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Heathrow Airport is 15 miles west of central London. Direct routes start with the eastbound M4 motorway.
Renting a car is a great way to see Britain, and Heathrow is ideally situated to help you on your way. If you're used to driving in a different country, remember to drive your hire car on the left!
Heathrow has direct links to the M25 London orbital motorway, which makes navigation easy – main roads to all parts of Britain radiate from this huge ring road.
As a general rule, roads with numbers beginning 'M1' or 'A1' go north or north-east; 'M2' or 'A2' south-east; 'M3' or 'A3' south-west; and 'M4' or 'A4' west and north-west. Use our Journey Planner to get a detailed route from Heathrow to your destination.
Throughout the UK, the following speed limits apply for cars unless there are signs showing otherwise:
30mph (48km/h) in built-up areas
60mph (96km/h) on single carriageways
70mph (112km/h) on dual carriageways and motorways.
The airport site is circled by four perimeter roads (north, east, south and west). Other roads within the airport have names beginning with 'N', 'E', 'S' and 'W' to help get you oriented.
After completing formalities with your car rental operator in arrivals, you'll usually be taken to your vehicle by one of the operator's transfer buses. These call at the bus stops on each terminal forecourt.
When it comes to returning your hire car, you'll find most car rental return locations on the Northern Perimeter Road – check the links above to find yours on a Heathrow map.
If you need to refuel your rental car, you'll find filling stations at these locations, a few minutes' drive from the airport:
Hire a car from Heathrow and drive it away, or take a connecting flight and pick up your vehicle at your destination. Use our price comparison engine at the top of the page – we can find you a hire car in hundreds of locations around the globe.
The wildest and most breathtaking scenery in the British Isles can be found in Scotland. It's perfect road trip territory, whether you take your rental car to the western islands and Harry Potter country, through the Great Glen to Loch Ness, or up to the wild North Coast where you'll leave city life behind for days at a time. Car ferries link many of the islands to the mainland.
Take the A39 along the South West Peninsula and you'll find rugged coastlines, golden sand, azure surf, fishing villages and wild national parks. For your return journey the "English Riviera", on the southern coast, has scenery that lives up to the name.
The hills and mountains of the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, North Pennines and North York Moors are all very different in character, but they're close enough to make for a fantastic road trip. From limestone and waterfalls to granite mountains to moorlands pink with heather – you could easily spend a week here and see something new and different every day.
From the sandstone walls of Chester, via unspoilt Victorian seaside resorts to the jagged peaks of Snowdonia, the road is straight and the scenery stunning. From Holyhead, in Anglesey, you could even take your rental car on the ferry to Dublin, Ireland, for further adventures.