Though I may complain about the long and winding road, one thing I’ve noticed about the roads here is the lack of pot-holes. No, I don’t miss them, and never will. Having said that, I will admit that the recent snowstorms did create a couple holes on the road that were not there previously. However, it is no where near the extent I noticed on a regular daily basis in the US.

On previous trips as well as when we finally moved here, we have always travelled on smooth roads. Even in summer time, I did not see those orange cones indicating that road work was in progress. This is very different from the US, where it seems construction work stretches from year to year, usually commencing in the summer and sometimes not ending for several years. On some roads, the construction occurs every summer. On others, pot-holes are temporarily filled in, with re-paving occurring every2-3 years. The only times I have seen the orange cones over here are when they need to dig up for new piping or wiring, etc.

The few pot-holes I’ve recently encountered have been filled in, but whatever it is they use, it does not seem to dislodge when you drive over them, like they did in the US. It makes me wonder if the materials used over here are somehow stronger than in the US. It may help explain why they do not get the same level of damage. Or, perhaps there is less traffic overall. Or, could it be because the weather is much more temperate here, less likely to have extreme changes within a very short period. Whatever the case, I appreciate the lack of pot-holes. It would be very dangerous driving and dodging pot-holes. Especially when going down those extremely narrow country lanes with tall hedges obscuring your view of any oncoming vehicles.


Although second nature to most Brits, to Americans the stages involved between buying a car and getting it on the road can seem quite convoluted. 

Once you have picked a car and decided to part with your money, there will be three additional items (and consequently expenses) you will need to consider:  road tax, MOT test and insurance.

The MOT test is a roadworthiness test used in the UK on vehicles over three years old.  It tests the safety, roadworthiness and exhaust emissions of vehicles, and is not a test of the vehicle’s mechanical condition (your car could breakdown on the way home from the MOT test center following a successful MOT test.)  The MOT test must be carried out at one of the UK’s registered MOT test centers and usually costs in the region of GBP 50 (for a standard car).  Cars over three years old must have annual MOT tests.  It is illegal to drive a non-exempt vehicle on public roads without a valid MOT test certificate.  Also, your car will need to pass an MOT test before you can purchase a road tax disc.  The test is more thorough than the state inspections used in some US states (at least, in our experience).

If you buy a secondhand vehicle, then there may be several months remaining on the MOT test certificate.  If this is the case, you will not need to have your vehicle tested until the anniversary date of the existing certificate.

Once your MOT test is taken care of you can proceed to get a tax disc.  The tax disc is akin to the US vehicle license and registration, but for most, other than very new economical cars, it is more expensive (usually upward of GBP 100, and can be as much as GBP 400).  You can get a tax disc at either the post office or a local DVLA center.  Any vehicle used or just parked on public roads is liable for the tax, and stiff penalties are in place for those who do not hold a current tax disc.

If the dealer from whom you buy your car has a “documentation fee” then you should ask him what this covers.  We have found that it usually means he will walk down to the local post office and transfer the tax disc to your name.  For this he may charge you about GBP 50.  It’s something you can do easily yourself.

Similar to the MOT certificate, if buying a secondhand vehicle, the existing tax disc may have several months left to run. 

The third and final requirement for getting a car on the road in the UK is valid motor insurance.  There are very many insurance brokers in the UK, so be sure to shop around.  If possible, avoid brokers altogether and talk directly to an insurer.  There are several insurers that deal directly with the public.  Direct Line is one, there are others.  We very strongly suggest you talk to these before making a decision on your motor insurance;  it could save you many hundreds of pounds per year. 

Be very wary of the current fad of insurance comparison sites.  In our experience, these do not always list many inexpensive insurers and are mostly a vehicle for brokers to ply extra trade.

If you plan on driving on your US or overseas license then you should expect a hefty annual insurance premium (likely to be upward of GBP 1100 per year!)  from high street broker sold policies.  You might have  no choice but pay exaggerated premiums for 12 months until you establish a driving record in the UK.  However, if you have a clean insurance record in the US then read on![ad#ad-1]

UK motor insurance has a “reward” system based on the concept of “no-claims”.  For each full year you drive without an insurance claim against a UK insurer you earn points that give discounts on premiums for subsequent years.  This is no good if you have spent the last 5 or 10 years driving in the US!  So, why am I telling you this?  Well, if you talk directly to an insurer (such as DirectLine) they might be willing to honour your clean insurance record from overseas.  If you have, say, 5 years claims free with State Farm in the US then the insurer will consider a letter from State Farm when assessing your insurance.  You need to be able to prove a claims free record with your US insurer.


There are a great many differences between driving in the US and driving in the UK, as I have been keen to notice over the last few months.  The singlemost striking difference is sitting on the other side of the vehicle as driver (right hand drive vehicles) and being on the other side of the road.  It is that first few weeks of transition that can be found most nerve-wracking and require focused concentration at all times.  And most Americans or non-UK drivers can likely recount at least one tale of how they involuntarily lapsed in to previous habits.  (I was the target of some odd and steely looks as I drove the entire length of Windsor High Street on the wrong – the right! - side of the road.)

For about 3 weeks, until I consciously sought to correct the behavior, I found that I “hugged” the kerb side (left side) of most lanes and roads I drove on.  I think this was linked to my brain correcting for where it thought I should be in relation to the middle of the lane/road.

Since you sit on the other side of the car, in many UK market cars the levers on the steering column to operate signals/indicators and windscreen wipers don’t always correspond to where they are in cars made for the American market.  Signalling at the first sight of rain, or turning on the wipers before turning left were a regular occurrence.   (“Didn’t he see I was turning left?  My wipers were clearly on!“  I joked to myself beneath a crescendo of honks as I cut across two lanes to exit at a roundabout.)

Anyone would be forgiven for thinking it was the Romans who built roads in the US and not the UK.  Roman roads were renowned for being straight, but it seems when they left the UK they took their roads with them.  Modern road building seems to been executed using the McCartney method leading to a lot of swaying and bumping.


In my previous entry on obtaining a UK driving license, I reflected on my experiences with the UK Driving Theory Test.  In this third and final entry in the series, I will talk about my recent experiences with the UK Driving Practical Test.

After passing the theory test you’ll be issued a pass certificate.  With this certificate you can proceed to book your practical test online.  You’ll need your certificate number and a credit card to pay the GBP 56.50**.  Fill in the details and you will receive written confirmation of your booking within a few days.  You should take the written confirmation along with your theory test pass certificate and both parts of your driving license with you on the day of your practical test.

You will also be required to take an additional rear view mirror to the test so that the examiner can see traffic behind the vehicle during the test.  These are available at Halford’s for about GBP 5.00.

Before getting in to the car, the examiner will perform a basic eye sight test by asking you to read a car registration plate that is about 20m away. He will then ask you two basic questions related to either vehicle safety or basic vehicle maintenance.  I have read in preparation materials that there are about 13 questions that the examiners select questions from.  My experience indicates that this is not the case.  The questions I received were not in the question pool commonly thought to comprise the entire set.

Usually, one question will be a “tell me” type  question (for example, tell me how you would check that your indicators are working), the other will be a “show me” type question (for example, show me how you would operate the high beam lights).

Only then will the driving part of the test begin.  Without going in to all the ins and outs of the test, suffice it to say that examiners are looking for an overall safe standard of driving.  Be sure to use your mirrors, and practice the MSM and PSL routines when driving.  The test is about executing safe driving in the recognised manner.  I cannot emphasise this aspect enough.  If you hold an American license then you may well have many years of safe driving behind you.  However, this does not mean you will waltz through the test with ease.  You must have a thorough understanding of the recognized aspects of safe driving as taught by British instructors and specialists.

The examiner will usually take you round a selection of roadway where you will encounter many standard obstacles (such as roundabouts, schools, mini-roundabouts, crossings, dual carriageways etc.).  Bear in mind the test must be carried out within the allotted 40-ish minutes.

During this time, the examiner will also ask you to pull over several times, sometimes to check the way you pull away from a stationary position (pay particular attention to your blind spots!) and other times to brief you on an impending manoeuvre.

You will be asked to execute two of the recognized standard manoeuvres.  These are:  left reverse round a corner, turn in the road (sometimes called the three point turn), reverse in to a parking bay and reverse parking (parallel parking).  Optionally, you may be asked to perform an emergency stop. I have heard it said that this is less likely if there is the slightest hint of damp on the road surface, or fog.

I read (and then later confirmed with a qualified driving instructor) that if the examiner wants you to perform a reverse park in to a bay, then it must be performed in the car park of the test center.  If your test center does not have sufficient space for this then you will not be asked to do this manoeuvre.  Likewise, if you are particularly weak on this manoeuvre then you might want to scope our various nearby DSA test centers to see which of them do not have sufficient space for this manoeuvre.

At your earliest opportunity, learn as much as possible about the recognized British way of teaching driving.  Learn and practice religiously the MSM and MSPSL methods.

The DVD I referred to in the previous entry ([ad#co-1]) has a very useful section on the driving practical test. It has video clips showing the correct way to perform all the manoeuvres and scenarios you will be expected to know for the practical test. It also has an entire mock examination filmed. I found this particularly useful.

A week before my test, I booked a two hour slot with a local ADI driving instructor and did a condensed mock driving test.  This was a very useful experience as he was able to identify several areas of weakness that I needed to be aware of if I were to pass (as I did at the first attempt).  Most instructors charge about GBP 20 to 25 per hour.  If you are not going to pay for a course of lessons, then I certainly recommend putting out the GBP 40 or 50 to do as I did.

If you pass, then the instructor will issue you with a certificate at the end of the test and your license should be with you within 3 weeks (about a week in my case).  If you fail, then you can request a full debrief with the examiner in order to ascertain where your major weaknesses lie and you must wait at least 10 days before re-taking the test.

** EDIT: On April 1st 2009, the fee for the practical part of the driving test went up to GBP 62.


Britain is renowned for its beautiful countryside and quaint villages. We love to explore the various surrounding small towns and villages. As we are driving down a highway, a sign pointing to an unexplored town will tempt us to turn off the main road to discover a hidden part of this wonderful island. However, the driving can be quite exhausting, most especially for the driver.

I do not refer to the fact that we are getting tired of exploring. Oh, no, not that. It is simply that when we turn off the highway, the sign will tell us that the village is 3 miles down the road. After winding around for a few miles, we think we have lost our way, when another sign announces that we are heading in the correct direction and the village is now only 2 miles away. After going through some more winding streets, we come to a turn. If you go right, the village is another 2 miles. Two miles?!! Yes, that’s right. Another two miles.

It’s part of the British sense of humour, you see. Miles stated on signs are “as the crow flies” on a good day, but the actual route taken is that of a drunken crow trying to make it to its destination without a crash landing. Unlike the US, you cannot get from point A to point B with a straight line. You must twist and turn until you are completely exhausted from holding on to the steering wheel. As a passenger, you are thrown back and forth against your door as you anxiously anticipate seeing your quaint little village, only to find that it keeps getting further and further away. It is like going through a huge maze just to get to your destination. The British roads are so unique that I think they need to come up with their own distinct definition for the British Mile.


In the first entry in this series of three on obtaining a UK driving license, I reflected on the process of obtaining a UK provisional driving license. Here, I will outline my experience with the second stage of the process, the driving theory test.

Once your provisional driving license arrives (usually two to three weeks after sending in the application form) you can book your test online via the DSA test booking site.  In order to do this, you’ll need your license number and a credit card to pay the fee (at the time of writing this is GBP 30 for the theory test**).

The process is a straightforward 5 or 6 step web form.  Then, within a few days you’ll receive confirmation via mail, re-iterating the date, time and location of your test.  It is important that you keep this written confirmation from the DSA as you will be required to produce it before sitting the test.   If you cannot produce it you will not be permitted to sit the test and forfeit your booking fee.

There is a veritable ocean of material (books, DVDs, online, computer programs etc.) available to prepare you for the driving theory test and they cover the entire spectrum of expense and convenience.  If, like me, you are on a tight budget, then use public libraries to obtain written material, or look to eBay or Amazon for secondhand copies (just ensure you are using a recent copy as there are occasional changes to the material).

I used the AA Driving Theory Test book from a local library.  It includes 1200+ practice questions and took me about two evenings to work through the entire  book.  In addition to this book, I picked up a copy of the DSA Official Highway Code book for reference purposes as the AA book only gives questions and answers with little or no explanation (at the time, Sussex Stationers, a high street bookstore, had this on special offer for GBP 2.99.)

A week before my driving theory test, Woolworths went out of business and I bought the third and final piece of preparation material for the tests at a knock-down price.  It was the [ad#co-1] for the PC and was well worth the money.  It retails for GBP 9.99, but some retailers sell it for a little less and cheaper secondhand copies are available via eBay and Amazon.  Again, be sure to buy the most recent release.  The DVD contains a wealth of material including practice theory tests, the Highway Code book and, more importantly, practice Hazard Perception Tests.

The Hazard Perception Test is the second part of the driving theory test and follows immediately after the 50 question multi-choice theory test.  In it, you will be shown a series of videos and you will use the mouse to identify when certain situations on the screen could develop to become a hazard to you as driver and other road users (for example, a cyclist moving out ahead of you to pass a parked vehicle.)  I strongly recommend working through the entire selection of 30 or 40 clips given on the Driving Test Success DVD.

For experienced American drivers, the multi-choice part of the test will be similar to the written test used in some states, although a little longer.  Just be aware of the differences (roundabouts instead of four-way stops, speed limit differences etc.) and the fact that the underlying principles of both theory and practice test are put in place to encourage safe driving (sometimes to an excessive degree.)

You get your test results immediately and must pass both parts of the test before proceeding to book the driving practical test. If you do not reach the passmark for one section of the test, then you must resit both sections again (paying the full entrance fee again).

Here are some additional tips and recommendations based on my first hand experience:

  • make sure you know the location of, and transit time to, the test center; if possible drive/travel to the test center timing your journey, also scope out parking in the area as many test centers do not provide parking for candidates;
  • on the day try to arrive 10 minutes early; if there is availability, the test administrators might allow you to sit the test early. I was 45 minutes early and as a result finished my test before my scheduled start time;
  • if you are not going to the test center alone then find out whether the test center allows non-candidates to enter their offices; the test center I used offered no waiting area for non-candidates;
  • read the above-mentioned AA book from cover to cover as it contains questions very similar to the multi-choice section of the test; I’d be willing to wager 95% of my actual test questions were similar to questions in the book.

Once you pass the driving theory exam you will be given a pass certificate. With this certificate, you will be able to book the driving practical test online.

** EDIT: On April 1st 2009, the fee for the theory test went up to GBP 31.

** EDIT [2010-04]: From October 2009, a further element (the “case study“) was added to the theory test. It involves a scenario or short story delivered and answered as part of the multiple-choice part of the test; candidates are asked 5 questions about each scenario. Much additional informative comment – including information about the case study questions – can be found on the DSA’s youtube channel.


Recently, I went through the protracted ordeal of obtaining a full UK driving license.

In order to gain a full UK driving license, one must pass two examinations in the prescribed order:  the theory test and the practical test. 

The theory test comprises two parts delivered by computer.  Part one is a fifty-question multi-choice test based on the UK Highway Code which you answer via a computer touchscreen.  Part two is the somewhat controversial hazard test which you answer at the same computer screen using the mouse.

For me, there was a great disparity between how, on the one hand, these tests were presented to, and largely feared by, the public at large, and the reality in that they are simply a well designed sequence of tests aimed at emphasizing good practice and safe driving.  Without any formal UK driver training, I was able to ace the theory test (100%) and pass the practical driving test with very few driving faults. 

In this entry, the first in a series of three, I will reflect on my experience from beginning to end in the hope that it will shed light on the process and ease some of the anxiety and heartache for anyone currently embarking on the same journey.  Largely, this is written from the perspective of an individual transitioning from a United States license and driving environment to a UK license, however much of the detail could apply to individuals coming from one of the many other countries which have no reciprocal license arrangement with the UK.

In order to book the UK Driving Theory Test, one must first have a UK provisional license (similar to a US Learner’s Permit).  Unlike the US, where most mid- to large-sized towns have one or more offices authorized for the distribution of licenses (BMV/DMV), in the UK the issuing of all driving licenses is undertaken by a centralised agency, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), in Swansea.  To get a UK provisional driving license, one must fill out the required form (currently called the D1 application form).  You can get this form from any branch of the UK Post Office.  Once complete,  send it to the DVLA in Swansea with a recent passport photograph, your current passport and payment (currently GBP 50.00) in an appropriate form.  

If sending a passport through the post sounds like a risky undertaking then I agree, it is.  However, the Post Office offer an expedited, registered service for this purpose and I strongly suggest paying the GBP 5.00 and using it.  Likewise, when returning your passport, since the DVLA cannot be held liable for loss in transit, it is a good idea to pay for registered, expedited service for the return (and make a note of the serial number on the return envelope before sending it away).  By default, the DVLA send back your passport as regular first class mail. 

The DVLA are understandably strict when checking the form and will not hesitate to return it as incomplete if there is reason to do so (for example, if your signature is not entirely within the bounds of the box provided).  If time is tight, then you can have the form checked at a local DVLA center for a small fee and they will also send in your form to Swansea.  Some post offices also offer this form checking service for the same small fee.

The DVLA will send back your passport once they have performed the required checks (usually within 10 days) and provided there are no errors or incomplete sections on the D1 form, your provisional license should be with you within three weeks of them receiving your application.

Here are some additional recommendations based on my first hand experience:

  • be sure to double check  your application (or have someone else run their eyes over it) and wherever possible have it checked and received at a local DVLA office.  In my experience, post office staff were able to answer only the more superficial questions related to the process; however, this might not nescessarily be true of all post office staff;
  • be fully aware of the photograph requirements as these have changed in recent times and may be different from current US passport photograph regulations (for example, you must take off your glasses for the photo even if you are unable to see anything without them etc.)
  • hand in your application at a local DVLA office;  the staff will check your form and knowledgeably answer any questions you have related to the process.  Also, depending on the origin of the passport you hold, they might be able to perform certain checks and return your passport on the spot;
  • if sending your passport to the DVLA in Swansea, be sure to include the necessary payment and paperwork to have your passport returned via insured registered mail (note the serial number of the return envelope!);
  • take appropriate funds to pay for your license processing fee, GBP 50.00 at the time of writing;  DVLA local offices will take a GB sterling cheque drawn on a UK bank, cash or banker’s check;  if you are not using a local DVLA office then be sure to send in the fee in an appropriate form;

Once you hand over the forms and payment, you’ll have to wait approximately three weeks before your provisional license arrives.  If you are under time contraints (as was I) then be sure to put this time to good use by beginning to prepare for your UK Driving Theory Test.

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to get this process started as soon as possible.  If you carry a full US driving license then, at the time of writing, UK law permits you to drive on your US license for a maximum of twelve months commencing the day you enter the UK.  Before entering the UK, you should ensure your US license is valid for a further 12 months since because, depending on your circumstances and situation, it could take anything from 8 weeks to 12 months to get a full UK driving license.  Be aware there are many steps involved in obtaining a UK driving license, each of which can (and quite possibly will!) take a little longer than you anticipate.


With roads so narrow and parking spaces so small, I am bewildered by the growing number of SUVs and other large cars and trucks on the road in the UK.  It seems the Brits are bound to repeat the mistakes made by many Americans, who have now turned to smaller, more economical cars.  With all the emphasis on being greener, Brits will soon find that the big gas guzzlers will impose not only heavier penalties in terms of petrol, but also in taxes and insurance.

It’s true these larger cars are much more gas efficient than their US counterparts, but they still consume much more fuel than smaller cars.  Yes, gas prices are coming down but the oil industry is such that it is constantly in flux.  You still end up paying too much to run these cars. 

Americans have always been criticized for their apparent unconcern for the environment when they insist on buying and driving these vehicles.  Now, it seems, they have turned their backs on them and switched to smaller imports with better fuel efficiency.  Hence, the financial problems with the major US car and truck companies.  Yet, these companies still see some trade in the UK, as evident from the numbers of vans and trucks on the road.  I’m not saying smaller cars are not evident in the UK – they are.  In fact, there are by far more smaller cars, but I’m still amazed at the number of large cars.

The UK road system existed long before all these cars came into existence, and the roads had not been built with these big cars in mind.  Now it is too late to change things.  With the limited space for parking, you’ll find that people are allowed to park on certain parts of the street as well.  This further narrows the space for maneuvering any vehicle. 

In parking lots, spaces are designed with the average car in mind.  These spaces tend to be short as well as narrow.  Our small sedan barely fits within these confines.  Some places impose penalties if you extend outside the lines in any direction.  Yet, we have seen cars and trucks crammed into these spots, sometimes blocking their neighbors doors.  The tail end that extends beyond the parking space again narrows the driving lane.

With all these considerations, then, I wonder why anyone in the UK would want an SUV, truck or large car outside of work restrictions?  Yes, they are convenient for transporting large items, etc., but how many people really require that?  Delivery is always available here so that no one needs to own a large vehicle.  Is it that these cars give people a sense of superiority, sitting on top of the world?  It is aggravating how they sometimes block other people’s view of traffic.  I have never seen much point in owning one of these vehicles and here in England, it seems even more pointless.


If you get a car, you should join the AA or RAC immediately. The AA (Automobile Association) and the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) are the equivalents to the AAA in the US. They all offer similar services and they all have different levels of membership with different benefits. And they all cost about the same.

Unlike the AAA, the AA and RAC do not offer other retail services, such as a Travel Store, discount vouchers, etc. On the flip side, each also offers insurance plans, not just for cars, but also for home. Although AAA does not yet offer home insurance, it probably won’t be long before it does. Similarly, the AA and RAC will probably add more to their services, so that they will be in line with the US equivalent model.

Being a member of an automobile association is advantageous because you just never know when you might need roadside assistance, or even when your car won’t start at home. As a member, you would not have to pay for a call-out emergency. In fact, a single call-out may cost as much as a year’s membership. In addition, if your car needs towing, that would be more money out of pocket. So, a year’s membership pays for itself if you even use it once. Plus, you can get discounts for having a year without a call-out.

We learned almost too late about joining the RAC/AA. We had talked about joining but never got around to it. Then, one morning, our car wouldn’t start. Not knowing what to do because we were so isolated, we ended up taking a long walk to the local bus stop to go into the next big town. Incidentally, a car garage was located next to the bus stop. Unfortunately, this garage was for expensive sports cars. However, the owner was very nice and very willing to help out. It was with his advice, his cell phone and his computer that we were able to join the RAC and eventually get them to come out.

When the mechanic did come out, we were very surprised at what we got for our money. Not only was he able to diagnose the problem, he fixed it there and then. He also looked around to see if anything else was wrong and found something. He suggested we get a part (very cheap part) and call him back to have it installed. We saved a lot in time and money because if we had called to have our car towed to the nearest garage, we’re sure the mechanics there would have ripped us off. Unlike the AAA, the RAC/AA provides real roadside assistance. It isn’t a mere towing truck.

So don’t wait for an emergency to happen to join the RAC or AA. Do it now.


Car rentals can be very expensive in England.  It is even more so if you cannot drive a manual.  Most cars here are manuals.  They are cheaper to rent, as well as buy, because they are more readily available.  Some car rental companies do not carry many automatics, if at all.  So, if you can’t drive a manual, you should start learning now.

For those, like me, who cannot drive manuals and dread learning to, there are other considerations in renting that will impact their finances.  First, and foremost, is the insurance.  If you cannot prove that you have adequate insurance coverage (for their purposes), then you are required to purchase their insurance.  In addition, if something should happen, there is a high deductible (called excess) applied.  This deductible is added to your car rental until you return it claim-free.  You can also choose to pay an extra fee to reduce this deductible (or excess).  The terms were so confusing that we did not fully understand it at first.  Besides the basic car insurance that you pay for, you also must pay another insurance for Tire & Windshield.

The issue regarding fuel over here is similar to the US.  You either choose to pay for your gas upfront or refill it to the same level you took it out.  If you don’t return it at the same level, they charge you a small fee for refueling it.  The difference is that you don’t have to pay the maximum rate for fuel.  They just charge you their current fuel charge, which can be cheaper than what you’d find locally.  I know Hertz does something similar now.

When we’ve rented in the US, there never seems to be a major inspection of the car prior to you taking the car; but when it is returned, sometimes they look it over, other times you just park it up and leave.  that attitude varies over here.  Some places, you have someone going around the car quite thoroughly with you before they hand over the keys and they do the same when you return it.  Others, they just hand you the keys and expect you to look it over yourself.  It is your responsibility to report any damage to the car before you take it.  Otherwise, you may be expected to pay for it.

Whether you are visiting or staying, you will need your passport as proof of identity.  Some places (we know from our experience of Enterprise) will also require your flight details in order to confirm that you are only renting temporarily.  If you are staying, some places (again, Enterprise) will want proof that you are residing here – they will want two bills for this.  It made it difficult for us because we still didn’t have a place of residence and needed a car to rent.  We couldn’t prove that we were staying because we didn’t have any bills and we couldn’t prove that we were visiting because we didn’t have airline tickets.  They had no answer when we asked how we could rent a car so that we could get around and find a place to live.  Luckily, we had found another company that was not going to put us through that rigmarole.[ad#ad-1]

It’s best to use a credit card to reserve a car.  Using a debit will mean that they will take your money out first and return it later if you did not damage the car.  I find it more reassuring if they only take out money after the fact and you know how much they will take, rather than guessing whether they have returned your money.  Or, if you have cash on hand, that is even better.  Just remember that Discover is not accepted at most places in England.