Car Rental Bristol
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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.
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.
Useful city facts
- 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.
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 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 a day-trip
- Bath. Famous for its Regency Terraces; many Roman sites and ruins; and excellent spa facilities that give the city its name, Bath is an interesting place to visit. Inhabited by humans since before the Iron Age, Bath is one of the very few places in Europe where the whole city has a UNESCO World Heritage status. Bath is the city that probably gets the most tourists per inhabitant in Britain. Just 19km (12 miles) southeast of Bristol, Bath can be reached in 30 to 40 minutes depending on the traffic.
- 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.
Most popular rental types and 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.
How can I save money on my rental car?
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
London Car Rentals from $33.42 per day192.3 km / 119.5 miles away
Edinburgh Car Rentals from $14.57 per day509.7 km / 316.7 miles away
Birmingham Car Rentals from $28.48 per day136.2 km / 84.7 miles away
Manchester Car Rentals from $16.85 per day221.1 km / 137.4 miles away
Glasgow Car Rentals from $12.03 per day511.8 km / 318.0 miles away
Belfast Car Rentals from $23.93 per day417.1 km / 259.2 miles away
Luton Car Rentals from $19.71 per day170.8 km / 106.2 miles away
Inverness Car Rentals from $49.85 per day690.3 km / 428.9 miles away
Leeds Car Rentals from $27.63 per day285.1 km / 177.1 miles away
Liverpool Car Rentals from $14.54 per day217.1 km / 134.9 miles away
Newcastle Car Rentals from $15.94 per day412.0 km / 256.0 miles away
East Midlands Car Rentals from $11.92 per day186.8 km / 116.0 miles away
Cardiff Car Rentals from $28.37 per day43.8 km / 27.2 miles away
Southampton Car Rentals from $26.00 per day106.1 km / 65.9 miles away
Aberdeen Car Rentals from $22.45 per day648.1 km / 402.7 miles away
Exeter Car Rentals from $23.93 per day87.2 km / 54.2 miles away
Bournemouth Car Rentals from $30.22 per day90.5 km / 56.3 miles away
Jersey Car Rentals from $36.25 per day244.6 km / 152.0 miles away
259.8 km / 161.5 miles away
Norwich Car Rentals from $28.37 per day308.8 km / 191.9 miles away
Top 20 Locations near Bristol
Bristol Airport Car Rentals from $15.60 per day
Cardiff Airport Car Rentals from $28.37 per day43.8 km / 27.2 miles away
Exeter Airport Car Rentals from $23.93 per day87.2 km / 54.2 miles away
Bournemouth Airport Car Rentals from $30.22 per day90.5 km / 56.3 miles away
Southampton Airport Car Rentals from $26.00 per day106.1 km / 65.9 miles away
Birmingham New Street Railway Station Car Rentals from $28.29 per day133.9 km / 83.2 miles away
Birmingham Airport Car Rentals from $28.48 per day136.2 km / 84.7 miles away
London Heathrow Airport Car Rentals from $12.10 per day156.5 km / 97.2 miles away
Luton Airport Car Rentals from $19.71 per day170.8 km / 106.2 miles away
London Paddington Railway Station Car Rentals from $33.42 per day176.4 km / 109.6 miles away
London Marylebone Railway Station Car Rentals from $33.42 per day177.4 km / 110.2 miles away
London Gatwick Airport Car Rentals from $16.41 per day177.5 km / 110.3 miles away
London Victoria Railway Station Car Rentals from $53.88 per day178.5 km / 110.9 miles away
London St Pancras Railway Station Car Rentals from $40.75 per day180.0 km / 111.9 miles away
East Midlands Airport Car Rentals from $11.92 per day186.8 km / 116.0 miles away
London Stratford Railway Station Car Rentals from $55.73 per day188.6 km / 117.2 miles away
Newquay Airport Car Rentals from $37.84 per day191.2 km / 118.8 miles away
London City Airport Car Rentals from $33.42 per day192.3 km / 119.5 miles away
London Stansted Airport Car Rentals from $8.62 per day211.0 km / 131.1 miles away
Liverpool Airport Car Rentals from $14.54 per day217.1 km / 134.9 miles away
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Bristol?
What’s the usual rental length in Bristol?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Bristol?
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