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Sal Minio
Davidson Fan
17th Street Canal
Member since Sep 2006
2511 posts

Renting a car at Heathrow
Anybody ever do this? We are only going to the Cotswolds and Cornwall but will be in each area for several days.


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
10447 posts

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
Have you driven "on the other side" before? Some people adjust more easily than others. It might be worth renting at a more rural location, if you have concerns about navigating complex traffic while driving on the opposite side.


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TheDeathValley
LSU Fan
New Orleans, LA
Member since Sep 2010
11515 posts

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
quote:

Anybody ever do this?


Plenty, but I switched to Uber for a while but that is now gone. There is a tram that takes you to the rental car place.

It is not as easy as one might think to driving on the opposite lane in the opposite seat. Be advised it will take some adjustment, especially with all of the roundabouts.


Y.A. Tittle
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2003
77417 posts

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
quote:

It is not as easy as one might think to driving on the opposite lane in the opposite seat. Be advised it will take some adjustment, especially with all of the roundabouts.



Are most rentals in the UK still standard shift? That shite threw me for a loop clipping curbs left and right coming out of the rental car parking lot.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
11328 posts

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
I would highly recommend NOT renting a car your first day in England. But, I did it after a layover in Dublin so I was even more tired arriving to Heathrow around 1 compared to 10am for a direct flight from the states.

Here's the issue, you are tired and jet lagged then have to drive on the left side and go through all the traffic circles. It was honestly EASILY my most dangerous day of driving in my life. I drove to the countryside in Kent too and the roads were basically 1.5 lane.

I would fly in, then train or taxi your first day. Then when you are not tired from your flight, drive.

The thing that I NEVER got used to was the damn gears are still the same place in the manual. So you are using your left hand to shift which is weird enough. But first is still top left, where as in america first is top left which is closet to you, but England its top left which is furthest away. I grinded the CRAP out of gears because of that. Constantly going to 5th instead of first. It seemed common sense to have first gear closest to you, but in England first is furthest away.
This post was edited on 2/13 at 12:04 pm


Y.A. Tittle
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2003
77417 posts

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
quote:


The thing that I NEVER got used to was the damn gears are still the same place in the manual. So you are using your left hand to shift which is weird enough. But first is still top left, where as in america first is top left which is closet to you, but England its top left which is furthest away. I grinded the CRAP out of gears because of that. Constantly going to 5th instead of first. It seemed common sense to have first gear closest to you, but in England first is furthest away.



shite is so damn disorienting. I thought, hey I can drive a standard fine on the left side, so it will be no big deal.


TheDeathValley
LSU Fan
New Orleans, LA
Member since Sep 2010
11515 posts

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
Contrary to popular belief, most rentals are automatic now.


Y.A. Tittle
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2003
77417 posts

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
quote:

Contrary to popular belief, most rentals are automatic now.




That's why I asked. It's been a good number of years since I rented a car over there. When I did, it was all but impossible to get an automatic and I didn't think it'd be a big deal.

Hey, I didn't get anyone killed or even actually wreck the vehicle. Might have tweaked the alignment a bit bouncing off a couple of curbs, though.


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Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
27472 posts
 Online 

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
I hope you have diplomatic immunity.


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mgdtiger
LSU Fan
Member since May 2006
1483 posts
 Online 

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
Last time we visited I did. First few days were in London, so we didn't get one till we were done in London. Underground back to the airport and then to the rental car. Auto cars, GPS, good on driving on opposite side, until my 1st roundabout. Exited in the wrong lane, but fixed quickly.

We drove out to Cornwall, then up to the British Open at Lytham St. Annes.


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baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
11328 posts

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
quote:

Contrary to popular belief, most rentals are automatic now.


You sure about that? When we went both of our cars were Manual.


mizslu314
Missouri Fan
Dirty STL
Member since Sep 2013
10049 posts

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
My first time in England, we got in a shuttle van to take us to London from airport. I remember saying to my friend just 2 minutes into the ride, "I would have crashed twice by now".


MAROON
Texas A&M Fan
Houston
Member since Jul 2012
850 posts

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
we did it with another couple - or I should say he rented and then upgraded to a Bentley when we go to the Avis counter. Big mistake. As mentioned earlier, he was tired and not sure of driving on the wrong side. He ended up hitting the curb a few times on the narrow country road and was charged to replace two alloy wheels on the Bentley that were scratched. I think the cost was something like $10-$20k.


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Tigris
Montana Fan
Fernando Poo
Member since Jul 2005
10059 posts

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
quote:

"Contrary to popular belief, most rentals are automatic now."


You sure about that? When we went both of our cars were Manual.


Yeah, there are a LOT of places where the cars are mostly manual. Usually you can reserve an automatic, though. I do that when driving on the left. Just keeping the windshield wiper/turn signal straight is bad enough, I know better than to get a left side manual - that way lies madness.


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TheDeathValley
LSU Fan
New Orleans, LA
Member since Sep 2010
11515 posts

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
quote:

You sure about that? When we went both of our cars were Manual.


In fairness I carry elite status with Hertz, but yes the last 7-8 times I have gotten a car in Europe I have gotten an automatic. I think it’s a selection but they have plenty of automatics.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
11328 posts

re: Renting a car at Heathrow
quote:

In fairness I carry elite status with Hertz, but yes the last 7-8 times I have gotten a car in Europe I have gotten an automatic. I think it’s a selection but they have plenty of automatics.


Ah, ok that makes sense. You are certainly correct, that choosing an automatic is definitely always a possibility when in Europe. To be honest I probably chose a manual for fun or chose a manual to be cheap. I don’t remember. I had no damn idea a UK manual had the gears like they are though, I’ll never do that again.

Still though even without the gears, I’d absolutely not recommend driving the first day after a trans ocean flight. It’s not hard after a day, but I just don’t think it’s a good idea at all getting used to it when tired.


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