My family will be driving from Liverpool to London in a rental car. We'd like to return the rental car the night before we fly out of Heathrow, and I was looking for suggestions as to the easiest location to return the car (ie not having to navigate London). We'd like to be able to get to London from the rental car return via public transportation. Thank you!
I'm sure those who actually know the UK will have ideas, but my first thought is, why not get a hotel at Heathrow itself? The rental car return should be easy, and transportation from Heathrow into London is straightforward. Then, the next morning, you're right at the airport for your departure.
Acraven is always recommending the Premier Inn at Heathrow terminal 4. Premier Inns are great value, and I like the idea of being right at the airport rather than a Hoppa Bus ride away, but whether or not that hotel would be logistically convenient will depend on which terminal you're departing from.
We always return the rental car to Heathrow airport, then take the Piccadilly line into London the spend the night. The hotel we use is a block from the Gloucester tube stop. We use that stop because it is easy to get to any place in town, and back to the airport. If your flight is somewhat early in the morning it may be easier to stay out by the airport.
Any reason you wouldn't want to drop the car in Liverpool and take the train to London? It will be faster, and could easily be cheaper if you plan ahead, even with the family.
Virgin go from both Liverpool Lime Street and Liverpool South Parkway (for John Lennon airport) straight into London Euston station only stopping about 3 times on the way in just over 2 hours.
London Northwestern Railway do the same journey for much less money but with more stops and a change at Stafford or Crewe.
Either way you get out of driving the infamous M6 and its interminable road works, and can sit back and enjoy the trip.