Never Forget Your Counterfoil

Oops… But first:

When we landed here in the UK on Saturday, we’d just got off the plane and the heavens opened… Predictable, but the timing was meticulous.

The plane “parked up” round the back of the airport somewhere. So we had to wait for the “aeroplane bus” to appear, then ferry us all round to “ARRIVALS.” Once we got on the bus, it might as well have been raining inside, there we all were soaked wet through, surrounded by dripping hand luggage cases…

That, along with a massive drop of 22 degrees C in air temperature made for a cold welcome. The great British weather shock well and truly hit hard:

“Just come from sunny Spain eh? Well I’ll show ya!!! Har Har.”

So continuing this torrid tale, after grabbing our suitcases, we went straight to the car hire desk. Booked and paid for, Dave shows his driving licence and the woman behind the desk says “Have you got your counterfoil that goes with it?”

Answer: “Erm, No, this is my driving licence, isn’t that good enough?”

“Well we need that to check for any previous driving offences, you can’t have the car without it being shown.”

After several attempts pleading to her better nature, we were defeated by the fact that it was a legal requirement, and she was a nowty old cow…

“There is a way round it” says she. “Lots of people don’t realise, so we ring the DVLA direct and find out through them. Except… They close at 2pm on a Saturday.”

It was precisely 2.02pm… So she gave it a try, but of course they’d all gone home. Note: We’d been stood wrangling with her about this since 1.50pm… So there might’ve been time before they all downed tools. In hindsight, why couldn’t she have done this online? Didn’t even think about it at the time.

I suspect she was some kind of sadist who thrived on watching other people in despair.  As a last resort Dave mentioned that there was no mention of the counterfoil in the paperwork.

“OH YES THERE IS, IT’S IN THE small print.” {Dammit should be in CAPS on the front page then}

We were told to “come back on Monday when DVLA will be open.” Which left us stood there like a couple of distressed lemons. What now? Out of options we got a taxi to the hotel, another 35 quid. {Already paid an extra 20 euros at Alicante because my suitcase was overweight – no comment}

Stranded for two days we went through our paperwork – and FOUND IT, yes the missing counterfoil was amidst the “UK Wrapped up” section in one of our folders. By then it was Sunday, the day after the day before. We could’ve got a taxi back to the airport car hire desk there and then – but we didn’t trust it to be open.

So on Monday, we paid (yet another 35 quid) to go back there. I felt like standing at the desk and announcing in a VERY LOUD voice:

“Yee Haa, there you go, stick that penalty free counterfoil up your ass in your face dude.”

[Except Dave wouldn’t let me]

When we asked if we could have a refund on the two days we’d paid for a car we didn’t have, the answer was along the lines of: “Well you paid up front online so we can’t do anything about it, but we’ll give you an upgrade.” {Wait at the back of the queue long enough for an airport hire car, and you get an upgrade anyway}

The guy also went on to let us know it was a brand spanking shiny new car with only 800 miles on the clock… Well oh my god, we’re so impressed, big yawn. At the time I was stood there in a daze trying to work out, if they’ve took money out of your account, they can put it back in… We all know that’s how it works…

Two days wasted means another 50 quid down the drain, plus another 200 quid deposit which will be refunded when we take it back, provided no-one back ends it… Paid for by card, refunded by card. Hmm, now there’s a thing, they can refund to a card after all. 

So off we went to the car lot, found the “brand spanking new” super machine, got inside it and ————- it wouldn’t start. I kid ye not…

As for the counterfoil,, well everyone we spoke to thought like us, just the driving licence was enough. Even the taxi drivers didn’t know it was necessary!

Well you learn something new every day and all that…

BTW: It took some working out, but we finally got the car started, a totally OBSCURE method of going about it. With security in mind, it’s so secure even the driver has to work it all out first, WITHOUT any instructions…

Conclusion: It was a conspiracy theory…


Think I might have to invent a new TLA called “JOL” {Just Our Luck}


So here it is, our “super machine” which in reality is just another ordinary car:


Bear in mind Dave hasn’t driven a car since last October when he chopped ours in, it must be like riding a bike or something. No problem. Except for the potholes, we’d forgotten just how really bad they are…

Oh and we just can’t keep warm, Sunday has been the best day so far, filled with watery sun and a stiff cold breeze. So we braved sitting outside the pub for a drink…

There were women out there wearing T shirts and flimsy dresses! Made me cringe while I was sat there wearing nothing but a long T shirt, plus big jumper, plus leather jacket, plus two (yes two) scarves, plus jeans, plus pop socks covered with thick socks and boots. Made the experience sort of bearable…

6 thoughts on “Never Forget Your Counterfoil

  1. Oh, and guess what as from about the 8th June DVLA are doing away with the paper counterpart bit! So if you want to hire a car then you have to call the DVLA and then the info is only valid for 72 hours!


  2. But you can check your licence points etc online and create a share so those lovely hire car bandits can still check you out. Still checking your blog out, NB Lola is in for a facial, so no boating this month.


  3. Ola nb Lola! (Couldn't resist writing that)

    Makes me laugh, our friends went back to the UK last week for a wedding. He took his Spanish driving licence, no questions asked, no counterfoil required either….! Oh the irony.

    Anyway it's nice to hear from you, hope all the work on Lola goes to plan. You'll probably have more luck with it than we ever did! Oh my goodness it seems so long ago now, but I can remember the trials and tribulations!

    Have a nice time while you're away on dry land.

    Heth xx


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