exchange rate was something like $1.60 to £1.00. I pulled in to a service station to refuel and saw that gas was priced in the vicinity of £1 and thinking “that’s not too bad.” About halfway through the fill up, comprehension made an appearance and I nearly had a heart attack. Later that evening, I was at a pub with some friends and ran out of smokes. I’d seen a cigarette vending machine near the restroom and thought, “I’ll just get a pack from the machine, how much more expensive can it be?” It worked out to be $11 for a pack of 16. This, at a time when I was paying $28 a carton here in Florida.

          1. My first price shock visiting the motherland was when I ordered scotch on the rocks. I forget what the cost was – 5-6 pounds (exchange rate then was 2:1, so that was a $10 drink)

            The bartender goes to the wall, which looks like a chem lab and measures off scotch into my ice.

            I looked down dumbfounded. It barely wet the cubes.
            About 1/2 finger.

            Back then I used to frequent a local dive, not to far from DFW airport. I’d sit down, and being a steady customer, the waitress would plunk down a goblet of Jack on ice, a good 3 fingers pull, for $2.50 happy hour pricing.

  4. I’ve booked a Hire Car for next week for 3 days, I don’t want to talk about how much it is costing!
    I’m still missing Oglaf!

  5. It’s not just Blighty and the Continent. I had occasion to travel to Ft. Myers, Fl last month for 10 days, on reservations I booked months ago. Airfare for my wife and I approached $1000. It was literally cheaper to fly to Amsterdam that it was to South Florida. Then, shock of shocks, 9 days of a rental car from “tier 1” rental car company (Expedia’s term, not mine) would be almost as much, $925. I ended up renting what was supposed to be a RAV4 from Fox (definitely NOT tier 1), which turned out to be a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander with 68,000 hard, hard miles on it. An old, black, shitty pretend SUV with it’s original windshield wipers and bad brakes in the Gulf Coast’s rainy season. Even though my reservation had the price pegged at $608 for 9 days, it wound up costing $890. On top of that, I had to wait over an hour in a sweltering trailer miles from the airport to pick it up.
    If you have bad credit, an ankle monitor and owe your tattoo artist more than your landlord, Fox is the place for you.

    On the upside, we leave for Wales on Friday to start our summer vacation with my wife’s sister and her family. They had the good sense to buy a lovely home within staggering distance from the best pub in the oldest city in Wales. Eight days there, then it’s off to Fishguard for the ferry to Ireland and a 10-day pub crawl from Rosslare to Kilkee and back again. His non-drinking son-in-law, who is otherwise a good fellow, will be our Designated Driver and Parking Agent. Four more days in Wales for my liver to catch up and then the dreaded flight back home to the Great Dismal Swamp that is Northern Virginia, with as much Irish Whisky as the law allows.


  6. I just priced an Amtrak ticket round trip to Maine (from Florida). It was more than the airfare.

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