Great location with covered connection to Terminal 5
Very good locations around the airport and the Sofitel
Very good car
Hidden paid upgrade lead to a significant increase in rental price
Renting a car at London Heathrow Airport typically leads to a shuttle bus ride from one of the terminals to the rental car locations, which are typically located North of the travel hub. However, some rental car companies drive designated offices right at or close to the terminals. One of them is Sixt, who use the Sofitel London Heathrow at Terminal 5 for their rental operations. Here is my review of this very convenient option.
Sixt London Heathrow (LHR) T5 – The Rental
My rental was a three day rental, Thursday to Sunday. I opted for the Kia Ceed class with a basic insurance (most of the remaining surplus is covered by my credit card). Including all taxes and surcharges, the total rental fee according to my booking was 148 GBP roughly. The fee slightly changed after several flight changes and corresponding adoptions. Due to the shortage of fuel / transport issues in England during that time (September 2021), I went for the fuel option (which I would typically never book), which lead to an estimated rental 217.78 GBP. I finally paid 369 GBP, see below.
Sixt London Heathrow (LHR) T5 – Location & Office
The rental car office is located right inside the Sofitel Heathrow Terminal 5. You simply follow the signs to the hotel. The route to the hotel is fully covered, but you need to take the elevator from arrivals or departures. Once you reached the hotel, the Sixt office is signed – you won’t be able to miss it anyway, as you pass the hotel on your route. The office has three desks. There is also a shuttle by Sixt to Terminal 2.
Sixt London Heathrow (LHR) T5 – Receiving The Car
I had to wait some ten minutes before I have been serviced – the office is very popular, so that would expect that you may even face longer queues in peak times. I am really unhappy with the rental process. The customer manager very eloquently combined my platinum status with upgrades. I felt the same issue during my Sixt rental at Milan Malpensa (MXP) – but at least, the Sixt employee there always told me the upgrade fee for the options he offered me. This was not the case at all – the only time I should have really seen that they upgraded me for a some 150 GBP difference is when confirming the payment and deposit for the car. This is supported by the fact that SIxt by default only sends you the rental contract by mail – so that you have no chance to check what you sign beforehand.
Also on the screen they use to show you the rental options, I had no time to review the rental and was straightly sent to the signage of the contract. Thus, I feel the the rental process had a fraudelent touch. If you are in the same situation, I definitely encourage you to be very careful. I feel it is really weird that they try to cheat their status customers, though. The car was located in the parking garage of the hotel, I just had to take an elevator down. As there was just one elevator also servicing some of the hotel guest moving, this was a bit of bothersome, but fine. The car only had a 7/8 full fuel tank – this was obviously also charged as well for the fuel option.
Sixt London Heathrow (LHR) T5 – Returning The Car
The directions to the Sofitel are perfectly given once you approach Terminal 5 (don’t go for the initial car rental return signs, of course). Once you are close to the hotel, there are also signs which guide you to the Sixt rental return – the parking garage is rather easy to maneuver, even if you are typically used to drive on the right hand side.
The check of the car went smoothly. Unfortunately, even though the staff at the car return used a tablet for the check-in, it took Sixt over 24 hours to sent me the rental invoice, which is too long in my point of view. Furthermore (this is already valid for the rental contract), they just give you a fee for the Fuel option – in my case 47.32 GBP plus tax (20% VAT), but they don’t explain it how they derived that. Compared to the UK fuel prices, it feels very reasonable, maybe even a bit on the cheap side, though.
The Car – Audi Q2 3.5 TFSI
Regardless of the unfortunate rental process, I really liked the Audi Q2 Sixt gave me. Having an automatic transmission helps you to concentrate on the main traffic things, when you are not used to drive on the left. I liked having the GPS information in the dashboard of the car. While the car had a lot of power and was very comfortable, I wondered why it neither had driving lane assistance nor a rear view camera – I would have expected that in that class of car. Nonetheless, the car was a great option for my short routes from London to Milton Keynes and back. The car had a mileage of roughly 14,000 miles.
Sixt London Heathrow (LHR) T5 – My View
Sixt Heathrow at the Sofitel is a great location is adding a lot of convenience. The routes from the airport are nice and you don’t need a shuttle. Overall, I really enjoyed the rental – if there wasn’t that hidden paid upgrade and the too late invoice. Especially due to the feeling of being cheated at the rental inception, there is no way for a very positive rating of my rental.