[UK] Electric car rental experience

Does anyone have any experience of the realities of a longer term EV rental in the UK? I will be in London over Christmas for 2 weeks and have just optimistically booked an EV (Polestar 2 or equivalent) with Hertz. The place I'm staying won't have overnight charging facilities so I will be relying on paid public charging points.

However its not clear from the Hertz website how charging works (do they give you a card?) and its also not obvious to me how you navigate membership of the multiple competing charging companies and schemes. I have a few trips to see friends on the south coast and west country, so I will probably need to recharge multiple times.

So basically I'm wondering whether I should persevere with this or just re-book a nice dependable petrol car.

P.S I can see Hertz also has Teslas, so perhaps I should try and request one of those and benefit from the Tesla super charger network, but again I am not sure how it works with rental vehicles and billing.

You do know they have a pretty good public transport system in London?

Most people in London don't drive.

Have you asked Hertz?


Does Hertz say what (if any) cables come with the car? In particular if they provide a cable that can be plugged into a domestic power supply?

I have one for my EV (came with the car) and I recharge overnight during cheap power. I think someone hear suggested that you can get about 15kms of power per hour charging this way. Now provided your hosts are happy charging your car you will be all set.

I spent 3 years commuting from Hendon to London Bridge (Guy's Hospital) on the Northern Line, so yeah I was aware of that.

In any case I will most definitely be using the tube to get into Zones 1-2, I just need a car to cart the kids around the burbs and longer trips on the motorway.


I just did a quick trip with EasyJet and used their rental car offer as part of the booking with Europecar (a petrol small car).

When I came to get the car I was offered EV upgrade for free (not a status update as I have none with them).

My partner on this trip was plagued by range anxiety so we declined, but suggests that Europecar may be one to approach as they clearly have EVs on fleet.


I wonder whether these rental companies are having a harder time renting out EVs due to that exact same range anxiety. For my rental I'm paying for an Intermediate size EV what I would for an economy size petrol engine car, which is what piqued my interest in the first place.

Anyway I'll see if I can get through to a human at Hertz Customer Services and see how it all works.

You do know that London covers a pretty wide area don’t you?

Sometimes it’s just easier to drive.

Short version: stick with ICE.

Long version: you can install an app on your phone, then pay for charging that way hoping that the adapter cable is the right one; or use a specific network of chargers that Hertz uses with a card in the car, and get the costs passed to you (either charged based on electricity used, or charged at a flat rate).

E.g. with Sixt, you can pay extra at the start, and then charging is "free" (i.e. included in the extra fee you paid), at any of the chargers from their partner. Charging elsewhere will need you to download a suitable app to pay + charging cable + paying.

No, I had no idea. I've never been there.

Thanks Spinal, exactly the info I was looking for. I think I'm still up for the challenge though

The deal breaker for me is having to return it 75% charged. Last thing I want to be doing is hanging around a charging station for an hour for the before heading to the airport.

This is one idiotic requirement and it would put me off completely from getting an EV.

Regarding cables - I personally have a hybrid with Type 2 charging, so it can be that you find chargers with a built-in cable or I have to use my own.

But full EVs usually can do DC charging (CCS or CHAdeMO), and from what I've seen those chargers always have the cable, so you don't need to carry your own.

The downside is the payment. Sometimes you can do with an SMS or directly credit card, but often they require some NFC card that needs pre-registration. I have a few - Move, TCS etc. I don't know if they work outside Switzerland.

EV rental seems like a big headache to be honest. I'd stick to ICE.

Have you seen this Hertz UK website? https://www.hertz.co.uk/rentacar/spe…ic-car-rentals

Actually, now I remember reading an article about charger bedlam during the busy Christmas period

Sixt offer Tesla's and I would grab one once if they came down into my price range or if I was offered a free or cheap upgrade but it hasn't happened yet. As well, the daily charge for zero excess is more than for the more basic ICE cars.

As I have a Tesla at home and an electric charging point at my place in the UK this would be awesome but sadly hasn't happened yet. I wouldn't have range anxiety at all with the supercharging network on long trips.

I do most of my charging at home, only really use the Supercharger network on long trips, however I've driven to the UK twice in the last 12 months as well as the Provence. So far since I bought the car, I have never been to a supercharger station where I had to wait at all, always free charging stations and very minimal out of service stands.

Exactly, although my parents have a London postcode they're on the borders of Hertfordshire.

I remember listening to a Great Lives BBC Podcast on Tony Benn, who grew up in Westminster. After his studies he decided to move to Notting Hill Gate (Kensington and Chelsea) and his parents objected because they considered it too far outside London

Meh, often looks like that when we fill up at our local Costco petrol station - price is so good compared to elsewhere you’d be silly not to. And it’s just for members.

Interesting to see that Hertz use Shell- that's the same charging network that Sixt uses.

One more thing - also check where you are staying. Many hotels and BnBs are now putting clauses to ban you from parking near your bedroom window and running an extension cord out (or better, plugging into a random socket in the underground car park).

Most hotels will have their proprietary charger, which will cost you a premium to use (while charging stupidly slowly)(.