Shoestring Rentals, Bexley - Rob the Bus {P}
I will soon be needing to hire an MPV, and telephone calls to the big companies around here have produced very disappointing results (ie having to pay to have the car on a Sunday even though I don't need it, because they don't open to let me return it).

I found a company based in Bexley called Shoestring Rentals who rent out imported Toyota Lucidas. They seem to fit the bill perfectly, but I am a little worried - a case of too good to be true?

If any of you have had any experience of this company (good or bad), please let me know. Obviously the good can be posted here, but any criticisms should be directed to the e-mail address in my profile, please.

Thanks for your help.


Shoestring Rentals, Bexley - T Lucas
I have no experience of the company you mention,but i will only ever rent from a multi national,Hertz,Avis,etc.You usually get only what you pay for with car rental,what about insurance,damage,wear and tear,theft,breakdown,recovery etc?Too scarey and not worth trying to save a few quid IMO.
Shoestring Rentals, Bexley - Aprilia
I agree with T Lucas. Don't mess with the 'Rent a Wreck' outfits, most of them end up more expensive than the national companies.
Shoestring Rentals, Bexley - peterb
MPV rental is REALLY expensive.

A friend was trying to arrange rental for his cousin + family for a month and ended up seriously considerng *buying* an elderly estate or MPV as a cheaper alternative*.

* Common sense did, eventually prevail.
Shoestring Rentals, Bexley - Downesi1
A friend of mine needed an mpv for a France trip, 1 week 700 Miles and the est cost was 1k for hire.
He went out bought a grey import lucida for 2.5k, it has 50K on the clock. Bargin !
Shoestring Rentals, Bexley - J Bonington Jagworth
Obviously I don't know about your Shoestring outfit, but we had a garage here that rented out vehicles, including an MPV, for less than half the cost of the main outfits, and they were very satisfactory. They owned the vehicles outright and their overheads were low because they were also running a normal garage. What killed it off was insurance costs, so check the cover offered - there may well be a high excess unless you pay a 'collision damage waiver'.

If it's for any length of time, and you can find the cash, it might worth doing as suggested above (or possibly below) and buying the vehicle for the time you need it. An MPV should be easy to sell - you might even make a profit!
Shoestring Rentals, Bexley - Canon Fodder


Can you manage with an A-class Merc? I think the M in MPV stands for Mystery in this case, but if it would suffice, then easyrentacar can oblige. Very cheap [if you book well in advance] and with a £0 excess.

Shoestring Rentals, Bexley - GrumpyOldGit
Only once did I make the mistake of using a 'cheap' rental in the US. It cost far more than the big companies in the end.

You could speak to them and get ALL the costs up front and in writing.
Shoestring Rentals, Bexley - Rob the Bus {P}
Thanks all for your replies so far.

CF - as far as I now, Easycar has a mileage restriction. I intend to do around 650-700 miles in two days. And they do not guarantee to supply the car you book. I might end up with a Corsa which, as I intend transporting HF, her two lads and my two girls would be a tad impractical.

I hear what you are all saying about you get what you pay for, but this company's website seems very honest and open. There is unlimited mileage and breakdown cover included, and the damage excess is £200 (according to the website that is all that I would pay should I bend their car).

The cars they use are imported from Japan, used as hire cars for a maximum of 60 days and then sold. So the likelihood of them being old bangers in the "Rent-A-Wreck" tradition are unlikely.

If anybody has had actual experience of the company, please do contact me.

Many thanks (as always)


Shoestring Rentals, Bexley - T Lucas
I import Toyota MPVs from Japan and the thought of putting them out to rental makes me shiver.They are a good vehicle but they need careful preparation to be sure that the will be ok for hard use on UK roads and with hard using UK drivers.
I'm curious as to the insurance co that they use,you mustt make sure that you ge the insurance cover that you expect.
700 miles in a couple of days reeally is hard use for a vehicle that is a few years old and used to pottering around in Japan.
Be very careful.
Shoestring Rentals, Bexley - Hugo {P}
Hi Rob

After reading your post I have just contacted my sister, who used to hire 7 seater Savannas 505s etc for a month or two when she and her family lived in Kasakstan.

She can't remember what this outfit were called but they were close to Petersfield Train Station.

Alternitively, try to find local MPV dealers and ask them, they may even offer you a hire themselves.

I know what you mean about the main car hire companies, they are expensive for MPV type vehicles. It may work out cheaper for you and HF to take both cars, even with the extra fuel consumption etc.

Other than that, buy a cheap volvo 240 estate and fit a rear facing boot seat for around £100. That may also be cheaper!

Shoestring Rentals, Bexley - DavidHM
Have you tried They rent Zafiras out of somewhere, I forget exactly but I think it's Pimlico, convenient if you get into town via Victoria. They range between outrageously cheap and quite expensive, and of course you only have a 75 mile a day limit.

Otherwise you might be surprised at how cheap franchise dealers' small rental outfits can sometimes be. And may be worth a look too.
Shoestring Rentals, Bexley - J Bonington Jagworth
I agree with you about the website. The opening paragraph is very disarming.. "if you wanted pretty moving pictures instead of a lower telephone bill (and car rental bill) you wouldn?t be looking for a firm called Shoestring - would you?"

As long as you know what the charges will be up front, and the vehicle isn't a complete heap, then I fail to see the objection.

You can't borrow a bus, I suppose? :-)
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