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car rental uk

i am already in london without a car , but wanting to pick up a car near heathrow to go north for a few days and then return to heathrow to fly out … Do we have to go into the terminal to rent a car or can we go direct to a car lot and skip the hassle of going to terminal ?

Posted by
2905 posts

Depending where in the north you're going you might consider taking the train to an intermediate stop, renting your car there for a few days, and then returning it before catching the train back into London. Would save you the hassle of backtracking to Heathrow and the congestion just getting out of the metro area.
Cambridge & York come immediately to mind, though you could go all the way up to Edinburgh if that's one of your proposed destinations.

Posted by
1549 posts

Avoid renting a car at Heathrow for avoiding airport fees and traffic congestion. Do take the train to your preferred location then rent a car. If you have not previously driven on the left then suggest:
Automatic transmission, just makes life a little easier for focusing on driving.
Ask your passengers to focus on navigation.
Slow down and enjoy the experience.
Be aware of “left drift”, a characteristic of drivers who overcompensated by driving closer to the left side of the road. We just returned from a two week sojourn driving through English countryside and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Posted by
7906 posts

Steven,
Great points all around,
We rented at Heathrow and got out of the London area quickly, so no problem.
As for driving on the left, the key is to concentrate, especially when turning at an intersection.
My wife was a great aid in reminding me to stay on the left and when to turn.
Do stay under the speed limit. I generally did, but still got a 40 GBP ticket for going 35 MPH in a 30 MPH zone.

Posted by
7025 posts

If you rent via Arnold Clark (either directly or using Celtic Legend), you can eithe rpick up a car right outside of Heathrow (there is a shuttle that goes there), or you could head a bit north to Milton Keynes, which is one of their locations. I love renting from Arnold Clark. The company is very thorough, never tries to upsell packages, and gives you good cars. I've rented from them twice and wish I could use them with every car rental.

Posted by
647 posts

Do stay under the speed limit. I generally did, but still got a 40 GBP ticket for going 35 MPH in a 30 MPH zone.

Excellent reminder for someone like me, who typically drives 7-8 mph above the posted limit when driving in the US. In the UK I'll set the speed control precisely at the limit, and I'll double check with my phone's speedometer app.

Posted by
7025 posts

I agree with the others about watching your speed. The UK has speed cameras that use automatic number plate reading technology to record your speed between two points on a road. They also record the date and time as you pass between each point, which lets the camera calculate your average speed.

I was very careful about not speeding during my recent stay there, and did not get any speeding tickets.