Hiring a car from Edinburgh city centre, it seemed like a good idea to do it from a city location rather than go to the airport, where car rental is cheaper but would take longer to pick up. Wrong. My first mistake was hiring through a website other than the car rental company. The second was not reading all of the tiny small print right to the end and back.
For the information of those who think they are picking up a car at ‘Waverley Station’, an easily-found city-centre location, maybe you are not. There are only two car rental companies operating from ‘Waverley Station’, which I knew meant New Street car park. The others advertise as the station but are actually at ‘the Omni Centre’, which the folk at New Street helpfully told me. Well, that is a cinema and restaurant complex but I went there anyway. I would have been at the airport by now.
Of course there is no car rental in the cinema so I phoned the company (always a good idea to have a printed copy of the paperwork). They gave me the location address, saying that they thought that Waverley Station was ‘quite near’. Never mind my response to that. So I looked at Greenside Row for number 29. Nothing. But Baillie Gifford have an office at that corner and the man on duty at the desk there gave me directions – ‘go down that hill and carry on around the corner’. So I did and there was a car park with a sign for another car rental company. Wandering into and around the car park, I saw a vehicle with ‘Green Motion’ on the side – that was the name of the company I had booked with. Sure enough there was a little unmarked office with two young men who are not paid enough to deal with the anger of customers like me. Not having my passport (what?) we got over but I had forgotten that I needed a credit card. I had given the card details at booking but let’s not be nit-picky here.
Back home, ate a banana and got a taxi back to the hidden car rental office. I would have been to the airport and back twice in the time that it took me to pick up a car which was located a mile from my home.
Motto: eat bananas, deal only with a car rental company that you know and whose location is known to you or very very clear. The day improved thereafter.