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Picking Up a Rental Car from the Airport

airport pick up in the UK

Picking up a hire car from the airport can all seem a bit confusing and stressful. That's why VroomVroomVroom has put together a quick guide to help you get to the rental counter as easy and hassle-free as possible.

  1. Find the rental counter. This is usually where you will pick up the keys to your hire car. Car rental counters are commonly found in the arrivals area inside the terminal building , at a car rental centre outside the terminal building, or off the airport grounds​.
  2. Ensure you have everything you need. You will be asked by the rental company staff to show your driver's licence and an international driving permit if required before you sign your rental agreement. Make sure you have all the required or additional documents​ such as your booking details, flight details and other IDs.
  3. Paying for the rental car. You will need to pay for your final rental costs when you return your hire car. However, before you can collect your car, you will be required to provide a security deposit on your credit card or at some locations, a debit card.​
  4. Inspect the car for any damage. Carefully check and look at the interior and exterior of the car for any previous damage. Take pictures, both still and video, if you find any visible damage such as dents or scratches. Report it beforehand to avoid being charged.

Popular airports in the UK

  • London Gatwick Airport (LGW)​: The car hire providers are located at the South Terminal, with an additional Hertz branch at the North terminal. The airport provides a shuttle service every 20 minutes which collects and drop off at the bus stop area outside the terminal.
  • London Stansted Airport (STN)​: The car hire desks can be found between the departures lounge and the international arrivals concourse and all major agencies have a desk at London Stansted.
  • London Luton Airport (LTN)​: Just follow the signs from your arrivals hall and you will be directed to the rental car desks, which are situated in the Onward Travel Centre in the Arrivals Hall.
  • London Southend Airport (SEN)​: You will see car rental desks at the airport right next to the short stay car parking area, just a short walk from the terminal building.
  • Manchester Airport (MAN)​: You will be able to find the car rental desk in the Car Rental Village, situated on the far side of the T1/T3 Long Stay Car Park. There are free shuttle buses which run from the airport to the rental village every 10 minutes.
  • Edinburgh Airport (EDI)​: The information desks in Edinburgh Airport's Rental Car Centre are open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The car hire desks are just a short walk from international arrivals via a covered walkway.
  • Birmingham Airport (BHX)​: The car hire desks are situated within the arrivals lounge. Note that the car hire teams will be able to direct you to their specific car collection points located next to the entrance of Car Park 4, just  a 5-minute walk from the terminal.
  • Glasgow Airport (GLA)​: You will find the main information desk on the first floor, which is just next to the UK and Ireland departures area.
  • Bristol Airport (BRS)​: You will see six national car hire companies on arrival at Bristol Airport. All of these suppliers are signposted and within easy walking distance of the terminal building. Majority also have information desks located in the arrivals lounge.
  • East Midlands Airport (EMA)​: The six car rental providers' desks at EMA can be found in the arrivals hall. You will be able to find them by following signs for car hire.

Click here​​​ to know more about Airport Car Rental.​

For example:

Harry wants to pick up his rental car from Luton Airport

Harry's flight arrives into Luton International Airport, where he has a reservation for a hire car. He has prepared all the required items such as his driver's licence, a credit card, his passport, travel information and booking details. He then proceeds to the Onward Travel Centre in the Arrivals Hall by following the signs. He enjoys a smooth and hassle-free pick up at the airport.

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