Car Rental in Southampton
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
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.
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).
Useful 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 destinations 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.
Traffic and parking tips
- 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.
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 a day-trip
- 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.
Most popular rental types and 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.
- 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.
Car Rental Prices in Southampton
- Station wagons - from $70 per day
- Large cars - from $50 per day
- Medium cars - from $40 per day
- People Carriers/Vans - from $75 per day
- Premium cars - from $74 per day
- Small cars - from $32 per day
- SUVs - from $52 per day
How can I save money on my rental car?
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!
Top 20 Cities near Southampton
London Car Rentals from $25.18 per day157.8 km / 98.1 miles away
Edinburgh Car Rentals from $13.31 per day568.8 km / 353.5 miles away
284.9 km / 177.0 miles away
Glasgow Car Rentals from $41.74 per day575.8 km / 357.8 miles away
Belfast Car Rentals from $12.99 per day505.7 km / 314.2 miles away
Birmingham Car Rentals from $29.65 per day171.1 km / 106.3 miles away
Luton Car Rentals from $43.38 per day120.2 km / 74.7 miles away
Inverness Car Rentals from $25.65 per day746.6 km / 463.9 miles away
Bristol Car Rentals from $21.00 per day104.4 km / 64.9 miles away
Leeds Car Rentals from $24.07 per day312.2 km / 194.0 miles away
Liverpool Car Rentals from $14.86 per day281.1 km / 174.7 miles away
Newcastle Car Rentals from $24.60 per day452.2 km / 281.0 miles away
Cardiff Car Rentals from $29.61 per day145.8 km / 90.6 miles away
44.7 km / 27.8 miles away
Bolton Car Rentals from $43.86 per day296.6 km / 184.3 miles away
Aberdeen Car Rentals from $17.74 per day694.6 km / 431.6 miles away
East Midlands Car Rentals from $25.41 per day206.3 km / 128.2 miles away
Jersey Car Rentals from $33.09 per day205.3 km / 127.6 miles away
155.5 km / 96.6 miles away
Leicester Car Rentals from $18.85 per day186.5 km / 115.9 miles away
Top 19 Locations near Southampton
Southampton Cruise Terminal Car Rentals from $24.21 per day
Southampton Airport Car Rentals from $28.19 per day2.9 km / 1.8 miles away
Bournemouth Airport Car Rentals from $27.51 per day40.0 km / 24.9 miles away
London Airport Heathrow Car Rentals from $17.56 per day84.0 km / 52.2 miles away
London Airport Gatwick Car Rentals from $18.53 per day84.2 km / 52.3 miles away
London Croydon South Car Rentals from $26.85 per day96.5 km / 60.0 miles away
London Hammersmith Train Station Car Rentals from $45.29 per day97.3 km / 60.5 miles away
London Fulham Car Rentals from $21.00 per day98.2 km / 61.0 miles away
London Paddington Train Station Car Rentals from $32.33 per day102.2 km / 63.5 miles away
London Edgware Road Car Rentals from $32.33 per day102.7 km / 63.8 miles away
London Edgware Car Rentals from $27.78 per day103.3 km / 64.2 miles away
London Marylebone Train Station Car Rentals from $32.33 per day103.3 km / 64.2 miles away
Bristol Airport Car Rentals from $21.00 per day104.4 km / 64.9 miles away
Waterloo Train Station Car Rentals from $24.77 per day104.6 km / 65.0 miles away
London Euston Train Station Car Rentals from $32.33 per day105.3 km / 65.5 miles away
London St Pancras Train Station Car Rentals from $32.33 per day106.0 km / 65.9 miles away
London Kings Cross Train Station Car Rentals from $32.33 per day106.4 km / 66.1 miles away
London Stratford Train Station Car Rentals from $31.88 per day113.7 km / 70.6 miles away
London City Airport Car Rentals from $20.56 per day115.0 km / 71.4 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Southampton?
What’s the usual rental length in Southampton?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Southampton?
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Enterprise||Ford Focus||5||2||Medium cars|
|Europcar||Vauxhall Corsa||3||1||Small cars|
|Europcar||VW Passat STW||5||3||Station wagons|
|Avis||Vauxhall Crossland||2||2||Medium cars|
|Avis||Ford Fiesta||5||2||Small cars|
|SIXT||Citroën C3 Aircross||5||1||Medium cars|
|SIXT||Citroën C3 Aircross||5||1||Medium cars|
|Enterprise||Mercedes Benz A Class||5||3||Medium cars|
|Enterprise||Vauxhall Corsa||2||3||Small cars|