Car Rental in Southampton

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Southampton, United Kingdom
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700+ Trusted Suppliers:

Cheapest Car Rental Rates

Southampton Airport
Mini
Toyota Aygo or similar
Toyota Aygo
  • 4
  • 1
  • 3
  • A/C
  • Man.
Enterprise
$32.30 / per day
Southampton Railway station
Economy
Vauxhall Corsa or similar
Vauxhall Corsa
  • 4
  • 1
  • 3
  • A/C
  • Man.
Alamo
$36.34 / per day
Downtown
Compact
Vauxhall Astra or similar
Vauxhall Astra
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Man.
Hertz
$41.39 / per day
Southampton Airport
Intermediate SUV
Kia XCeed or similar
Kia XCeed
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Man.
Europcar
$45.46 / per day

Most Popular Car Rental Deals

Southampton Cruise Terminal
Compact Elite
Mercedes Benz A Class or similar
Mercedes Benz A Class
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Routes Car Rental
$65.27 / per day
Downtown
Full-size
BMW 3 series or similar
BMW 3 series
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
SIXT
$79.16 / per day
Southampton Airport
Standard
MG HS or similar
MG HS
  • 5
  • 3
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Avis
$102.01 / per day
Southampton Airport
Premium
Mercedes Benz C Class or similar
Mercedes Benz C Class
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
National
$104.62 / per day
The above prices are only approximate and were last updated at 12:22 on 2024-06-17. Prices may vary based on the booking dates, length of rental, and car class.

Travel Information

Languages
English
Currency
GBP
Drive on
Left-hand side
Country code
+44
Average car rental price
$63 per day
Average car rental length
6 days
Speed limit within town
48 km/h or 30 mph
Speed limit out of town
96 - 112 km/h or 60 - 70 mph
Acceptable limit of BAC
0.08%
Rating
9.3 / 10
Average gasoline price
$1.92 per liter or $7.26 / 1 gallon
Lowest gasoline price
$1.80 per liter or $6.83 / 1 gallon
Highest gasoline price
$2.19 per liter or $8.27 / 1 gallon

Why rent a car in Southampton?

Southampton is a great city to visit. Located on the southern coast of England, the historic maritime and trading center has reinvented itself as a place of art, culture, and museums. Travelers also love to explore the city’s long beautiful beaches and the protected nature areas that are just a short drive away.

Southampton

Top ways to enter Southampton

  • Southampton Airport: Built over an Old Roman villa, Southampton Airport has been open since the 1930s. Although the airport is served by only four airlines, it handled nearly two million travelers in 2018. Most of its traffic is provided by Flybe. The airport is just 8km (5 miles) northeast of the city center and can be reached in 15-20 minutes.
  • Bournemouth Airport: Another small airport on the English coast, it served nearly 700,000 travelers in 2018. The airport is especially active during the summer months when it hosts flights to and from around 30 destinations in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Poland, and other European countries. Located 48km (30 miles) southwest of Southampton, Bournemouth Airport can be reached in about 45 minutes.
  • London Heathrow Airport: Having served 80 million travelers in 2018 for the first time in its history, Heathrow Airport is the busiest not only in the UK but also in the rest of Europe. It is also the seventh busiest airport in the world. Served by tens of airlines, the airport hosts flights to and from all continents. Located just 98km (61 miles) northeast of Southampton, the airport can be reached in about one hour by car.
  • London Gatwick Airport: The second-busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the ninth-busiest in all of Europe, London-Gatwick handled 46 million travelers in 2018. The airport is a hub for British Airways and Norwegian Air and a focus city for easyJet, TUI Airways, and Virgin Atlantic. The airport is 140km (87 miles) from Southampton and can be reached in about 90 minutes.
  • Bristol Airport: Also known as Lulsgate Airport, it serves the large city of the same name in Southwest England. The airport handled nearly nine million travelers in 2018 and is served by around 15 airlines including low-cost carriers like Ryanair and easyJet. The airport is 180km (112 miles) from Southampton and can be reached in about 2 hours and 10 minutes.
  • By sea: If arriving in Southampton by ferry, it is possible to pick up your rental car at the Southampton Cruise Terminal. Southampton has ferry connections with other destinations in the United Kingdom as well as in France, Spain, and the USA (although it is important to check the schedule in advance as the service is much more active during the spring and summer months).

City facts

  • Southampton has an oceanic climate with mildly warm summers and cool winters. The average high temperature is 22°C  (72°F) in July and August, the warmest months, and 8°C (47°F). Southampton has significant precipitation with an especial increase from October to January. Despite this, Southampton is often considered one of the warmest and sunniest cities in the United Kingdom.
  • Inhabited since the Stone Age and later invaded by Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Normans, Southampton has for millennia been an important hub of seafaring, business, science, and exploration. Many ships that went to explore (and colonize) places in Africa and Asia set out from here; later, so did thousands of migrants and refugees traveling to the New World. 

Top sights and activities

  • Bargate. A gatehouse dating back to the late 12th century, Bargate was a part of the original city walls constructed by Norman Vikings. Having withstood a number of attacks, Bargate has always remained one of the symbols of Southampton (and is now one of the most photographed buildings in the city). Nowadays, Bargate hosts a modern art gallery.
  • SeaCity Museum. Opened in 2012 to mark the centenary of the Titanic (it set off to cross the Atlantic from Southampton), this museum tells the tragic story of the sunken ship and its connection to the city. But there are other exhibitions focusing on Southampton’s naval history with many interesting artifacts on display. A high-quality museum, it has become one of the must-visit places in Southampton.
  • Medieval Merchant’s House. Built in the late 13th century by an affluent Southampton trader, the merchant’s house offers a look into what life in the city was like in medieval times. The building has been carefully restored back to its original form including its timber-framed front, different chambers, and even the undercroft, an underground cellar made for wine-keeping.
  • Southampton town walls. Protected by natural barriers such as waterways and a coastline, as well as fortified walls and ditches, Southampton town's walls were set up in the 10th century to protect the newly built city from Viking raids and other attacks. Although the walls suffered heavily in a later 14th-century offensive by the French, a large portion of them survive to this day, making them one of Southampton’s most notable historical landmarks.
  • Solent Sky. Also known simply as the Southampton Hall of Aviation, this is a small, but interesting museum that has a special focus on the history of Supermarine, an aircraft company that started in the Southampton area and was responsible for, among other works, the production of Spitfire single-seater fighters that featured heavily in the Second World War. Other aircraft on display include flying boats and seaplanes.

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 112km/h (70mph) on motorways, 112km/h (70mph) on dual carriageways, 96km/h (60mph) on single carriageways and 48km/h (30mph) 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.
  • Proof of insurance and registration of the car need to be in it whenever you’re driving.
  • When driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
  • The emergency numbers are 999 and 112.

Toll roads

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 road, also known as the Birmingham North Relief Road (BNRR), which relieves congestion on the M6 itself. There are toll gates where you can pay by either cash or credit card. As of October 2019, the price is £6.70 for using the toll road from Monday to Friday (from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), £5.60 for using the toll road on Saturday or Sunday (from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.), and £4.20 for using the toll road at night time on any day of the week (from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.). Find out more on the M6 Toll official website. 

Find out more about toll roads in the United Kingdom on the European toll road website.

Ideas for day trips

  • Portsmouth. Often considered a rival of Southampton (especially when it comes to football), Portsmouth is nonetheless worth a visit. The city’s number one attraction is the impressive Southsea Castle, but travelers also like the historic dockyards, the seafront area, and the futuristic Spinnaker Tower. Located 37km (23 miles) west of Southampton, Portsmouth can be reached in about 35 minutes.
  • New Forest National Park. One of the largest national parks in southern England, the New Forest is a major landmark of the region. Made up of heathlands, mixed forest areas, valley bogs, and hiking trails, the protected area is the perfect place for horse riding or simply spending a long day outdoors. The area is home to many types of birds, the European polecat, and even four species of deer. Located just a few kilometers east of Southampton, the borders of the New Forest can be reached in about ten minutes.
  • Winchester. A cathedral city, Winchester is a history lover’s dream. From ancient Roman sites to Winchester Cathedral, the Winchester City Mill, and the Westgate Museum, the city has enough attractions and landmarks to be explored for days. Located 21km (13 miles) north of Southampton, Winchester can be reached in just 20 minutes.
  • Parks and Gardens. There are several National Trust sites close to Southampton, sucha as Mottisfont Abbey, Hinton Ampner, and Winchester Watermill, as well as outstanding parks and gardens, such as Hillier Gardens and Furzey Gardens.
  • Marwell Zoo. Located 7 miles (11 km) from Southampton Airport, Marwell Zoo is a 140-acre zoo in the beautiful countryside of Hampshire. It is home to over 1,200 animals from over 135 species, making it one of the largest zoos in the UK. One of the highlights of Marwell Zoo is its collection of big cats, including lions, tigers, and snow leopards. The zoo also has a range of primates, including gorillas, lemurs, and gibbons, as well as a range of other animals, such as giraffes, zebras, and meerkats. In addition to its animal exhibits, Marwell Zoo is home to various interactive exhibits and activities, including a tropical house, where visitors can see a range of exotic plants and animals, and an adventure playground, where children can climb and play.

Most popular cars

The most popular rental car in Southampton is the Ford Focus, although many travelers also go for the Vauxhall Corsa and the Toyota Aygo. The most popular rental car types are compact, economy, and standard.

Further destinations

  • The Isle of Wight. A large island just off the coast, the Isle of Wight is one of the most popular holiday destinations in England, especially during the summer months. Thousands of tourists arrive every year to enjoy the island’s beaches, do watersports, or attend one of the many festivals that take place here. Thousands of dinosaur fossils have also been found on the Isle of Wight, many of which are on display in its museums. There are many ferries connecting the island with Southampton; many can carry a rental car, but you should look up each ferry company’s policy in advance; you should also ask your rental car provider if they permit it.
  • Bournemouth. A calm resort town, Bournemouth is known across the UK for its high quality of life and relaxed pace. It is also one of the sunniest places in Britain. Art lovers will also find plenty to enjoy during the winter months like the Russell-Cotes Gallery and Museum and TheGallery art center. Located 53km (33 miles) west of Southampton, Bournemouth can be reached in about 50 minutes.
  • London. One of the most famous cities in Europe (and, indeed, the world), London feels like a separate country. Home to a staggering amount of world-famous landmarks, the city is a melting pot of cultures, lifestyles, and cuisines. Everyone should visit it at least once. Located 120km (78 miles) northwest of Southampton, you can be in London in just 1 hour and 50 minutes.
  • Salisbury. The charming cathedral city of Wiltshire is a lovely city located 40 km (25 mi) from Southampton Airport and can be reached in about 40 minutes. One of the main attractions of Salisbury is its stunning cathedral, which dates back to the 13th century and boasts a wealth of architectural features, including the tallest spire in England. Visitors can admire the cathedral's intricate stained glass windows, ornate carvings, and impressive organs. Salisbury is also home to a range of historic buildings and museums, including the Salisbury Museum, which houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits tracing the city's history and the surrounding area.
  • Stonehenge.  Britain’s iconic prehistoric monument is located in Wiltshire, north of Salisbury, and is one of the world’s most famous and mysterious landmarks. Stonehenge consists of a circle of standing stones, some weighing as much as 50 tons, arranged in a complex pattern. The monument has been the subject of much speculation and debate over the years, with many theories about its purpose and construction. Visitors to Stonehenge can take a tour of the site and learn about the history and significance of the monument. The visitor center includes exhibits, audio guides, and interactive displays that provide insight into the lives of the people who built Stonehenge and the surrounding area. The site is located 55 km (34 mi) from Southampton Airport.
  • The South Downs is a beautiful range of hills in the south of England, stretching from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex. The region offers a stunning natural landscape with rolling hills, chalk cliffs, and picturesque countryside views. Visitors can explore the area on foot or by bike, with various trails and routes available for all experience levels. One of the most popular attractions in the South Downs near Southampton Airport is Old Winchester Old, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The top of the hill is the site of an Iron Age hill fort, which dates back over 2,000 years. Food and drink are also an essential part of the South Downs experience, with a range of pubs, cafes, and restaurants offering local produce and traditional dishes. Visitors can sample Sussex wine, cheese, and ale or try a traditional cream tea in one of the many tea rooms.

Car Rental Prices in Southampton

  • Station wagons - from $86 per day
  • Large cars - from $40 per day
  • Medium cars - from $38 per day
  • Vans - from $265 per day
  • Premium cars - from $78 per day
  • Small cars - from $32 per day
  • SUVs - from $39 per day

Money-saving tips

Land a great rental car in Southampton by following these simple tips:

  • 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 Southampton is the cheapest in January when renting a car is about 72% cheaper than the yearly average. Start your year with a trip to the south of England!
This information was written, fact-checked, and/or translated by our content creators.

Learn more about our Editorial Policy.
Fact checked by
Pierre Guernier
This article was reviewed and updated by Pierre Guernier, the writer and content creator behind French Moments, a family business based on the south coast of England whose primary goal is to inspire visitors to travel and explore France. You can find French Moments online at frenchmoments.eu, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Top 20 Cities near Southampton

  1. 37.9 km / 23.5 miles
  2. 39 km / 24.2 miles
  3. 49.6 km / 30.8 miles
  4. 62.7 km / 39 miles
  5. 63.3 km / 39.3 miles
  6. 74.8 km / 46.5 miles
  7. 84.3 km / 52.4 miles
  8. 84.5 km / 52.5 miles
  9. 85.6 km / 53.2 miles
  10. 85.8 km / 53.3 miles
  11. 86.2 km / 53.6 miles
  12. 90 km / 55.9 miles
  13. 90.1 km / 56 miles
  14. 98.9 km / 61.5 miles
  15. 100 km / 62.1 miles
  16. 103 km / 64 miles
  17. 106.1 km / 65.9 miles
  18. 117.8 km / 73.2 miles
  19. 118.9 km / 73.9 miles
  20. 121.6 km / 75.6 miles

Map of Car Rental Locations

What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Southampton?

Car rental prices in Southampton vary by time of year. This graph shows the average prices per month to help you find the best time of year to rent.
Average rental costs per day in Southampton
$51.14
January
$42.05
February
$45.58
March
$45.72
April
$84.52
May
$72.91
June
$111.19
July
$68.93
August
$99.71
September
$53.36
October
$60.85
November
$51.06
December
The cheapest month to rent a car in Southampton is February (when prices average $42.05 per day). This is 36% cheaper than the yearly average and 62% cheaper than renting in July (when prices average $111.19).

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 Southampton?

How long travelers keep their rental cars for varies from month to month: in June, the average renter keeps their car for 10 days, and in April, they keep their car for 4 days.
Average number of rental days in Southampton
6
January
6
February
5
March
4
April
6
May
10
June
5
July
5
August
4
September
5
October
6
November
6
December

What's the most popular month to rent a car in Southampton?

Based on the number of searches by our customers, the most popular month for renting a car in Southampton is December, and the least popular is April.
Monthly searches in Southampton by pick-up date relative to the average
120%
January
69%
February
77%
March
62%
April
80%
May
66%
June
128%
July
109%
August
135%
September
113%
October
98%
November
142%
December

Car Rental Information

Car rental locations 4
Airport locations 1
Popular suppliers Alamo, Budget, Enterprise, National, SIXT
Popular car categories Small cars, Medium cars, SUVs, Vans
Lowest price $32 per day
Cheapest supplier Enterprise

Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers

Rental Supplier Model Doors Luggage Type
Alamo Ford Focus 4 2 Medium cars
Alamo Toyota Aygo 3 1 Small cars
Budget Peugeot 208 5 2 Small cars
Arnold Clark Ford Fiesta 5 2 Small cars
Budget Fiat 500 3 1 Small cars
National Ford Tourneo 5 2 Vans
Enterprise Nissan Juke 5 2 SUVs
Enterprise Vauxhall Corsa 5 2 Small cars
Routes Car Rental Opel Corsa 5 1 Small cars
Enterprise 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.

Australia
VW Polo
September 9, 2023
Cotswolds and Peak District were amazing
India
Ford Fiesta
July 25, 2023
Amazing villages in Cotswolds.
Ireland
Ford Focus
July 24, 2019
We travelled southampton to ferry and on to isle of wight
× Full Size Image

Car Rental Statistics

Highest rated company
Enterprise
8.7 / 10
)
Lowest rated company
Routes Car Rental
7.2 / 10
)
Total number of reviews
3
Total rental companies
11
Average daily price
$63.32
Lowest daily price
$32.30
Total cars available
474

Top 11 Suppliers in Southampton in 2024

Enterprise
Enterprise
Very good 8.7 / 9 reviews
2 locations
$32 - $332
Arnold Clark
Arnold Clark
Very good 8.5 / 1 review
2 locations
$53 - $268
Alamo
Alamo
Very good 8.4 / 15 reviews
2 locations
$35 - $324
SIXT
SIXT
Very good 8 / 10 reviews
2 locations
$79 - $112
National
National
Very good 8 / 8 reviews
2 locations
$38 - $560
Hertz
Hertz
Very good 8 / 2 reviews
1 location
$37 - $67
Keddy
Keddy
Very good 8
2 locations
Europcar
Europcar
Good 7.9
2 locations
$38 - $118
Avis
Avis
Good 7.8 / 2 reviews
1 location
$41 - $213
Budget
Budget
Good 7.4 / 3 reviews
1 location
$45 - $231
Routes Car Rental
Routes Car Rental
Good 7.2 / 1 review
2 locations
$51 - $78
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