Luton Airport car hire centre. A free shuttle bus to the airport is waiting

The car hire centre at London Luton Airport. A free shuttle bus takes you here from the main terminal.

How to Find the Car Hire Centre at Luton Airport: A Handy Guide

London Luton Airport, ranked as the 5th busiest airport in the country, offers numerous onward travel options for the 18 million annual passengers arriving from over 30 different countries.

Approximately 30% of passengers continue their journey by public transport. For buses and coaches, an 18-bay bus station immediately outside the terminal serves a variety of locations. For destinations further afield, Luton Airport Parkway railway station is reached using the new DART transit system.

However, a substantial number will prefer to hire a car from one of the six on-site rental companies at Luton Airport. These are Avis, Hertz, Budget, Europcar, Enterprise and Alamo.

I recently flew to Luton Airport to attend a family wedding in Hertfordshire. With the ceremony and reception in different locations, both challenging to reach by public transport, it was more practical to hire a car for the weekend.

Finding the car hire centre, however, was a challenge!

London Luton Airport bus station bay C.

The free shuttle bus to the car hire centre departs from the main bus station at Bay C.

How do I get to the car hire centre at London Luton Airport?

At many international airports, the car hire desks and pick-up locations are conveniently situated a short walk from the main terminal. Often they are inside or close to the on-site car parks.

This isn’t the case at Luton Airport. While still technically “on-site”, the car hire centre can be found a few kilometres away from the main terminal, near the long stay car park.

There is a free shuttle bus to get there from the terminal, but the signposting at the airport for this service is extremely bad.

After leaving the airside area, there are signs for “Onward Travel”, bus this leads to the travel centre for purchasing bus and train tickets.

Instead, you should follow signs to the main exit, where you will find the bus station.

Head left and walk the short distance to ‘Bay C’. Look for the small sign indicating “Car Hire & Staff Parking” shuttle bus departures.

However, on the day I was there, the bus actually departed from bay B. Keep an eye out and if you’re unsure, ask the driver if they’re headed to the car hire centre.

Avoid the steep insurance fees often pushed by car rental companies at the counter!

While they may urge you to opt for their additional coverage – which can sometimes double your rental costs – there’s a smarter way. Take control of your expenses by choosing a separate car hire excess insurance policy from a third-party provider. These policies offer comprehensive coverage for high excess charges at a fraction of the cost, often covering areas that rental companies exclude. Safeguard your journey with a third-party policy, and enjoy peace of mind without breaking the bank during your UK travels.

Luton Airport Car Hire Centre – View Larger Map

Car Rental return sign at Luton Airport.

When returning your car, just follow the “Car Hire Centre” signs. Google Maps

Returning a hire car at London Luton Airport

Dropping off your hire car at the end of your rental period is much easier!

The postcode for the car hire centre is LU2 9NL but this covers quite a large area. Put it into your sat nav and just follow the signs to “Car Hire Centre” once you are close.

For a more precise location, you can use What3Words location snail.remove.moved

Just watch you take the correct road into the centre itself – there are quite a few roads here and some are for the long stay car park instead.