Car Rental at Heathrow Airport

A Full Guide of London Heathrow Airport Car Rentals

Heathrow Airport (LHR)TransportationAirport Car Rentals

Heathrow Airport Car Rental

Heathrow airport car rentals are recommended for DIY travelers and LHR passengers wishing to explore London’s nearby areas or even other UK destinations. As a matter of fact, car hire at Heathrow Airport is a common practice. Thus, why are car rentals so popular after all?

Heathrow Car Rentals Offer Independence

Verily, despite the affordability and efficiency of public transit modes and the convenience of black taxis and minicabs, they all fail to live up to the independence provided by Heathrow airport car rentals. Indeed, taxis are expensive and often hard to find (during rush hours), whereas bus, subway, and train rides entail a lot of hassle -from finding the right departing and destination stops to walking your way from and to those points, waiting for the next routes, etc.). With a Heathrow car rental, you get to travel wherever you want, whenever you feel like it. Even though not recommended for rides to downtown London (due to the traffic congestion and the difficult parking conditions), car rentals are the most stress-free way to explore as many sites and popular locations as possible during your journey in the UK.

Car Rental at Heathrow Airport Comes with Tailored Services

When opting for car hire at Heathrow Airport, you get to choose the vehicle type and even the model (upon availability) that best suits your budget and needs. What’s more, you can select any add-ons, which would be proven handy during your journeys, from GPS to child seats or luggage racks. In that way, you can enjoy a fully customized traveling experience. As expected, extra amenities come with additional fees unless included in a deal package.

Heathrow Car Rentals are Time-Saving

Truth to be told, rides to downtown London can be time-consuming with a Heathrow rental car. Trying to navigate through the narrow streets and the traffic congestion and park your car can add a lot of time and hassle to your journey. Still, you can leave the rental car at one of the parking lots near the outskirts’ subway stations and get the metro to your destination. On the other hand, longer-distanced journeys to London’s surrounding areas or other UK cities are certainly faster with a car rental. All in all, you should offset the options: for rides around Greater London, Heathrow car rentals are time-consuming, whereas, for journeys outside this zone, they usually save a considerable amount of time.

Car Rental at London Heathrow Airport can Save you Money

When compared to public transit modes, Heathrow car rentals are undoubtedly pricier. Still, they are much more affordable in contrast to black taxis and minicabs. Therefore, if taking into account their price, their level of comfort, and their side amenities, it is evident that car rentals are the most value-for-money option.

Heathrow Car Rental Companies

Many car rental companies are present at London Heathrow Airport. As a result, their services are top-rated while they are offered at competitive prices. The car rental desks are to be found on each terminal’s Arrivals level, close to the baggage claim area, whereas the parking lots for Heathrow airport car rentals are to be found a 5-minute ride from the terminals. Passengers can reach those parking facilities and pick up their car via courtesy shuttles, departing from bus stops 7 and 8 of T2, bus stop 21 of T3, T4’s bus stop 2, and T5’s stops 26 and 27. Overall, the car rental companies operating at LHR Airport are:

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  • Europcar
  • Firefly
  • Hertz
  • Keddy by Europcar
  • National
  • Sixt
  • Surprice

Our Tip: Apart from the car hire agencies with on-site desks, plenty of other car rental providers offer their services at LHR, even though located outside the airport.

Useful Info about Car Hire at Heathrow Airport

Following here, you can check the handiest tips and hints to ferret out the top car rental at Heathrow Airport and enjoy an overall pleasant driving experience in London:


Handy Tips about Car Rental at London Heathrow Airport

  • Prebooking your Heathrow car rental is always a good idea. As a matter of fact, early-in-advance reservations usually come with unique deals, low prices, and many available vehicle models. Moreover, LHR Airport is a busy air hub. Thus, during rush hours, the car rental procedures can be time-consuming. Hence, you can save time at the airport by booking your Heathrow rental car in advance.
  • Does the search-and-compare process feel difficult for you? You should make your life easier by checking previous customers’ reviews. In that way, you will easily settle on the Heathrow car rental company and/or the most suitable car model.
  • The car rental companies require an ID or passport, a credit card in the driver’s name, and a 2-year driver’s license. Most of the Heathrow car rental companies also accept debit cards, yet not for their luxury models. An International Driving Permit may be required if your license isn’t written in Latin characters or isn’t issued by an EU country. Nevertheless, you won’t need an International Driving Permit if it is issued by a country member of the Commonwealth of Nations or the USA.
  • The minimum age limit for car hire at Heathrow Airport is 21. Nevertheless, the majority of car hire agencies set higher limits for luxurious models. In any case, younger drivers (usually under 25) may have to pay an extra fee.
  • Most car rental companies provide Collision Damage Waiver. Still, it is recommended to opt for the full insurance package, just to be on the safe side. Many credit cards offer rental car insurance coverage. You should check if this is the case with yours.
  • Before setting off, you should take some photos of the Heathrow car rental. In that way, you’ll have proof of any existing damage.
  • The fair fuel policy (fuel-to-fuel) is recommended as car hire agencies usually overcharge fuel.
  • You are going to be charged for your rental car per day. Thus, you should return the car rental at Heathrow Airport on time to avoid getting charged for an extra day.
  • If you want to explore other UK regions, you should opt for a rental car with unlimited mileage.
  • A one-way car hire is also an option at LHR Airport.
  • Some companies even allow driving to other European countries. Nevertheless, you’ll have to fill out a form and ask the rental agency for written authorization.
  • The average cost of a mini Heathrow car rental is around 86£/100€/107$. Please keep in mind that always they are the utterly convenient solution, Heathrow car rentals are somewhat pricier than vehicles picked up from an off-airport location.
  • London Heathrow Airport is located near motorway M25, which circles the central districts of London. Moreover, it offers connections to other motorways leading to numerous UK destinations.
  • During rush hours (approximately from 06:00 am to 10:00 am and from 04:00 pm to 06:30 pm), traffic levels aren’t high just in the Greater London area. Verily, the roads leading to London airports also tend to get congested.
  • The fleets of Heathrow car rental companies are made up of electric vehicles as well. Verily, London houses more than 8500 charging stations. However, LHR Airport doesn’t offer EV charging points yet.

Helpful Info about Driving around London

  • Traffic laws must be respected. Overall, Londoners obey the traffic regulations, while cameras are installed all over London to check their implementation.
  • If you get fined, the car rental company will charge your card or send you the ticket added to the sending fees.
  • The UK is one of the left-hand-traffic countries. Thus, the steering wheel lies on the right side of the car.
  • If you originate from a right-hand-traffic country, you should keep in mind that overtaking a vehicle on the left side is strictly forbidden.
  • The drinking and driving laws are strict. Thus, a higher than 0.08 blood alcohol concentration leads to a ticket, a driving ban, and even to 6-month imprisonment.
  • All passengers must wear seatbelts.
  • Children under the age of 12 or shorter than 135cm/4.4ft must be seated in child seats.
  • The use of mobile phones is allowed only via headsets or hands-free equipment.
  • In urban areas, the speed limit is 30mph/48km/h. Some urban zones (around schools, etc.) have an even lower speed limit (20mph/32km/h). On the other hand, you can drive at an up-to-60mph/97km/h speed in rural areas and at an up-to-70mph/112km/h speed on highways. Still, if the road signage indicates otherwise, you are to follow that signage.
  • Vehicles (and rental cars) circulating in London have to pay the Congestion Charge and the ULEZ fee. The 15£/17.40€/18.60$ Congestion Charge applies from 07:00 am to 06:00 pm on weekdays and from 12:00 pm to 06:00 pm on weekdays and public holidays (not on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve) for all vehicles entering the charging zone (most of the central London districts).  The ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) fee applies to vehicles not complying with the relevant conditions. It is effective around the clock (exempt from Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve). Each vehicle is charged a 12.50£/14.50€/15.50$ fare (daily charge) when cruising in the zone within the North and South Circular Roads. Please note that from August 2023, ULEZ will be expanded to all London boroughs.


Can I hire a car from Heathrow Airport?

All the major car rental agencies, along with local providers, operate at LHR Airport. Their desks are to be found at the terminals’ Arrivals level, while their fleets are located a 5-minute ride from Heathrow terminals via courtesy buses. Therefore, you won’t face any difficulties in renting a car at Heathrow. Still, pre-booking can save you money and time at the airport.

How much does it cost to rent a car from Heathrow?

The price of a Heathrow airport car rental varies depending on the vehicle type, the renting duration, the time of the year, the extra amenities, etc. Overall, the average price of a rental car is 86£/100€/107$. Please bear in mind that early bookings come with better fares.