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Cheltenham to Heathrow drive time

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Adelaide, Australia
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Cheltenham to Heathrow drive time

Our flight leaves from T4 at 22.00 on a Monday. We need to leave the hire car with Europcar. How much time should we allow for travelling?

UK
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1. Re: Cheltenham to Heathrow drive time

Google maps will give you a drive time my guess is 2 hours Add an hour for contingency. Plus an hour for returning the car and getting the shuttle to the airport. Add that to the 3 hours before flight and you should be leaving about 1600.

London, United...
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2. Re: Cheltenham to Heathrow drive time

The Tom Tom route planner, which is more accurate than Google Maps shows that this journey takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes (depending on the exact location in Cheltenham). 2 and a half hours for the journey should be more than enough, even if there is going to be traffic which I don't think it will be the case on a Monday evening.

Budapest, Hungary
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3. Re: Cheltenham to Heathrow drive time

The AA route planner gives 2 hours, which is about right in perfect conditions (I have done this journey).

You will be travelling on either the M40 or the M4: admittedly you will be going against the flow, but I would allow 3 hours in case of an accident on the motorway. An extra hour in Cheltenham is not worth the risk of a missed flight.

Gloucester, United...
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4. Re: Cheltenham to Heathrow drive time

Work the time backwards. 22.00 hr flight - 3hr for check in = 19:00. 1 hr to return car and transfer to airport = 18:00. 2 hr travel time = 16:00 latest departure from Cheltenham which puts you en-route slap bang in the middle of rush hour either on the M40 around Oxford or M40 just beyond Swindon.

As others have suggested, I would leave at least 1 hour earlier to allow a bit of contingency. Heathrow is big enough to keep you occupied for the extra time if there are no delays, and better too much time than arriving too late to make the flight.

Adelaide, Australia
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5. Re: Cheltenham to Heathrow drive time

Thanks Keitht, I was wondering if rush hour would impact our travelling to Heathrow.

Twyning, United...
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6. Re: Cheltenham to Heathrow drive time

I think you are getting overly cautious advice. The best route (I do it regularly) is the A417/419 to Swindon, then straight along the M4. You are against the traffic most of the way, so you should allow 2 hours, say 2h 15m max. In traffic, coming the opposite direction I have made it in under 2 hours. The Europcar return is on the airport, and they know you are catching a flight, so I think 30 mins transfer is realistic. Finally, 3 hours is a long time to wait at the airport, 2 is more than enough. Therefore this gives you 4h45m. Call it 5 hours. If you leave at 5, you will hit Reading at 6 (with a little delay getting on to the M4 at Swindon). you will reach Heathrow at 7 with 3 hours to return car and check in, etc. If you leave at 4, you will be there by 6 with a four hour wait, and if you leave at 3 you will be there by 5.00 with time to go shopping in London! Just check which terminal you fly from as T4 and T5 are away from T123 so add a bit more time for transfer. T4 s the furthest.

Adelaide, Australia
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7. Re: Cheltenham to Heathrow drive time

Thankyou so much for all the details.We are leaving from T4 and have 82 yr old mother with us.

Albuquerque, New...
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8. Re: Cheltenham to Heathrow drive time

Just make sure you know which terminal you need to return the car to. We did this once and finding where to return our car was the most confusing thing we have ever done. We were coming from Slough and the traffic was fine.....the confusion was once we got near the airport. Very stressful

Good luck

London
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9. Re: Cheltenham to Heathrow drive time

"Just make sure you know which terminal you need to return the car to"

You don't return the car to any if the terminals. You need to go to the rental depot, to the north of the airport. It really is wise to check detailed directions in advance, because finding this depot isn't obvious if you don't know the area. If you need to refuel, allow another 20 minutes, getting from the nearest petrol station back to the rental pound is surprisingly complex....

UK
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10. Re: Cheltenham to Heathrow drive time

I think you are getting overly cautious advice.

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Well, better they got there an hour early than an hour late and needed to buy at least 3 one way on the day tickets to Australia ! Your timing assumes no hold ups on the motorway, no security issues, everything working at the rental return , and no getting lost trying to find the rental return, or in other words everything going swimmingly. Including the section of the M4 from Reading to Heathrow at rush hour which fairly often is completely gridlocked due to a breakdown or minor accident.

Unless there is something so really important they can be doing in Cheltenham for that hour or two they would anyway merely be hanging around Cheltenham instead of the airport at the potential cost of maybe five grands worth of new tickets.