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Explore with a car rental in the UK
Whether you’re touching down in London for a quick visit or spending a few weeks to explore, a UK car hire makes it easy to see and experience as much as possible. Pick up a set of wheels and you’ll be free to see, do, and experience the many fantastic aspects of the nation.
Popular car rental destinations in the UK
Find the right rental car for your UK adventure
With so much beauty both natural and man-made, and a relatively compact size, the United Kingdom is a fantastic venue for a great road trip. Made up of four separate and unique countries: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, it is a diverse land and one with unfathomable history. Don’t let the beautifully quaint scenery of the place fool you—this is a globally connected and cosmopolitan kingdom, and there are cities with all kinds of cuisine, culture, and nightlife.
Finding a car that suits your individual specifications can greatly improve your trip, and GoSee’s user-friendly search and booking engine is designed to help customers locate the perfect vehicle.
Popular UK car rental locations
The United Kingdom is a varied collection of countries with plenty of cities in which visitors might choose to begin their trip. Each one offers access to unique and wonderful regions—here is a list of popular pick-up locations and what you might find should you rent a car from each one.
This is the UK’s largest city and a common starting point for holidaymakers. Pick up a car hire at Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, Stansted Airport, or in one of London’s suburbs to explore the vast reaches of this sprawling city made up of many charming villages. Within a few hours’ drive of London are some fantastic destinations, including Bath which is steeped in Roman history, Stonehenge which dates back even farther than that, Brighton and other seaside towns, and Dover where the ferries depart to France.
A car hire from Edinburgh in Scotland will put you in a great position to see some spectacular sights, starting right in the city itself. The great granite buildings along the Royal Mile make a stunning urban scene. Head out into Scotland, particularly north into the Highlands region, and you’ll discover the evocative natural beauty of this part of the United Kingdom.
Centrally located in England, this bold and forward-looking city is a great place to visit. Pick up a car hire from Manchester Airport or elsewhere in the city and there’s plenty to do and see. Football fans will be well occupied with iconic sites like Old Trafford. The Lakes District and Yorkshire Dales are within easy day trip distance of Manchester, both beautiful regions popular with travellers.
A car hire from Cardiff is a ticket to explore Wales, a small but verdant and diverse country that is ideal for a peaceful, pastoral, and visually pleasing road trip. Wales is full of castles in various states of repair and disrepair, each one a site of interest. There are many beautiful national parks, charming seaside towns, and much more on offer here.
Many journeys in Northern Ireland start with a Belfast car hire. Once industrial and now hip and exciting, the city has rich arts, dining, and nightlife scenes. With natural beauty to rival Scotland’s and quaint villages like those that charm visitors in Wales, Northern Ireland is a fantastic place to explore.
Tips for driving in your UK rental car
A safe trip is a good trip! It’s a good idea to brush up on some UK road rules and customs before hitting the roads over there, so we have put together a few quick tips to help our car rental customers prepare.
- All vehicles in the United Kingdom must drive on the left. Drivers sit on the right-hand side of the vehicle.
- Distances are posted in miles, and speed in miles per hour.
- All occupants of the vehicle must wear a seatbelt.
- The default speed limits in the UK are as follows: 70 mph on motorways and dual carriageways, 60 mph on single carriageways, and 30 mph in built-up areas. There are variations to these limits, and it is important to always check the posted signs.
- Country lanes in the UK can be narrow. Drive carefully and prepare to make room for oncoming vehicles. On hills, vehicles coming uphill have right of way.
- The legal blood alcohol concentration limit for drivers in the UK is 0.08%.
- Roundabouts are very common as a type of intersection. Traffic flows in a clockwise direction. Vehicles already circulating have right of way. Signal left just before you exit the roundabout.
UK car hire road trip inspiration
Even a short jaunt into the UK countryside is guaranteed to be filled with lovely things to do and see. The only difficulty in planning a road trip is deciding which of the many attractions to include.
We’ve suggested some options below—these basic journey outlines may spark your travel planning imagination!
London to Edinburgh: 2-4 days
Pick up a car hire from London or Edinburgh to make this trip which takes in a good amount of the United Kingdom. While we’ve suggested two to four days, you could drive it in one—or, preferably, take longer and detour to see as much as possible along the way. Take a detour into Wales, the Lakes District, historic Stratford-upon-Avon, beach resort Blackpool, and many, many more highlights.
Edinburgh to Edinburgh: 7 days
If spectacular scenery is your thing and you don’t mind leaving civilisation behind a bit, we recommend taking a week or more to pick up an Edinburgh car rental and explore stunning Scotland. The northern reaches of the country are very mountainous—the famous Highlands—and boast scattered towns where you can enjoy a cosy pub and cheerful hospitality.
Belfast to Derry: 3-4 days
The distance between these two Northern Irish cities is only 70 miles, a drive that can be done in little more than an hour. But we suggest taking a more circular route and stopping along the way to enjoy the sights of Northern Ireland. Your itinerary might include Carrickfergus Castle and the ruins of Dunluce Castle in Antrim, the Titanic museum in Belfast, the beautiful Slieve Gullion Forest Park, the beaches of Londonderry, and more.
Manchester to Glasgow: 2-4 days
We’ve chosen this route because it will take nature-loving travellers past some of the UK’s most popular hiking spots. Pick up your Manchester hire car and it’s a short trip to the Yorkshire Dales National Park or the Lakes District National Park, both known for their range of scenic walking trails. You’ll also pass through the famous Gretna Green on the border of England and Scotland. A detour to Britain’s largest forest park, Galloway Forest Park, is highly recommended.
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Car hire United Kingdom: Frequently asked questions
How much does it cost to hire a car in the UK?
There are many factors that influence the cost of hiring a vehicle in the UK, such as the type of vehicle, the supplier, the location, and the time of year. A cheap car hire in the UK could cost fewer than GBP£20 per day, and rates run upwards from there.
It’s simple to find a vehicle to suit your budget with GoSee’s search engine. You can filter the results to fit a particular price range and arrange them by lowest price first to find the best deal—or highest price first to spot the luxury options!
How old do I need to be to rent a car in the UK?
For most suppliers, 21 is the minimum age to rent a car. Some companies will rent to those aged 18-20, but this may involve an added charge.
What driver’s license do I need to rent a car in the UK?
You can use your international driver’s license for up to 12 months. If it is not in English, it must be accompanied by an International Driver’s Permit.
What types of cars can I hire in the United Kingdom?
There is a wide array of vehicles available to hire in the UK. You can choose from compact or economy cars, intermediate and large sedans, station wagons, SUVs, people carriers, utility trucks, vans, and luxury cars.
How do I find the best car hire deals?
GoSee makes it easy to track down the best cheap car hire in the UK. Enter your details to see a wide range of options from many different suppliers—from there, it’s no problem to compare prices and use the filters to pinpoint the best deal that fits your criteria.
Which car hire companies in the UK have updated their vehicle cleaning and safety policies because of coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Many of the rental companies operating in the UK will have updated policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Look out for features such as “Enhanced Cleaning” or “Self Check-In Kiosks.” You can also find more individual policies on the supplier websites.
Can I take a car from the UK to Europe and back?
Some rental companies will allow customers to take hire cars from the UK to Europe, although they are likely to charge extra fees for this. There are other considerations: by law, you will need an E103B form and an authorisation from the rental company to take the car to Europe. Extra equipment may be required to meet the safety standards in other countries, and you will be responsible for this.
Can I extend my rental?
If the rental company has availability, you should be able to extend your rental. Give the GoSee customer service team a call and we can try to arrange this.
Can I hire a car in one location and drop it off somewhere else?
Yes, many rental providers have depots in multiple locations and will happily allow one-way road trips. You may pick up a car hire at Bristol Airport, and drop off the vehicle in Newcastle, London Gatwick or other popular rental locations in the UK. A one-way fee may apply. Specify your desired pick-up and drop-off locations to see what’s available.
What is the speed limit in the UK?
The default speed limits are 70 mph on motorways and dual carriageways, 60 mph on single carriageways, and 30 mph in built-up areas. There are variations to these numbers, so you should always look for posted signs stating limits for the particular stretch of road you are driving on.