Arrival times and other important information

As always, we’re looking forward to welcoming you to the airport and we’re working hard to make sure your trip runs as smoothly as possible. To help with this process, please be aware of the following:

Consider your arrival times

Allow three hours to check-in before your flight and make sure all your travel documents are up-to-date. Please do not turn up significantly early for your flight though, as this can cause unnecessary congestion in the airport and you may not be able to check in your bags.


Remove liquids from hand luggage 

Remember, you can only take liquids on the plane that are in individual containers with a maximum capacity of 100ml. This includes creams, gels, pastes, aerosols and make-up. 

Remove each item from hand luggage and place them all in a single transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of not more than one litre capacity. Each bag must be able to close properly with all the items inside. These bags are available free-of-charge before security. Passengers are strictly limited to one bag of liquids per person.


Airline and route moves

Some airlines have moved terminals this summer.  You should always keep in touch with your airline to confirm which terminal your flight departs from before travelling to the airport. 


Terminal Drop-Off Charge

A £5 charge applies to vehicles dropping off passengers at the designated drop-off zones, located directly outside the terminals. Discounts and exemptions apply. Free drop-off is available at our Long Stay car parks.

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    About this service

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    CarTrawler on is an online car rental booking service for customers of CarTrawler develops and maintains this service and is solely responsible for all aspects of this service.LHR Airports Limited accepts no liability for the correctness, completeness and legitimacy of any content on external websites. Car rental bookings are in conjunction with our partner, CarTrawler. Customer enquiries:

    Car hire locations

    Find car rental desks and return locations. Maps open in a new window.

    Car rental operators

    Book your rental car for pick-up at Heathrow – or thousands of destinations worldwide – with our global car hire partners. All these operators have reception desks in arrivals.

    Why choose Heathrow car rental?

    Heathrow Airport is 15 miles west of central London. Direct routes start with the eastbound M4 motorway.


    Allow at least an hour for driving from Heathrow to London, more at peak times.

    Know before you go: driving and parking in London

    Some areas in central London fall within the Congestion Charge area. You'll find all the details here.
    Parking in central London can be difficult. London's official tourism organisation has posted advice here.

    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:

    • North-west: Shell, 400 Bath Road, Colnbrook Bypass, West Drayton UB7 0HB (Lat/long 1.4756389,-0.4750757)
    • South-west: Esso, Southern Perimeter Road, Stanwell, Hounslow TW6 3PF (Lat/long 51.4643463,-0.4752108)
    • North-east: Texaco, Bath Road, Sipson, Hayes UB3 5AY (Lat/long 51.4783749,-0.4537307)

    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.

    Devon and Cornwall

    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.

    Northern England

    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.

    North Wales and Southern Ireland

    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.