Car rental at London Gatwick

Old Dec 3rd, 2002, 01:22 PM
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Tom
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Car rental at London Gatwick

We're a group of 12 and have considered renting a couple of cars to drive into London instead of taking the express from Gatwick. Any advice or suggestions? We're staying a day and then flying out of Stansted to Bergamo, Italy.
 
Old Dec 3rd, 2002, 01:52 PM
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Rex
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Hard to believe that this will be your best bet. I would do one of these:

1. Not stay in London. Windsor is nice - - though how early is your flight to Bergamo? Woods car rental worked for me with such a plan, in 1998.

2. Arrange a driver. Eddie Manning or Ray Skiiner are probably both good choices - - see http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...2&tid=34368800 for more info.

3. Use ordinary public transportation.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Old Dec 3rd, 2002, 03:39 PM
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xxx
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Tom:
Do you know where you will park once you are in London? Parking can be a real challenge.
 
Old Dec 3rd, 2002, 05:07 PM
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oh
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Where are you flying into! windsor is great for Heathrow......not even up to par for gatwick!

Get a limo service for 12 .cheaper than the Gatwick express.

Good luck on getting to Stansted!
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 03:36 AM
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Gordon R
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I'd have to agree with previous posters. Also, consider whether a "couple of cars" would suffice for 12 people plus all their luggage - more like 2 minibuses (minivans).
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 05:32 AM
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ron
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I presume the point of this car rental is to save the cost of public transport from Gatwick to London and London to Stansted, which would be about £25 per person, or £300 for the 12. I’m wondering how much saving there is when you factor in the cost of renting 2 mini-vans or 3 or 4 cars, which is what you’ll need, plus parking the vehicles in central London at £30 per vehicle. Then there are the intangibles of the time to rent and return the vehicles and driving in London traffic, keeping the convoy together.
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 01:01 PM
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topping
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to the top
 
Old Dec 5th, 2002, 01:01 PM
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Tom
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Thank you for all your replies.

The reason we considered this option is because of cost and convenience. If we take the Gatwick express, we would have to still get a taxi to take us from the station to the hotel. Then the next day we would have to do the reverse except this time go to Stansted. Our flight is in the early evening around 6:30 pm.

The limo is a pretty good option but how many people can it hold and what would be the cost of arranging a trip from Gatwick to London and then from London to Stansted.

Once we get to the hotel, our hope is to park there if they allow for parking or nearby and pay for the cost.

Is there anything like Mapquest in London that allows you to put in your destination and get a map to that location?

I will look into Windsor and the drivers. Not sure where Windsor is anyway but we are flying into Gatwick and leaving out of Stansted.
 
Old Dec 5th, 2002, 01:50 PM
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Rex
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Eddie Manning can transport the twelve of you in two minivans, and it will cost you no more than public transport, and not much more than the two days' of (two) minivans' rentals you would require.

Gatwick is directly south of London - - like 6 o'clock on a clock face. Windsor is quite near Heathrow at 9 o'clock, just a bit outside the M25, and stanstead is almost straight north of London (like 12 or 1 o'clock). It's 50-90 minutes of full-motorway-speed driving between either two of these three points. I would be surprised if it's any faster to go into, and come out of London (by car) than to go into and come out of Windsor.

I have done both of these drives, but only once, and alnost five years' ago, so others will provide more experienced or expert advice than mine, most likely.
 
Old Dec 6th, 2002, 05:31 AM
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Keith
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I think your best bet is to take the Gatwick Express into London, then the next day take the Stansted Express out again. Put simply, driving in London is really only for the criminally insane - I know, I live there - and should be avoided at all times. It will take you about 1/2 to 3/4 hour to get into the centre by train; compare this with a driving time of around 1.5 - 2 hours (it's true - and often longer) and it just becomes a no-brainer.

Rex's comments about driving times are fairly accurate, but the actual times will be longer - I live about 20 minutes north of Gatwick, and it has taken me four hours to get to Heathrow and 2.5 to Stansted in the past. The traffic is so unpredictable that you are safer avoiding the roads if you can!
 
Old Feb 3rd, 2003, 01:27 PM
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TT
 
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I have a similar question, only for a family of 5 rather than 12. The one thing I wasn't sure about with the Gatwick Express was the transport from Victoria Station to the hotel - in our case, the Marriott Marble Arch. What's reasonable to plan on, considering luggage and all, Taxi? Bus? Walk?

Also, fyi, per the http://www.gatwickexpress.co.uk/ website, they're offering a four for two fare.

Thanks,
TT
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Old Feb 3rd, 2003, 02:26 PM
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TT,
The Gatwick Express offer is good deal if at least 4 of your party are over the required 15 years of age.
Once you get to Victoria you can do a taxi ( will all your luggage fit?).
It is too far to walk from Victoria to Marble Arch pulling/carrying/dragging luggage.
One more option is to arrange for a car service to pick you up at Gatwick and take you to your hotel. The cost may be comparable to the Express+taxi fares.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2003, 02:38 PM
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First of all - a "couple of cars won't do it. You would need a minimum of three cars - maybe more if you have too much luggage. And your flight out is at 6:30 PM which means you'll be struggling through central London during rush hour. Renting cars is not really a viable alternative. A cars service with vans would be the cheapest, the Gatwick Express would be the fastest.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2003, 05:28 PM
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Pandora - thanks for the reply. Yes, 4 of our 5 are over 15 so it does seem pretty reasonable (4 for £22.00 and 1 child fare). We're trying to go as lite as we can luggage-wise, but we'll still have 3 large and 2 medium suitcases. I would hope they'd fit in cab if all 5 of us can ride in one. Guess it's a toss up between the Gatwick express and hiring a car service. Some say large luggage doesn't fit well on the Gatwick Express and others say it's no problem. It's our first internat'l family travel and we're really looking forward to it - just want things to go smoothly ;-) This site and all the great suggestions really are appreciated!
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Old Feb 4th, 2003, 06:51 AM
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TT,The Gatwick Express has spaces especially for luggage...after all, it is a train that is taking people back and forth to an airport.
And any suitcase that meets your airline's size limitations will not be too big for the Express. Are your suitcases larger than 62 linear inches?
Be sure to check with your airline to find out what is allowed .

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