Try your local hire places, I get excavators from a local place, last time I used their 1.5t machine, they delivered it full of fuel Friday afternoon complete with 3 buckets, and collected the following Monday for £150 Inc. Vat. Just had to top the tank up before return but being on a farm with red diesel the cost was minimal. You'll find weekend hire far more reasonable (as trade tend not to use them at weekend) and it allows you time to familiarise yourself with the controls without the same time constraints as they do take a couple of hours find your coordination.
You will also find that many builders merchants don't have alot of hire equipment in branch, so they have to get from other companies.
I couldnt agree more, i always try to support locally if I can. I just couldnt find anywhere that got close to this price.
Best to use small independent companies. These prices are inflated so that they can give trade customers a so called discount. I can reccomend Eros hire tools. They show all their prices on their website. A local delivery is only £10.
Rotovator, rakes, possibly a mini digger and a roller