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Returning rental car to LHR

Christchurch
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Returning rental car to LHR

How tricky is it returning a rental car to London Heathrow airport? Is it hard to navigate the traffic, motorway and route to the depot coming from, say, Winchester on the M3?

We are not used to driving in large, busy cities and are wondering whether we would manage OK or whether we should drop the car off at a smaller centre and catch the train into London.

We are flexible with the timing of the return if a particular time of day is easier.

London, United...
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for Lake District
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1. Re: Returning rental car to LHR

If you're returning to where the main rental companies are located then it's very easy. There is a route via the M3 onto smaller roads but to make it as easy as possible I would suggest driving round the M25 to the T5 exit and then follow the signs for car rental. The main companies are located on the Perimeter Road and can be reached from the M25 inside 10 minutes.

So M3/M25/T5 exit/car rental.

Might make sense to avoid that part of the M25 between 7am and 10am and 4.00pm and 7pm although the section of M25 round there is extremely busy and get can clogged up at any time of day

East Sussex, United...
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2. Re: Returning rental car to LHR

If you have been driving around happily until now, returning the car will be a simple journey. It doesn't involve anything like close to city driving because coming from Winchester to Heathrow you don't go anywhere near London.

You can find the route on AA routeplanner but in a nutshell it is M3/M25/M4

and M4 Heathrow spur. If I had a bit more time I would pull up the route for you.

Edited: as per post above, in fact you dont even need to go as far as the M4. My apologies.

Edited: 10 February 2012, 08:43
Christchurch
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3. Re: Returning rental car to LHR

Thank you both. Our trip is in May so we haven't done any driving in the UK yet. We will manage but hopefully it will be no worse than driving in Queensland, Australia!

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Returning rental car to LHR

If you can drive the Pacific Highway from Brisbane to the Gold Coast, then even the M25 should be easy.

Christchurch
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5. Re: Returning rental car to LHR

It was 10 years ago Nick. Pacific Highway has grown a tad since then!

Driving along the motorway shouldn't be too bad once you get going. It's getting on and off them and driving through unfamiliar cities that concerns.

East Sussex, United...
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6. Re: Returning rental car to LHR

^^ Driving through or even in cities in the UK is to be avoided at the best of times. Luckily the trip you have asked about will avoid that....well at least as far as returning the rental car is concerned.

Not sure what your other driving plans whilst in the UK are though. I had assumed in my earlier post you were already here !

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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7. Re: Returning rental car to LHR

It might help you to know that Heathrow is not really physically in London. It is off to the south, and has all it's own roads, very well signed.

You won't be going through a busy city....unless you're coming from London. (not recommended!!!)

East Sussex, United...
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8. Re: Returning rental car to LHR

^^ As I already pointed out in my post's #2 & 6 Laura.

Its more west than south as well ;-)

Edited: 10 February 2012, 21:40
Christchurch
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9. Re: Returning rental car to LHR

Thank you everyone. Yes, I do realise that Heathrow is out of London city but it is so big that it could be almost a city itself! Signage and traffic density were my main concerns plus finding the rental depot but it sounds like we will manage OK.

Although we have driven on them we are not accustomed to big motorways so they will take a little getting used to.

10. Re: Returning rental car to LHR

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