###Car Hire at London Heathrow Airport This information is correct as of June 2015
Landing on a major port of entry like London Heathrow is relatively a convenient option to take when visiting the United Kingdom. You will have plenty of options for transportation, from public utilities to hiring a vehicle. You can take the latter option, especially if you need freedom of movement or a number of bags to deal with. Renting a car at London Heathrow can be easy and worry-free, as you will see in Skyscanner's guide below.
###Where to hire a car at London Heathrow Airport There are eight car hire companies in London Heathrow where you can arrange for a self-drive or chauffeured car. They are: Hertz, Avis, Europcar, National, Alamo, Enterprise, Budget, and Sixt. Each has a desk in all five terminals, allowing for the convenience of transacting with official representatives immediately. It is best, however, if you pre-book in advance so you can cut down on the paperwork and get the keys to your preferred car immediately.
One concern to talk about with your provider is the GB Driving Licence charge. According to the website, holders of this licence will no longer be required to give the paper counterpart when driving in the United Kingdom. You may clarify with your car hire company to know more about the procedure.
###What to expect when hiring a car from London Heathrow Airport The main roads around London Heathrow are A4, A3044, A308, M3, M4, M25, and a number of other routes. These make the vicinity regularly busy, as London Heathrow is the main port of entry into the United Kingdom and handles an average of 201,000 arriving and departing passengers per day.
The nearby communities to be found near London Heathrow are: Feltham, Hounslow, Twickenham, Brentford, Richmond, Walton-on-Thames, Weybridge, Chertsey, Bracknell, Slough, Wokingham, and many more. This remarkably busy area can be traversed conveniently if you travel off-season, which gradually lessens the congestion around the major roads.
Petrol stations can also be found near London Heathrow. An Esso station can be visited by the Southern Perimeter Rd near Stanwell. Another Esso branch can be found by Staines Rd while Esso Petroleum Co Ltd is located in the area of Bedfont Rd. BP Hatton Cross Connect, on the other hand, is near Eastchurch Rd, relatively near Terminal 4. A BP Service Station is also adjacent to Hatton Rd, which allows you to have different options to consider.
###Driving around London Heathrow Airport There are two ways to get to London via its main airport. First, you take Bath Rd/A4 to M4, and then continue from here to London. The second option is you take M25 and A40 to Westbourne Bridge in London. After that, take the exit towards West End Paddington from A40. From here, you can take Gloucester Terrace and A402 to Bayswater Rd to arrive at Park Ln to Constitution Hill and then the Mall. Both routes have tolls, making it necessary that you prepare the necessary amount. Fees also apply on most motor vehicles operating within the Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ) in Central London between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm, Mondays to Fridays. These fees do not apply on weekends, public holidays, or between Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Looking for parking in London ahead of time is necessary, as it can be hard to find a spot, particularly in Central London. It is important that you research the car parks near your destination and pre-paying the London Congestion Charge. You can consider Q-Park, which runs 16 car parking facilities in the central area, including car parks in Oxford Street, Park Lane, Soho, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Chinatown, and Knightsbridge.
The parking restrictions apply between 8:30 am and 6:30 pm, Mondays to Saturdays. You need to check the signs for exact details of parking restrictions in each street. They usually run on Pay & Display schemes, but you might also find phone parking, where you can pay for parking through your mobile phone. You will need to create an account and register a credit or debit card before you can do this.
###Getting to your destination There are several areas you can reach from Heathrow Airport. Some of them are:
Once the country's best-kept secret in World War II, you will find in this area the Bletchey Park, the home of the codebreakers who sought to predict the movements of the Nazi army. From here, you can also visit the National Museum of Computing, Hut 11, and other important structures.
To get here, you will need to follow M25 and M1 to Central Bedfordshire, and then take exit 13 from M1. You will also follow A421 to Whaddon Way in Bletchley. If traffic conditions are light, you can reach the area in an hour. Various parking facilities can be found here, which are currently free of charge at Findlay Way, Cawkwell Rd, Albert Street Car Parks, Bletchley Leisure Centre, Westfield Rd, Elizabeth Square, and By Lidls / Iceland.
Located in the central-northern part of Bedfordshire, this county can be part of a history tour on the various Saxon kings who once ruled in the early medieval times. From here, you can visit various cultural sites, which trace the development of Bedford from a medieval to an industrialised city of the modern times.
You can make your way to Bedford through M25 and M1 to take exit 13. Taking A421 to Cauldwell St in Bedford can then follow to reach the area. One hour is the usual amount of time you can spend going here, but only if traffic conditions are optimal. Upon your arrival, you can look for parking in the town centre at Lurke Street and River Street where there are multi-storey car parks. Some parts of the town centre also offer free parking for up to two hours. Saturday is the only day of the week they offer this, though.
One of Hampshire's most prosperous and vibrant locations, Basingstoke has quite a number of attractions. They range from a rich variety of cultural and heritage buildings, such as Stevenson, where Jane Austen was born. Global brands also have their headquarters here, as well as the Festival Place Shopping Centre.
From M3, you can reachh Hamphire via the exit 6. You can then take Churchill Way/A3010 to your destination. This commute can take around 40 minutes in light traffic, making it convenient to visit. Once you arrive here, you can check out several short-stay and long-stay car parks around the town centre, as well as Blue Badge parking, if you are physically handicapped.