Understanding Airport Car Hire Pick Up Procedures

Where do I pick up my hire car?

When hiring a car, it’s obviously important that you know where you’re heading to collect your vehicle. If you’re collecting from an airport, there are usually 3 different options for collection – in terminal, meet and greet or shuttle bus. This tells you where in the airport you will need to go to find the supplier’s desk.

In terminal car hire pick up

If your rental is in terminal, this means you will find the supplier’s rental desk in the terminal at the airport – you won’t need to leave the airport or get on a shuttle bus in order to collect your car. Most of the larger, multinational companies are usually in terminal; suppliers like AVIS, Enterprise, Goldcar etc. who are in most airports. However, this isn’t always the case depending on how many suppliers are at that airport, so make sure you check before you book. You may be drawn in by the cheaper prices of some suppliers who are off airport, but if you or someone you are travelling with struggles with mobility or you are with small children then you would probably benefit from a supplier who is in terminal – this will save you the hassle of heading through the airport and getting a transfer, as everything is right there when you land.

Meet and greet car hire pick up

In some locations, certain suppliers will offer a meet and greet service. With this option, a representative from your chosen company will meet you in the terminal when you land and will then take you to the rental desk. They will usually have a board with the company logo or the driver’s name so they’re easy to find, and they will take you to the supplier’s car park to hand over the vehicle. With these rentals it’s especially important to provide your flight number when you book, so that the representative knows exactly when to meet you and which terminal you will be at.

Off airport car hire pick up

For suppliers that are off airport, you will be required to take a shuttle bus to the rental desk to collect your vehicle – these are usually your budget suppliers who are not based in the terminal. The shuttle bus will be included in the rental price and means that when you land you will need to head to the airport’s shuttle bus stand and take a quick ride to the supplier’s desk just outside the airport. The frequency of the shuttle and the length of time it takes to get to the desk will depend on the supplier’s location – in London Stansted for example, all of larger suppliers have their rental desks in the car rental village just outside the airport, so the shuttle bus only takes a couple of minutes. Smaller suppliers such as Greenmotion are based further away from the airport in Stansted, so their shuttle bus would take longer. If you’re travelling with young children or have a traveller with limited mobility this may not be the best option for you, as there may be some waiting and it will take longer to get your rental car.

The collection procedures are definitely worth bearing in mind when booking a rental car – be sure to take into consideration not just the cost, but the needs of your group and the level of convenience you require when you’re collecting your vehicle. If you’re in any doubt of what your requirements are, or if you have any questions about collecting your car, then get in touch with our car hire experts – they’ll be on hand to book you a rental that ticks all of your boxes.