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most convenient hire car pickup for trip to south west

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Sydney, Australia
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most convenient hire car pickup for trip to south west

Hello, my daughter and I intend to travel to the UK early may and spend a week in London then hire a car and vist the South west, on to Cornwall/ devon and then up to Gloucsetershire before flying to ireland from Bristol.

I would like to know whether the most convenient and easiest option for picking up a hire car would be to train it out to Heathrow from London following our week there.

We would then start our exploration by heading out and visit winchester on the way to the coast.

I want to avoid driving in central London, and despite the train trip back out is this likely to be my best option ?

your thoughts appreciated.

London, England
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1. Re: most convenient hire car pickup for trip to south west

It depends upon where you are staying in London.

Driving in London isn't at all difficult it can just be slow but depending where you are staying it could be a simple journey mid morning until mid afternoon.

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: most convenient hire car pickup for trip to south west

Sounds like a good idea to get the car at Heathrow if you want to avoid driving in central London. It is also sort-of on the way. Heathrow is a busy area though.

Any alternatives will depend on where you are staying. I once stayed in near Paddington and found it convenient to hire from Marble Arch area. The drive from there to the A4 then down to the M3 was pretty easy (I'm used to driving in cities). If you do hire in the city, look to see if the rental location is inside the congestion charge area (applicable work hours on weekdays).

Or perhaps there are other alternatives? Southampton airport is easily accessible by train and has a range of hire companies.

Dunfermline, United...
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3. Re: most convenient hire car pickup for trip to south west

Heathrow is your best option for a number of reasons. All the majors are there, there's a wider choice of cars and you can hit the M4 motorway heading west in minutes without having to negotiate the London traffic

Boston...
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4. Re: most convenient hire car pickup for trip to south west

I would choose to pick up at LHR also. As said, a quick Tube ride then all the major rental co's are there; you pop right onto the M4 and off Ro gorgeous Cornwall.

Jealous!

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: most convenient hire car pickup for trip to south west

Thanks for the replies looks like Heathrow may be the way to go then.

Note I will be asking lots more questions as am just in the planning stage and have never been tho the UK.

london
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6. Re: most convenient hire car pickup for trip to south west

another thought, where are you flying out from at the end of your trip? ... if you're flying out from Heathrow it certainly makes sense to pick up the hire car there so you can return it to Heathrow and avoid one-way hire premium

London, England
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7. Re: most convenient hire car pickup for trip to south west

Incredibly lazy advice to simply suggest Heathrow without knowing where you are staying in London.

There may be far better options as hire depots are dotted all over London.

Remember to hire a car in Heathrow you will need to cart your bags to the tube or train, get to Heathrow, wait for a hoppa bus to take you to the car hire depot and then wait in a queue to get your car.

Alternatively, you can get the hire company to pick you and your bags up from the hotel and take you to the depot to complete the paperwork and then jump in the car and you are off.

Of course it depends upon where you are staying in London but there are plenty of places where it is simple to drive out of London as amoose99 has mentioned.

I've never met anyone who lives in London that is renting a car trailing all the way across to Heathrow to collect it so why a tourist should I don't know (unless it is GENUINELY more convenient).

Stating there is more choice of cars at Heathrow is complete rubbish. The only time you may have issues with car choice is Christmas.

Bucks, UK
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8. Re: most convenient hire car pickup for trip to south west

People who habitually hire cars in London will be used to the levels of traffic, the road regulations, where to go and the way people drive. I have no problems driving in the capital but I know plenty of Brits who find the driving aggressive and confusing and avoid driving into London if at all possible. If the OP is used to driving in the middle of a large city she may well have no problems, but for many tourists taking the Tube or Heathrow Express out to LHR may well be a less stressful experience. It is unlikely that any tourist who claims to be staying in London will be staying outside central London so the advice to start at LHR is probably good.

London, UK
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9. Re: most convenient hire car pickup for trip to south west

If you really want to avoid driving in London (which I can understand if you're not used to driving in cities), then Heathrow sounds like a decent pick-up point provided that it's reasonable for you to get to. As Phil points out, there are some disadvantages but you will be in roughly the right direction and there is a good choice of hire companies there. You avoid London traffic but will need to be prepared to go more or less straight onto the motorway.

But don't head off down the M4 as it won't take you to Winchester - you probably would have figured that out!

London, England
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10. Re: most convenient hire car pickup for trip to south west

Sorry Poollounger but driving in London is not aggressive. I find far more aggressive driving away from London where people can actually get some speed up. Renting from Heathrow means going straight onto a motorway or major road without getting used to it.

I take it you haven't driven in London recently and are basing your guidance on your perception of driving in London.

I'm not saying it's wrong to hire from Heathrow just that the advice to do so when it's not known where the OP is staying is lazy.

If someone was staying near Kings Cross or a bit west then hiring a car locally is so much simpler than going to Heathrow.