Car Rental in Bristol
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Bristol?
Bristol is a great place to explore by car. There’s plenty of diverse history to explore, but the city is also home to some of the most interesting contemporary art and culture in the UK. Take it all in, then drive your rental to nearby nature areas or go on to explore neighboring Wales.
One-Way Car Rentals in Bristol
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Bristol and drop off in another city include:
- From Bristol to London - 252 offers from $47.44 per day
- From Bristol to Exeter - 23 offers from $48.57 per day
- From Bristol to Southampton - 68 offers from $47.44 per day
Top ways to enter Bristol
- Bristol Airport: Serving nearly 9 million travelers every year, Bristol Airport is the ninth-busiest in the United Kingdom. There are daily flights to and from destinations in Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and many other countries. Also known as Lulsgate Airport, it is located 14km (8.7 miles) southwest of Bristol city center.
- Cardiff Airport: Although much smaller than Bristol Airport, it is still the busiest in Wales with daily flights by eight different airlines, including some low-cost carriers. The airport is just a 1 hour and 15-minute ride west of Bristol.
- Birmingham Airport: Formerly known as Elmdon, this airport serves Britain’s second city. Served by 30 different airlines, it is a large base for a number of low-cost carriers. Birmingham Airport is around a 90-minute drive north of Bristol.
- London Heathrow Airport: The busiest not just in the United Kingdom, but also in Europe, and among the five busiest in the world, London Heathrow hosts countless daily flights to all parts of the world. It is located west of London’s city center, so if you’re driving from the airport to Bristol, you do not have to go through or around the capital and the distance can be done by car in less than 2 hours.
- Bristol is one of the warmest and sunniest cities in the United Kingdom. It has an oceanic climate with pleasant summers and cool, yet rather mild, winters. The average temperature is 21.5°C (70.7°F) in July, the warmest month, and 5°C (41°F) in December and January. The precipitation is spread out rather evenly, with summers being only slightly drier than winters.
- An important city of art since medieval times, Bristol has continued honoring this heritage in the present day. Many pioneering musicians, filmmakers, and writers hail from here, as does the world-famous street artist Banksy whose works can be seen in many places in Bristol.
Top destinations and activities
- Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery. Located inside an impressive Baroque building, Bristol’s main museum is a fun place to visit. From exhibitions on natural history that cover the area’s plants and wildlife from the times when the sea dinosaurs lived near Bristol to Egyptian Sarcophagi, sections on British industrialization, and artworks by famous British painters, this fascinating museum truly has something for everyone.
- Bristol Blue Glass. A workshop that has been making Bristol’s famous blue glassware for nearly 300 years, Bristol Blue Glass is one of the iconic places in the city. Although you need to book a tour in advance, it’s well worth it as you get to see some of the most beautiful examples, learn about how the glass making technology works, and see working furnaces.
- Brandon Hill & The Cabot Tower. A fun place to spend a day outdoors and meet some locals, Brandon Hill has an advantage over Bristol’s many other parks thanks to the great panoramic views of the city that are seen from the top on one of its hills. If you’re still craving for more, climb the spiral staircase of the Cabot Tower that stands on the same hill.
- Clifton. A suburb of Bristol, Cliffton is one of the most interesting areas in the city. Clifton is home to the impressive Avon Gorge which can be marveled at from the suspension bridge that crosses it or the observation point in the nearby Clifton Observatory (an interesting place to visit in its own right). Clifton is also the location of The Downs, a large public area, and the Bristol Zoo Gardens.
- Street art. As mentioned above, Bristol is one of the counterculture capitals of Britain – it has been the birthplace of famous punk, dub, and trip-hop musical acts, many of whom have combined rhymes and beats with serious political musings. In a similar vein, the city also boasts a wealth of socially conscious street art that’s constantly recreated by not just Banksy but plenty of others. Check the city’s street art website to look up the most interesting spots or simply learn more.
Traffic and parking
- The United Kingdom drives on the left-hand side of the road.
- On-street parking is usually heavily restricted. Never park on a white, double yellow or double red line (stopping on motorways and next to red lines is illegal).
- You are not allowed to use your mobile phone while driving unless you use a hands-free system.
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 112 km/h (70 mph) on motorways, 112 km/h (70 mph) on dual carriageways, 96 km/h (60 mph) on single carriageways and 48km/h (30 mph) in residential areas and areas with street lighting.
- In England and Wales, the legal alcohol limit is 0.08% for both experienced and novice drivers. Do keep in mind, however, that in Scotland the legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for both experienced and novice drivers. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines, a suspended license, or even imprisonment.
- The insurance documentation and registration of the car need to be in it whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The emergency numbers are 999 and 112.
Currently, there is only a single toll road in the United Kingdom, the M6 toll. You also have to pay a toll for using a number of bridges and tunnels, as well as for entering the central areas of London and Durham (a city in North East England).
As an alternative to the M6 around Birmingham, the M6toll is a 43km (27 miles) long portion of the road, also known as the Birmingham North Relief Road (BNRR), that relieves congestion on the M6 itself. There are toll gates where you can pay by either cash or credit card. As of March 2019, the price is £6.40 for using the toll road from Monday to Friday (from 6a.m. to 11p.m.), £5.30 for using the toll road on Saturday or Sunday (from 6a.m. to 11p.m.), and £4.10 for using the toll road at night time on any day (from 11p.m. to 6a.m.). Find out more on the M6 Toll official website.
Ideas for day trips
- Bath. Known since ancient times for the healing properties of its many hot springs, the prosaically named city of Bath is one of the main destinations for a day trip in the area. The recreated Roman Baths are one of its main attractions, though there are plenty of other museums, heritage buildings, and gardens to check out during your visit. The drive from Bristol takes only about 20 minutes.
- Weston-super-Mare. A popular holiday destination since the Victorian era, Weston remains one of the most popular beach resorts of England. It’s lovely to spend a day on its long sandy beaches, but the place has other attractions, too, like the impressive Winter Gardens Pavilion, The Playhouse show venue, and the Tropicana outdoor swimming pool. Weston-super-Mare is just 25 miles (40km) southwest of Bristol, a distance that can be traveled in 45 minutes.
- Cardiff. The capital city of neighboring Wales and sometimes considered a friendly rival of Bristol, Cardiff is just an hour’s drive east. It is famous for Cardiff Castle, one of the most impressive castles in Britain: Llandaff Cathedral that dates back to the 12th century; and many great museums. Cardiff can also serve as a great base for exploring the rest of Wales.
- Brecon Beacons National Park. A large nature area in neighboring Wales, Brecon Beacons are centered around the Black Mountains and a number of other small mountain ranges that are collectively known as Brecon Beacons. Home to very few settlements, the beautiful area has the status of an International Dark Sky Reserve and is a perfect place for stargazing after a long day of hiking. Located 115 km (71 mi) northwest of Bristol, Brecon Beacons take about 90 minutes to reach.
Most popular cars
The most popular rental car types in Bristol are compact and intermediate, with standard vehicles taking third place. The most popular rental cars are the VW Golf, the Ford Focus and the Ford Transit.
- London. With more attractions than it’s possible to name, the capital of the United Kingdom is quite simply the one place in the UK that you simply must visit. It’s different neighborhoods and areas like Soho, Covent Garden, and Notting Hill are more famous than most cities, but the greatest thing about London is that it’s ever-changing and always finds new ways to surprise you. From Bristol, it’s just 19 km (118 miles) east, a distance that can be traveled in about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- Cotswolds. A natural region near Bristol, the Cotswolds has been designated one of the few Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England. It’s rolling bedrock hills and grasslands create a unique landscape with picturesque small stone-house villages here and there. The area is less than an hour’s drive north of Bristol.
- Cornwall. One of the most distinct British regions, Cornwall is characterized by a long coastline, cozy towns and villages, natural beauty, and Celtic heritage. Here you’ll find the ancient-looking Dartmoor National Park. According to the legend, Cornwall was the home of King Arthur. Truro, the region’s capital, is about a three-hour drive southeast.
- Birmingham. Although Britain’s second city is mainly known for its technological and trading prowess, Birmingham also has plenty of things for a visitor to see and do. The city’s highlights include the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Lapworth Museum of Geology, the Coffin Works industrial heritage museum, and Jaguar Castle Assembly Plant. Located 140 km (87 mi) north of Bristol, Birmingham takes only about 1 hour and 40 minutes to reach.
Car Rental Prices in Bristol
- Station wagons - from $29 per day
- Large cars - from $30 per day
- Medium cars - from $14 per day
- Vans - from $90 per day
- Premium cars - from $95 per day
- Small cars - from $12 per day
- SUVs - from $24 per day
These are the tips and tricks that can land you a cheap rental car in Bristol:
- Compare the 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 during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Bristol is the cheapest in February when renting a car is about 50% cheaper than the yearly average. It can be fun to explore South West England in the winter!
Top 20 Cities near Bristol
Cardiff Car Rentals from $28.16 per day43.8 km / 27.2 miles away
Taunton Car Rentals from $31.61 per day48.9 km / 30.4 miles away
Gloucester Car Rentals from $68.66 per day61.5 km / 38.2 miles away
Swindon Car Rentals from $83.46 per day69.2 km / 43.0 miles away
Cheltenham Car Rentals from $31.61 per day72.6 km / 45.1 miles away
Exeter Car Rentals from $28.32 per day87.2 km / 54.2 miles away
Poole Car Rentals from $103.15 per day88.0 km / 54.7 miles away
Swansea Car Rentals from $71.30 per day89.5 km / 55.6 miles away
Bournemouth Car Rentals from $63.24 per day90.5 km / 56.2 miles away
Worcester Car Rentals from $68.66 per day95.5 km / 59.3 miles away
Southampton Car Rentals from $30.07 per day106.1 km / 65.9 miles away
Basingstoke Car Rentals from $31.61 per day112.9 km / 70.2 miles away
Reading Car Rentals from $31.61 per day122.6 km / 76.2 miles away
Portsmouth Car Rentals from $103.15 per day132.0 km / 82.0 miles away
Birmingham Car Rentals from $16.40 per day136.2 km / 84.6 miles away
Wolverhampton Car Rentals from $49.04 per day138.9 km / 86.3 miles away
Coventry Car Rentals from $31.61 per day139.7 km / 86.8 miles away
Slough Car Rentals from $106.87 per day145.4 km / 90.3 miles away
Guildford Car Rentals from $31.61 per day148.8 km / 92.5 miles away
Plymouth Car Rentals from $31.61 per day151.4 km / 94.1 miles away
Top 20 Locations near Bristol
Bristol Airport Car Rentals from $12.26 per day
Bristol Temple Meads Railway station Car Rentals from $54.02 per day11.8 km / 7.3 miles away
Cardiff Airport Car Rentals from $28.16 per day43.8 km / 27.2 miles away
Exeter Airport Car Rentals from $28.32 per day87.2 km / 54.2 miles away
Bournemouth Airport Car Rentals from $63.24 per day90.5 km / 56.2 miles away
Southampton Railway station Car Rentals from $30.07 per day105.0 km / 65.2 miles away
Southampton Airport Car Rentals from $32.59 per day106.1 km / 65.9 miles away
Birmingham Airport Car Rentals from $16.40 per day136.2 km / 84.6 miles away
London Heathrow Airport Car Rentals from $12.13 per day156.5 km / 97.2 miles away
Downtown Car Rentals from $31.61 per day168.5 km / 104.7 miles away
Luton Airport Car Rentals from $13.89 per day170.8 km / 106.1 miles away
London Fulham Car Rentals from $18.52 per day174.4 km / 108.4 miles away
London Paddington Train Station Car Rentals from $12.36 per day176.4 km / 109.6 miles away
London Edgware Road Car Rentals from $12.02 per day176.8 km / 109.9 miles away
London Marylebone Train Station Car Rentals from $12.43 per day177.4 km / 110.2 miles away
London Airport Gatwick Car Rentals from $11.58 per day177.5 km / 110.3 miles away
London Mayfair Car Rentals from $41.63 per day178.2 km / 110.7 miles away
London St Pancras Train Station Car Rentals from $22.83 per day180.0 km / 111.8 miles away
London Kings Cross Train Station Car Rentals from $22.46 per day180.4 km / 112.1 miles away
Waterloo Train Station Car Rentals from $22.12 per day180.5 km / 112.2 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Bristol?
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 usual rental length in Bristol?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Bristol?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||6|
|Popular suppliers||Drivalia, Keddy, Alamo, Easirent, Ace Rent a car|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, Medium cars, SUVs, Vans|
|Lowest price||$12 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Drivalia||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|Drivalia||Ford Fiesta||5||1||Small cars|
|Keddy||Ford Focus||5||2||Medium cars|
|Keddy||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|Keddy||Kia Picanto||3||1||Small cars|
|Drivalia||Ford Focus||5||2||Medium cars|
|Ace Rent a car||Peugeot 208||4||1||Small cars|
|Easirent||Fiat 500||3||2||Small cars|
|Alamo||Toyota Aygo||3||1||Small 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.