Car Hire in the United Kingdom
Cheapest Car Hire Rates
Most Popular Car Hire Deals
Why hire a car in the United Kingdom?
Large, historical, and diverse, is it any wonder that the United Kingdom is one of the most visited countries on the planet? Landmark-rich cities like London, Edinburgh, and Liverpool account for a large number of those visitors, but the country is also rich in scenic nature and bucolic countryside. Hiring a car is arguably the best way to see everything that the United Kingdom has to offer.
One-way Car Hire in the United Kingdom
Here are the most popular one-way car hire options for pickup in the United Kingdom and drop off in another country:
- From United Kingdom to Ireland - 194 offers from £ 28.70 per day
Top ways to enter United Kingdom
- London. The capital of the United Kingdom has no fewer than six international airports in and near it. Heathrow is the largest and most famous one, but many travellers, especially those coming from other European countries, sometimes prefer Stansted or Luton, as they are popular with low-cost carriers (although you find some of these companies serving each of the six). The total number of passengers served by the airport in the London area every year is a whopping 177 million.
- Glasgow and Edinburgh. The two largest cities of Scotland are only 47 miles (76 km) apart, and there are three international airports in their area. Edinburgh Airport is the busiest, but Glasgow and Prestwick airports also get a notable number of travellers. Flying to one of these three is the most popular way to get to Scotland, although there are also international airports in Aberdeen and Inverness.
- Other airports. Despite its relatively small size, the UK has close to 40 international airports, so all parts of the British isles can be easily accessed from abroad. Some of the most notable ones are Manchester and Liverpool airports in the north of England, Bristol and Cardiff airports in the west, Birmingham and East Midlands airports in the centre of the country, and Belfast and Belfast City airports in Northern Ireland.
Top cities and places to visit
- London. The capital of the United Kingdom is arguably one of the most famous cities on the planet — and, consequently, one of its prime tourism destinations. From Buckingham Palace to Tate Britain, there’s a frankly dizzying array of world-famous landmarks, but make sure to also make time and simply roam the streets of this grand city’s diverse neighbourhoods.
- Edinburgh. The capital of Scotland is one of the most picturesque cities in Europe, and, consequently, the main tourist destination of the United Kingdom outside of London. Known for its historical atmosphere, it draws visitors with attractions like Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile.
- Liverpool. The home of The Beatles and the former European Capital of Culture, Liverpool is a joy to explore. Known for its docks and historical architecture, strong Irish influences and distinct accent, it is a culturally unique place that has all the ingredients for a memorable trip.
Most popular hire car
The most hired car in the United Kingdom is the Hyundai i30, although many travellers also go for the Ford Fiesta and the Volkswagen Jetta. The most popular car types are compact, economy, and intermediate.
Driving licence requirements
- The United Kingdom only recognizes foreign driving licences that are printed in a Latin script and if you are visiting as a tourist on a trip that’s shorter than 12 months. If you’re staying in the country for a longer period or are residing there permanently, you need to obtain a local licence instead.
- If your driving licence is printed in another alphabet than Latin (e.g., Cyrillic or Arabic), you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP) too.
- Similarly, if your driving licence doesn’t show your photograph, you might be required to have an IDP.
- Even if you have an IDP, you also need to keep your original licence on you as you will be required to provide both.
- You must carry your driving licence, not a copy, with you at all times.
- You need to have had your driving licence for at least two years.
- Some car suppliers charge a young driver fee for drivers between the ages of 22 and 25 and a senior driver fee for drivers over the age of 65.
- There may be additional requirements depending on the car supplier and category, so make sure to check the car hire conditions before booking.
The United Kingdom only has a land border with the Republic of Ireland via Northern Ireland. As of June 2021, both countries are part of the Common Travel Area, and border control is not enforced. Citizens of the member states of the European Economic Area, as well as many other western countries, can enter both countries without a visa.
Citizens of some other countries may be permitted to visit the United Kingdom but might need a separate visa to visit the Republic of Ireland or vice versa. We advise you to get in touch with your Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find out whether you need a visa to visit either the Republic of Ireland or the United Kingdom.
Citizens of China and India are an exception and can use their short-term British visa to also visit the Republic of Ireland.
Some car hire providers allow you to take the car between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (it’s common to travel between Belfast and Dublin with a hired car). You can find those providers that allow one-way deals by entering your car pick-up and drop-off locations on our search. Alternatively, check the car hire conditions to see which suppliers allow crossing the border (but returning to Northern Ireland afterwards)
Similarly, some companies permit car trips between continental Europe and the United Kingdom via the Eurotunnel (e.g., from Paris, Brussels, or Amsterdam to London). Keep in mind, though, that the United Kingdom is no longer a part of the European Union and has never been a part of the Schengen Agreement. This can be especially relevant for foreign visitors of the European Union as, depending on their citizenship, many of them will need a separate visa to visit the United Kingdom. Be sure to get in touch with your Ministry of Foreign Affairs in advance to learn more about the entry requirements for your nationality.
Top driving routes
- The Highlands. Taking up the northern portion of mainland Scotland, this wild region is made for memorable road trips. The capital, Inverness, is a nice enough place to visit, but the real joy of the Highlands lies in its magnificent nature that’s exemplified by Cairngorms National Park and the region's many lochs.
- Northern Ireland. Physically separate and culturally distinct, Northern Ireland is an underrated part of the United Kingdom. The conflict of the 80s and 90s, known as The Troubles, has left the capital, Belfast, with some scars, but nowadays it is a safe, innovative and hospitable destination that’s perfect for the weekend getaway. Elsewhere, Northern Ireland is characterized by its magnificent landscapes and sites like the Giant’s Causeway.
- North Wales. Although just a stone’s throw from Manchester and Liverpool, North Wales is one of the most sparsely populated parts of the UK, which only makes it more interesting to explore. The region is characterized by old resort towns like Colwyn Bay and Llandudno that have lost some of their popularity (but none of the charm), as well as stunning natural attractions like Snowdonia National Park and the Isle of Anglesey.
Car Hire Prices
- Station wagons - starting at £ 14 per day
- Large cars - starting at £ 13 per day
- Medium cars - starting at £ 10 per day
- People Carriers - starting at £ 28 per day
- Premium cars - starting at £ 30 per day
- Small cars - starting at £ 9 per day
- SUVs - starting at £ 9 per day
How can I save money on my hire car?
There are several good methods to find a cheaper car for hire:
- Compare rates of different car hire providers
- Book your vehicle well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit in the month when the prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting the United Kingdom is the cheapest in February when hiring a car is about 28% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 50% cheaper than hiring a car in December.
Top 20 Most Popular Cities in the United Kingdom
Car Hire in London starting at £ 9.37 per day
Car Hire in Edinburgh starting at £ 9.56 per day
Car Hire in Manchester starting at £ 10.46 per day
Car Hire in Gatwick starting at £ 9.02 per day
Car Hire in Glasgow starting at £ 9.86 per day
Car Hire in Luton starting at £ 10.82 per day
Car Hire in Birmingham starting at £ 12.78 per day
Car Hire in Inverness starting at £ 12.80 per day
Car Hire in Bristol starting at £ 9.56 per day
Car Hire in Belfast starting at £ 10.63 per day
Car Hire in Liverpool starting at £ 12.63 per day
Car Hire in Aberdeen starting at £ 11.89 per day
Car Hire in Leeds starting at £ 28.87 per day
Car Hire in Newcastle starting at £ 12.11 per day
Car Hire in Sheffield starting at £ 14.44 per day
Car Hire in Southampton starting at £ 23.43 per day
Car Hire in Dundee starting at £ 47.78 per day
Car Hire in Nottingham starting at £ 24.63 per day
Car Hire in Paisley starting at £ 38.22 per day
Car Hire in Preston starting at £ 47.78 per day
Top 20 Most Popular Destinations in the United Kingdom
Car Hire at London Airport Heathrow starting at £ 9.45 per day
Car Hire at Edinburgh Airport starting at £ 9.56 per day
Car Hire at London Airport Gatwick starting at £ 9.02 per day
Car Hire at Manchester Airport starting at £ 10.46 per day
Car Hire at Glasgow Airport starting at £ 9.86 per day
Car Hire at London Airport Stansted starting at £ 11.48 per day
Car Hire at Luton Airport starting at £ 10.82 per day
Car Hire at Birmingham Airport starting at £ 12.78 per day
Car Hire at Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station starting at £ 9.86 per day
Car Hire at Inverness Airport starting at £ 12.80 per day
Car Hire at Bristol Airport starting at £ 9.56 per day
Car Hire at Belfast International Airport starting at £ 10.63 per day
Car Hire at Aberdeen Airport starting at £ 11.89 per day
Car Hire at Liverpool Airport starting at £ 12.63 per day
Car Hire at Waterloo Railway Station starting at £ 17.24 per day
Car Hire at Leeds Bradford Airport starting at £ 28.87 per day
Car Hire at London St Pancras Railway Station starting at £ 17.79 per day
Car Hire at Newcastle Airport starting at £ 12.11 per day
Car Hire at George Best Belfast City Airport starting at £ 19.44 per day
Car Hire at Southampton Airport starting at £ 25.40 per day
Map of Car Hire Destinations
In which month is car hire in the United Kingdom the most affordable?
This information can help you determine the low season. But note that these prices are only averages. The cost of your hire is determined by the type of car you select, the length of time you hire it for and how much in advance you book. Simply type in your dates in the form at the top of the page in order to find out the exact prices.
How many days do people keep their hire cars, on average, in the United Kingdom?
Which month is the most favoured for hiring a car in the United Kingdom?
Car Hire Information
|Car hire locations||381|
|Popular suppliers||Drivalia, Arnold Clark, Easirent, Keddy, Alamo|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, Medium cars, SUVs, People Carriers|
|Lowest price||£ 9 per day|
|Cheapest supplier||Ace Rent a car|
Most Popular Car Hire Models
|Drivalia||Ford Fiesta||5||1||Small cars|
|Drivalia||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|Drivalia||Ford Focus||5||2||Medium cars|
|Arnold Clark||Ford Fiesta||5||2||Small cars|
|Easirent||Ford Fiesta||5||2||Small cars|
|Keddy||Ford Focus||5||2||Medium cars|
|Easirent||Fiat 500||3||2||Small cars|
|Keddy||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|Arnold Clark||Kia Ceed||5||2||Medium cars|
|Easirent||Ford Focus||5||2||Medium cars|
Our Customers' Reviews
Because we want to make sure each review listed here is left by a real customer, we don’t have an option to post a review here. Instead, we ask each and every customer to leave a review after they return their rental car. This way, you know that all reviews are authentic, verified, and trustworthy.