Car Rental in the United Kingdom
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in the United Kingdom?
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a great country for renting a ca. It comprises the countries of Wales, Scotland, and England on the mainland. Visitors can cross borders by road between these three countries with no border formalities. The UK has unique and distinct countries, cities, and regions and can be explored for weeks, whether you choose to explore the UK’s cities, countryside, beaches, or mountains. Despite this incredible diversity within the UK, driving distances are generally short, and the road network is in great shape, all be it busy!
One-way Car Rentals in the United Kingdom
Here are the most popular one-way rental options for pickup in the United Kingdom and drop off in another country:
- From United Kingdom to Ireland - 194 offers from $36.27 per day
Top ways to enter United Kingdom
- London Heathrow Airport: One of the busiest in the world, Heathrow Airport handled over 80 million travelers in 2019. It hosts flights by tens of airlines, offering connections with destinations all over the world. Although the largest, Heathrow is by no means the only airport serving the capital region - others include Gatwick Airport, Luton Airport, Stansted Airport, London City Airport, and Southend Airport, all of which also offer rental cars to arriving travelers.
- Manchester Airport: With nearly 30 million travelers served annually, Manchester Airport is the largest in the northern part of England and the busiest in the UK outside London. Other notable airports in Central and North England include Birmingham Airport, East Midlands Airport, Leeds-Bradford Airport, and Liverpool Airport.
- Edinburgh Airport: Serving the capital of Scotland, it is its largest airport, although by no means the only one - other international Scottish Airports include Glasgow Airport, Prestwick Airport, Aberdeen Airport, and Inverness Airport.
- Belfast Airports: Two small, but well-connected international airports serve Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, namely, the Belfast International Airport and the Belfast George Best City Airport.
Top cities and places to visit
- London: One of the most important cities in Europe and, indeed, the world, London is home to countless landmarks and cultures. Driving in London can be hard for foreigners an,d there are restrictions on where and when you can take a car. If you’re only visiting London and not exploring more of the UK, it may be easier for you to use the very good public transport within the city.
- England: The largest of the four countries that make up the UK, England is home not only to London, its capital city, but to other famous cities like Manchester, Liverpool, and Bristol, as well as historic and distinct regions. You can tour The Lake District, Dartmoor, the beautiful south coast beaches or historical cities like York and Bath.
- Scotland: The wild and remote Scottish Highlands will take your breath away, but do make time to also discover beautiful Edinburgh where, you can visit the Queen’s yacht, Britannia.
- Wales: Welsh towns and cities can be picturesque and cozy or modern and vibrant like the Welsh capital, Cardiff. Two of the major attractions in Wales are the mountainous regions of Snowdonia, where you will find the highest mountain in Wales, and the Brecon Beacons, where a driving holiday will bring you stunning views and landscapes.
- Northern Ireland: Its countryside boasts unmatched hospitality, while the capital Belfast is quickly becoming one of Europe’s most interesting city destinations.
Most popular rental car
The most popular rental car in the United Kingdom is the Ford Fiesta, followed by the Fiat 500 and the VW Polo.
Driver's license requirements
- The United Kingdom only recognizes foreign driver’s licenses 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 license instead.
- If your driver’s license is printed in another alphabet than Latin (e.g., Cyrillic or Arabic), you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP) too.
- Similarly, if your driver’s license 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 license on you as you will be required to provide both.
- You must carry your driver’s license, not a copy, with you at all times.
- You need to have had your driver’s license for at least two years.
- Some rental 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 rental conditions before booking.
Drivers can enter mainland Europe by car ferry or on some trains which travel via the tunnel under the British Channel to France.
The United Kingdom only has a land border with the Republic of Ireland via Northern Ireland. As of February 2023, 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 and Switzerland, as well as many other western countries, can enter both countries as tourists 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 rental providers allow you to take a rental car between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (it’s common to travel between Belfast and Dublin with a rental car). You can find those providers that allow one-way rentals by entering your car pick-up and drop-off locations on our search. Alternatively, check the rental conditions to see which suppliers allow crossing the border (but returning to Northern Ireland afterwards)
Similarly, some companies permit rental 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 to 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.
Most popular types of rental car
The most popular rental car type in the United Kingdom is a mini. Travelers also tend to pick compact and economy cars a lot.
Top driving routes
- Cornwall. Being remote is not always a bad thing, and in the case of the southwestern Duchy of Cornwall, it's probably one of the main contributing factors to the region’s uniqueness. The Cornish tongue can still be heard in the region’s villages and pubs, and the same is true for Arthurian stories, pirate tales, and Celtic legends. Other attractions include splendid coastline, quaint fishing villages, the futuristic Eden Project, and even arguably the best surfing in the United Kingdom. Last but not least, Cornwall is not as far as it might seem - it only takes about five hours to reach it from London, four from Southampton, and three from Bristol and Cardiff.
- North Wales. Another sparsely populated region with amazing scenery, the border of North Wales is just west of metropolises like Liverpool and Manchester. The region’s resort towns and beaches like Colwyn Bay and Llandudno have been acknowledged since at least the Victorian times and remain deservedly popular destinations, but the really curious travelers will go even further west to discover natural wonders like the Snowdonia National Park and the Isle of Anglesey.
Car Rental Prices
- Station wagons - from $15 per day
- Large cars - from $15 per day
- Medium cars - from $13 per day
- Vans - from $38 per day
- Premium cars - from $38 per day
- Small cars - from $11 per day
- SUVs - from $17 per day
How can I save money on my rental car?
You can do a number of things to get a good car rental deal in United Kingdom:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting United Kingdom is the cheapest in February when renting a car is about 31% cheaper than the yearly average.
Top 20 Most Popular Cities in the United Kingdom
Car Rental in London from $11.07 per day
Car Rental in Edinburgh from $13.85 per day
Car Rental in Gatwick from $13.80 per day
Car Rental in Manchester from $13.78 per day
Car Rental in Glasgow from $14.11 per day
Car Rental in Luton from $14.12 per day
Car Rental in Birmingham from $18.63 per day
Car Rental in Inverness from $18.08 per day
Car Rental in Bristol from $16.09 per day
Car Rental in Belfast from $18.29 per day
Car Rental in Liverpool from $14.67 per day
Car Rental in Aberdeen from $15.89 per day
Car Rental in Leeds from $26.49 per day
Car Rental in Newcastle from $20.33 per day
Car Rental in Sheffield from $18.48 per day
Car Rental in Southampton from $30.60 per day
Car Rental in Stirling from $55.04 per day
Car Rental in Dundee from $61.13 per day
Car Rental in Nottingham from $32.33 per day
Car Rental in Prestwick from $68.10 per day
Top 20 Most Popular Locations in the United Kingdom
Car Rental at London Heathrow Airport from $11.07 per day
Car Rental at Edinburgh Airport from $13.85 per day
Car Rental at London Airport Gatwick from $13.80 per day
Car Rental at Manchester Airport from $13.78 per day
Car Rental at Glasgow Airport from $14.11 per day
Car Rental at London Stansted Airport from $14.03 per day
Car Rental at Luton Airport from $14.12 per day
Car Rental at Birmingham Airport from $18.63 per day
Car Rental at Edinburgh Waverley Train Station from $18.16 per day
Car Rental at Inverness Airport from $18.08 per day
Car Rental at Bristol Airport from $16.09 per day
Car Rental at Belfast International Airport from $18.29 per day
Car Rental at Aberdeen Airport from $15.89 per day
Car Rental at Liverpool Airport from $14.67 per day
Car Rental at London City Airport from $15.61 per day
Car Rental at Waterloo Train Station from $17.73 per day
Car Rental at Leeds Bradford Airport from $26.49 per day
Car Rental at London St Pancras Train Station from $31.93 per day
Car Rental at Newcastle Airport from $20.33 per day
Car Rental in Leeds (Downtown) from $29.83 per day
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in the United Kingdom?
This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.
What’s the average rental length in the United Kingdom?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in the United Kingdom?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||382|
|Popular suppliers||Drivalia, Arnold Clark, Easirent, Keddy, Alamo|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, Medium cars, SUVs, Vans|
|Lowest price||$11 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|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.