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Key facts for hiring a car at London Gatwick Airport
London Gatwick Airport
LGW is the second busiest airport in the UK.
Car hire pick up point
Desks are situated in the South Terminal.
There are BP, Esso and Shell garages all just outside of Gatwick Airport. Be careful, as these stations will all hand out fines if you stay parked in the forecourt for longer than 15 minutes.
There is 90 minutes-worth of free WiFi at the airport.
Food and drink
You'll find about 30 restaurants and cafes to choose from at Gatwick, so you won’t go hungry.
Hire a car at London Gatwick Airport
London Gatwick welcomes over 40 million passengers per year, with the busiest routes heading to Barcelona, Dublin and Malaga.
Gatwick is the second-busiest airport in the UK and the second-busiest single-runway airport in the world. It is a widely used airport due to its proximity to the capital of England; Gatwick is just 28 miles south of central London.
Top rated suppliers at London Gatwick Airport
Average Rating 8.8 – “Excellent all round service from booking online to finally dropping vehicle off. Superb customer experience.”
Average Rating 8.6 – “A wonderful hire with support and flexibility from all staff concerned.”
Average Rating 8.5 – “Superb service – have 2 more bookings & will use every time I require a hire car.”
Average Rating 8.3 – “Fantastic car. Extremely competitive price. Excellent service from staff.”
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A little bit about London
Not surprisingly, lots intend on journeying into the cosmopolitan capital, which takes an hour or two by car. London is a city of two halves: you can inundate your senses with unrelenting, crowd-filled hubs like Oxford Street, or flee to the more dispersed areas of Regents Park.
The city skyline is quirky and full of architecture intent on making a statement. From modern glass structures such as The Gherkin and The Walkie Talkie to the elegant Elizabeth Tower (home to the Big Ben), their memorable names are as interesting as their design. You can identify these buildings as you stroll to the top of Primrose Hill, then amble about the pretty streets of Notting Hill and Camden.
Gatwick Airport tips
Gatwick is a silent airport, so announcements will not be made. This means you need to keep an eye on the information boards and any changes to them.
If you take an empty water bottle in your hand luggage you can fill it up in the departure lounge. There’s a water fountain in each terminal.
Sign up to myGatwick account for offers and vouchers that you can use when you are at the airport.
Charging your devices
There are power points throughout the airport where you can give your phones and laptops a boost for free.
Picking up your car
The car hire centre is located in the South Terminal, so you should jump on a quick inter-terminal shuttle service if you arrive at the North Terminal. This runs every few minutes 24 hours a day.
There are children’s play areas in both terminals, perfect for keeping the little ones entertained while you wait for your flight.
As well as free WiFi, there are computers with printing facilities before security if you’ve forgotten to print anything – e.g. your boarding pass. These aren’t free, but it can be cheaper than getting some airlines to print them for you!
Things to be aware of in London
Congestion charge zone – find out whether or not you’ll need to pay this to avoid any surprises later on. It’s quick and simple to set up a payment beforehand, and rental companies can charge you admin fees along with the penalty charge if they receive a notification that it wasn’t paid.
Dartford crossing – paying the Dart Charge is really easy to do online, and once again you may be charged twice if the car hire company have to process a fine for you.
Bus lanes – there are many bus lanes in London and cameras to detect cars using them illegally. Read the signs carefully, and don’t be tempted to copy other drivers – especially taxis – as they have special rights when it comes to lane usage.
Cyclists – a popular mode of transport within the capital, take extra care to look out for cyclists. There are some cycle lanes, but often bikes will be on the road alongside cars.
Parking fines – there is little leniency on parking fees, so make sure you read the signs. Many parking spaces are permitted or have restricted hours. Parking wardens wandering the city is a common sight.
Roundabouts – there are plenty of roundabouts in and around London which can be confusing if you aren’t used to them. Read up before hand to be sure you know how to tackle one.
Multi-storey car parks – some London car parks need an advance booking to get a space, so do your research on this if you know you’ll need to park up.