Taxi ? Heathrow-London

Dec 9th, 2005, 11:36 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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Taxi ? Heathrow-London

How do 4 people and 5 bags get to Trafalgar Square from Heathrow? Every car service has a different price and luggage maximum. The site for the taxi is confusing for that as well.
lorlexrik1 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2005, 11:46 AM
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rent a car.
honeymooninitaly is offline  
Dec 9th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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I have used They seem to have among the lowest rates of the car services. I definitely disagree with renting a car to drive in London, for many reasons.
Nikki is online now  
Dec 9th, 2005, 02:29 PM
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Do NOT rent a car. The traffic is horrendous, and parking nonexistent.
Robespierre is offline  
Dec 9th, 2005, 04:00 PM
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Unless you have the bags from hades, a black cab should be able to acommodate you. Cost will be about 50GBP.
vcl is offline  
Dec 9th, 2005, 04:36 PM
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Thanks- I'll do that. I thought the taxis would have a problem with the luggage the way the car service companies do. What is the name of the taxi service in London?
lorlexrik1 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2005, 04:50 PM
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Please, PLEASE ignore any recommendation to take a taxi. Any car service will cost less, and Justairports will cost about half.

And renting a car - that is just plain nutty. The rental agencies all off airport so you will waste an hour just taking the shuttle, and filling out the rental contract. Plus 1-day rentals are very expensive.

Simply contact justairports, tell them how many people/bags and they will send the right sized vehicle. And if you pay cash it will be even cheaper.
janisj is offline  
Dec 10th, 2005, 01:35 AM
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You can get a one way car hire from Europcar at the airport by the hour, you don't have to hire for a day, but as everybody has said its really not a viable/realistic option.

Your choice is really between private cabs and the London black cabs.

Justairports are perhaps the benchmark, i.e. they have the lowest prices. BUT their standard cabs are only licenced to carry 4 and even if you upgrade to a larger car the luggage situation (trunks are a fraction the size in Europe than US) is a recipe for a confrontation about rates, number of cars needed etc. All private cab companies have supplements in the small print you didn't budget for, a bit like hiring a car. Typically terminal waiting charges, airport to London pick-up charges, airport parking charges, congestion charges (Trafalgar Square is in the middle if the London congestion charging zone). Many private cabs cannot use the special lane on the motorway between Heathrow and London, avoiding the traffic congestion either.
Just airports are one of the better firms but have most of the above to factor in. They are notoriously bad answering queries clarifying the above and most people end up phoning them and getting the extras situation in writing. If pressed they'll normally waive the charge if you take more than 45 minutes from time of landing to greeting the taxi driver.

Black taxis in front of the terminal are much faster are licenced to carry 5 and have more luggage capacity. They can use the reserved lanes on the motorway and they don't have to pay the congestion charge.

If you're one of the Priceline crowd go for option, its the kind of false economy you'll love and you can boast to your friends of the headline rate you paid and conveniently forget about all the extras.

If you want the best option with minimal hassle and stress after a long flight and at a similar overall cost take a black cab from in front of the terminal.

LondonSue is offline  
Dec 10th, 2005, 02:11 AM
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Another option you could consider is to have a car service like Addison Lee come and meet you. They wait inside by the Hertz rental desk with a clipboard with your name on it. Their cars are mostly 7 seaters. A pickup gereally costs between £45 and £50 and although they can't use the reserved lanes, the price is fixed. They track your flight but if you take ages to get through immigration and customs, there is the chance of them charging a waiting fee.

The other thing to consider with a black cab is the rate you will be charged at. If you are in on an early morning flight and the pickup is before 6, the cab will still be on rate 3, which is the most expensive rate, ineffect from 10pm to 6 am.

Here are the rates for 1, 2 and 3

I guess the basic this is getting from Heathrow into central London is an expensive pain in the butt!!!
luckykat is offline  
Dec 10th, 2005, 06:01 AM
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LondonSue did have some legitimate comments about car services in general.

However the ones most often recommended here (Justairports, Swiss Cottage and Ray Skinner) are all very good. After price increases over the last couple of years, justairports is now cheaper than the other two, but all 3 are cheaper than any black cab.

They will quote you an "all in" price w/o any of the hidden extras Londonsue mentioned. You tell them the flight number so they can monitor the status/arrival time. That way they get to the parking area in time so you should be into the arrivals hall w/i their standard waiting time. Now -- IF you have a looong delay in immigration, or if your bags don't come off the carosel w/ the rest of your flight, or some other snafu, then you might have to pay a bit of over time. But it has never happened to me.

4 people is a pretty common traveling party - they will use the right sized car and will save you money.

But since there are 4 of you, if you do decide on a black cab, the per person charge won't be too bad - just more than a car service.
janisj is offline  
Dec 10th, 2005, 01:44 PM
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Good advice not to go with a cab!

We've used Ray Skinner of many times, (most recently last August) and been very pleased with him. He is very reliable, drives a big minivan, and is excellent, charming company for the (sometimes due to traffic) long trip into London.
Weadles is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 02:21 AM
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Would think the key thing here in your case is the amount of luggage.
With 4 people filling most European cabs, you will have problems if you have more than 2 large or 3 medium cases.
Many private cab companies will upgrade you or rent you a luggage trailer in advance for an additional fee - either way if this is you I'd strongly advise using a company that will communicate with you and acknowledge the capacity of car they'll provide for your party for a fixed price with no hidden extras.

As as been previously said justairports have an indifferent record on ease of communication.
I'd send of an e-mail to all the companies mentioned setting out exactly your lugggage requirements and getting an exact quote for your need.
Many will not bother replying but thats there loss.
handfordr is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 05:16 AM
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We always have used Ray Skinner at I'd suggest contacting Ray by e-mail, or phone, and ask about luggage. Whenever he picked us up he used a van, but since there are only 2 of us luggage space was not a problem.

Depending upon how large your 5 bags are you may encounter a problem with a regular cab. There simply won't be enough room for everything. Two cabs could get a little pricey.

The last thing in the world I would suggest doing is renting a car - way more trouble then it would ever be worth.

Just recognize the fact that you will pay more for needing a larger vehicle to pick you up and be very specific in dealing with the pickup service.

In Ray's case, he meets you outside of customs holding a sign with your name on it. Luggage has to be wheeled across the street to the parking garage (parking charges are added into your fee). If you use a service to return to Heathrow you will be dropped off right in front of the terminal since no waiting is involved, hence the trip out is usually less money then the one into London.

Lori is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 07:07 AM
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Thank you all very much-incredible info.
Does anyone have any sites that have a week itienerary planned. I'd love to compare it to the one I've made?
lorlexrik1 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 07:34 AM
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When I used SwissCottage car service, the driver came by with a huge van, even though I was traveling solo. It would easily have accommodated all of you and your luggage. However, it wasn't particularly clean and the driver wasn't particularly professional (he arrived late and insisted on stopping to make a phone call, buy lottery tickets and fill up with fuel en route, making me even more delayed). So I was less than enchanted with their service.
BTilke is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 08:09 AM
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Having been to London many times we never had any "set" itinerary and I really suggest that, while you may have some "must sees", don't overplan. Allow time for just "walking/looking around" - sometimes those occasions turn out to be more fun then the "must see sites".

If the 4 people are adults don't be shy about splitting up - not everyone wants to see the same things. If they are kids get their input. I've seen enough bored looking kids at major tourist sites (all over the world) to last a lifetime. Kids certainly can enjoy museums but usually not quite with the same enthusiam as some adults.

You need to define your interests/budget/age brackets to come up with a good schedule. If you only have a week I would not schedule anymore then one day trip (and really with everything to see in London you need much more then a week). Again, ages of the travelers can be important in planning an "all dayer".
Lori is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 08:29 AM
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We were 4 adults with 4 large bags and 2 backpacks, who arrived at Heathrow last June. Our hotel arranged to send an estate car to pick us up and take us to the Hyde Park area, for 55 EU. I'd never heard of justairports, but did check prices on, which were more expensive than the estate car, since they charged per person. The driver came into the luggage area of the airport and helped us get our bags to his car. Have you asked your hotel to help?
Dec 12th, 2005, 09:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I also recommend It will be less than a taxi. If you pay cash, you get a discount as well. Check their website. We used them a few years ago and were very pleased. There were also 4 of us. They picked us up in a minivan.
MFNYC is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 10:20 AM
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MaureenB: That is one of the problems w/ LondonTown. It is really a booking agency - not connected w/ justairports or the other car services. They take a slice off the top of anything they book.

Contacted directly, Justairports would have been about £35-£40 (total, not per person) instead of the £55 your hotel charged. And it would have been even less if you paid cash. And an estate is simply a station wagon - most of the car services use the same sorts of vehicles if the number of passengers/luggage requires one that size.

janisj is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 10:45 AM
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Thanks for the tip, Janisj. Live and learn for next time, eh?

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