Hi - I know that Streetcar has been discussed previously on this forum, and I believe most people's experiences have been positive. Well, at least mine have, so it was to my big disappointment to hear that my nearest location, behind Southwark Bridge Road, has been closed. The next 2 locations, Waterloo and Farringdon, are too far away. Streetcar are looking for new locations, and I have already provided them with a couple of leads on Southwark Street. If you used to use the Southwark location, and you know any new locations, just email them to Streetcar. To me, for the last 2 years or so, it has been the perfect alternative to owning a car, and judging by the difficulties I sometimes had booking a car due to availability, I am not the only one. If you feel the same, just keep your eyes peeled and send any dontact detaisl for suitabel parking spaces to Streetcar. The ones I send were for Unioncarparks, but I think the problem is the might be closedon Sundays.
I really only ever use them for 2 - 4 hours max. For longer trips I rent from Avis, which I think comes down roughly to the same you'd pay with Streetcar. Somehow I think a "proper" rent car is more reliable than a car used mainly for driving around town, but that may just be me.
I use streetcars for longer trips and never have a problem with their performance. We rented one for 4days over Christmas and have been camping with one. When you go longer distances it is true that it does not really represent a good monetary saving over a hire car, howver the convenience really makes it worthwhile and plus most hire car places are only open certain hours of the day. You can hire and return streetcar whenever you want, therefore only every paying for the time that you need it for.
When you hire a car from Budget/Avis or whatever, you have to fill the car with petrol.
Petrol costs about 90 pence a litre, and the average car will do about 7 miles per litre (32 miles per gallon in old money). Therefore, just to run a normal hire car costs about 13p a mile. When petrol was £1 a litre, the fuel costs of a normal hire car became 14p a mile.
Still cheaper than Streetcar, perhaps, but with Streetcar the first 30 miles of each day are free. The point at which Streetcar becomes more expensive than a normal hire car is when you average more than 95 miles per day. If petrol rises to £1 a litre again, the tipping point is if you're driving more than 105 miles per day.
Combine this with the convenience of Streetcar (no filling in long forms, no waiting for the hire company's office to open just to drop off the car), and my money's on Streetcar every time. I just wish there were more cars in the area.
Are you sure about 32mpg? This may be true for a 1.6 Golf (which is what Streetcar use in my experience) if driven exclusively in the city, however, when you are averaging 95 miles a day, you are more likely to be driving outside of urban areas (95 miles in central London would probably take a week!), in which case the mpg would be closer to 50.
In addition to which, with Budget/Avis etc. you have the option of a more economical car (e.g. a smaller car or a car with a diesel engine) which can do 70mpg or better on the motorway.
I use both Streetcar and traditional hire companies, and there is no doubt that Streetcar is usually more expensive, even if more convenient.