Car Rental Birmingham
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Why rent a car in Birmingham?
Birmingham is a great place to explore. Its many neighborhoods reveal its industrial past, as well as its more recent advances in high tech, culture, and art. Birmingham is near a number of beautiful natural areas, and with a car, it is easy to travel to both London and Bristol in the south or Liverpool and Manchester in the north of England.
Top ways to enter Birmingham
- Birmingham Airport: Serving more than 12 million travelers every year, Birmingham Airport is one of the busiest in the United Kingdom. It is a base for a number of airlines including some low-cost carriers. The airport is conveniently located just 13km (8.1 miles) southeast of Birmingham’s City Center.
- East Midlands Airport: Serving the neighboring region of East Midlands (Birmingham is located in West Midlands), this airport is near three large British cities, Nottingham, Derby, and Leicester. The airport is favored by low-cost airlines and airlines serving holiday destinations across Europe. East Midlands Airport is only a 40-minute drive northeast of Birmingham.
- Manchester Airport: The third-busiest in the United Kingdom, Manchester Airport serves many destinations not only in Europe, but also in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The airport is 127km (79 miles) north of Birmingham, a distance that can be driven in under 90 minutes.
- By rail: If you’re arriving in Birmingham by train, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at Birmingham International Railway Station, Birmingham New Street Railway Station, Birmingham Snow Hill Railway Station, or Birmingham Tyseley Railway Station.
Useful city facts
Birmingham has a temperate maritime climate with warm summers and cool winters. The average temperature is 21.3°C (70.3°F) in July and 6.7°C (44.1°F) in January. Rainfall is spread out rather evenly between the seasons, but, unlike many other large cities in the United Kingdom, Birmingham experiences quite a lot of snow every winter.
With 571 parks within its borders, Birmingham has more green areas than any other European city. Sutton Park in the north part of the city is the largest urban park in Europe and a favorite place to visit for many locals on any sunny day. Part of it is made up of preserved ancient woodlands, and visitors can also spot the Exmoor ponies that live here or visit a donkey sanctuary.
Top destinations and activities
- Jaguar Castle Bromwich Assembly. Located on the northern edge of the city, Birmingham’s Jaguar plant is the place where most of these legendary British cars are made. Car lovers will be excited to learn that it is possible to visit the factory, although it’s important to make a reservation by phone in advance.
- Sareholl Mill. A nice 18th-century watermill, Sarehole is rumored to have influenced the legendary British writer J.R.R. Tolkien’s vision of the Shire in the Lord of the Rings. Located in the Hall Green neighborhood in Southeast Birmingham, it is a nice and relaxing place to visit and learn about Birmingham’s pre-industrial past.
- Birmingham Science Museum. Also known as Thinktank, this fun museum offers a lot of activities, mainly dealing with machinery, electronics, and vehicles of all types. It’s also definitely worth checking out the Supermarine Spitfire fighter jet, the LMS Princess Coronation Class steam locomotive, and the Austin Seven car from the 1920s.
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.
- The insurance 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. Since this toll road is very near Birmingham, it’s good to know about it if you’re visiting the city by car.
- 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 6 a.m.). Find out more on the M6 Toll official website.
- 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).
Ideas for a day-trip
- Coventry. Famous for the spires of its numerous magnificent cathedrals, a Roman fort, specialized museums (such as the aviation museum and the police museum) and a good many parks, Coventry is one of the nicest cities in the West Midlands region. Just a 30-minute drive away from Birmingham, it makes for a perfect day outdoors.
- Snowdonia National Park. With plenty of accessible mountains, green hills, river valleys, and hiking paths, Snowdonia is a beautiful green area right next to a heavily industrial and urbanized region. See if you can spot some of the area’s birds and mammals, such as buzzards, ospreys, or feral goats. On your way back, stop at one of the small villages that are still located within the Snowdonia region and are primarily Welsh-speaking. The area is only about a two-hour drive northeast of Birmingham.
- Bristol. With its historic buildings and sites, different diaspora groups with their culture and cuisine, and being a home base for influential music bands like Massive Attack and artists like Banksy, Bristol is a melting pot in every possible sense of the world. More importantly, it is one of the most fun and active cities in the modern United Kingdom. Less than a two-hour drive south of Birmingham, it is worth at least a day of your time.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Birmingham is the VW Polo, although travelers also like the Ford Focus and the Fiat 500. The most popular rental car types are the economy, compact, and mini classes.
- London. The capital of the United Kingdom, one of the largest in Europe and a city like no other, London has more world-famous landmarks than anyone could mention - Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, Big Ben… It’s quite impossible to see all of them, but your best bet is driving 2 hours and 30 minutes south of Birmingham and giving it an honest try.
- Liverpool. The hometown of the Beatles has a reputation for being the most fun city of North England, and not just because of its musical heritage. The museums and galleries of Albert Dock area, the Pier Head harbor area (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the fascinating labyrinth of Williamson’s Tunnels under the Edge Hill area are some of the places that anyone will enjoy exploring. Just 95 miles (153km) north of Birmingham, it can be reached in about two hours.
- Norfolk. Still something of a hidden gem among England’s regions, Norfolk has a long coastline with impressive cliffs; many inland lakes and protected wetlands; many small, but picturesque, farming communities; and both ancient and medieval sites. Start by exploring the Thetford Forest, one of the largest in Britain. Alternatively, visit the region’s largest city Norwich, famous for its Anglican cathedral and a medieval trading place called the Dragon Hall and located just a three-and-a-half hour drive east of Birmingham.
How can I save money on my rental car?
Try these tips to land a great car rental deal in Birmingham:
- 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 Birmingham is the cheapest in March when renting a car is about 58% cheaper than the yearly average. Come visit the second city in early springtime!
Top 20 Cities near Birmingham
London Car Rentals from $33.42 per day162.4 km / 100.9 miles away
Edinburgh Car Rentals from $14.57 per day402.8 km / 250.3 miles away
Glasgow Car Rentals from $12.04 per day418.3 km / 259.9 miles away
Belfast Car Rentals from $23.94 per day363.5 km / 225.9 miles away
Manchester Car Rentals from $16.85 per day106.1 km / 65.9 miles away
Luton Car Rentals from $19.72 per day114.0 km / 70.9 miles away
Leeds Car Rentals from $27.63 per day157.1 km / 97.6 miles away
Inverness Car Rentals from $49.86 per day584.4 km / 363.2 miles away
Bristol Car Rentals from $15.61 per day136.2 km / 84.7 miles away
Liverpool Car Rentals from $14.54 per day122.6 km / 76.2 miles away
East Midlands Car Rentals from $11.92 per day50.6 km / 31.5 miles away
Newcastle Car Rentals from $15.94 per day287.3 km / 178.5 miles away
Southampton Car Rentals from $26.00 per day169.4 km / 105.2 miles away
Cardiff Car Rentals from $28.37 per day160.6 km / 99.8 miles away
Aberdeen Car Rentals from $22.46 per day528.9 km / 328.7 miles away
Exeter Car Rentals from $23.94 per day223.1 km / 138.6 miles away
Jersey Car Rentals from $36.25 per day362.3 km / 225.1 miles away
124.0 km / 77.0 miles away
Bournemouth Car Rentals from $30.22 per day186.2 km / 115.7 miles away
Newquay Car Rentals from $37.85 per day317.3 km / 197.2 miles away
Top 20 Locations near Birmingham
Birmingham New Street Railway Station Car Rentals from $28.29 per day
Birmingham Airport Car Rentals from $28.48 per day10.6 km / 6.6 miles away
East Midlands Airport Car Rentals from $11.92 per day55.0 km / 34.2 miles away
Manchester Airport Car Rentals from $16.85 per day100.6 km / 62.5 miles away
Liverpool Airport Car Rentals from $14.54 per day114.5 km / 71.2 miles away
Luton Airport Car Rentals from $19.72 per day124.1 km / 77.1 miles away
Bristol Airport Car Rentals from $15.61 per day133.9 km / 83.2 miles away
London Heathrow Airport Car Rentals from $12.10 per day148.5 km / 92.3 miles away
Leeds Bradford Airport Car Rentals from $27.63 per day155.2 km / 96.4 miles away
Cardiff Airport Car Rentals from $28.37 per day155.7 km / 96.8 miles away
London Paddington Railway Station Car Rentals from $33.42 per day159.1 km / 98.9 miles away
London Marylebone Railway Station Car Rentals from $33.42 per day159.4 km / 99.0 miles away
London Stansted Airport Car Rentals from $8.62 per day159.7 km / 99.2 miles away
Humberside Airport Car Rentals from $28.37 per day160.0 km / 99.4 miles away
London St Pancras Railway Station Car Rentals from $40.76 per day160.6 km / 99.8 miles away
London Victoria Railway Station Car Rentals from $53.89 per day162.4 km / 100.9 miles away
London Stratford Railway Station Car Rentals from $55.73 per day166.4 km / 103.4 miles away
London City Airport Car Rentals from $33.42 per day172.0 km / 106.9 miles away
Southampton Airport Car Rentals from $26.00 per day173.9 km / 108.1 miles away
London Gatwick Airport Car Rentals from $16.41 per day188.8 km / 117.3 miles away
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Top 13 Suppliers for Birmingham in 2019
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