Car Hire in Birmingham
This information is correct as of April 2015
Britain’s second largest city is far too big to explore on foot, so make the most of Birmingham with your own set of wheels. Whether you’re filling the boot with bags of goodies from the Bullring shopping centre, blowing off the cobwebs with a drive to Sutton Park, or simply using your hire car to get around town, you can find the perfect vehicle with Skyscanner.
Where to hire a car in Birmingham
There’s a huge range of global car rental agencies to choose from in Birmingham. If you’re flying into the city you can pick up your car from Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, National or Sixt direct from the airport. These agencies and more also offer plenty of pick-up locations in the city centre.
If you’re looking for something a little different, Birmingham also has a few specialist rental agencies, including Greenmotion (who specialise in environmentally friendly cars) and Executive Birmingham Car Hire (who specialise in sports cars and prestige vehicles). There are clusters of rental agencies around Birmingham New Street train station, perfect if you’re arriving (or departing) by train.
Driving in Birmingham
Birmingham’s city centre can be tricky to navigate, thanks to its one-way systems and pedestrian precincts. You should definitely bring a good sat-nav to help you get from A to B. The city and its surrounding roads become extremely congested around rush hour, which usually lasts from 7:30-10:30am and 3:30-7pm. If possible try to avoid driving at these times; if you can’t, download some good podcasts and get ready to sit in traffic. The M6 interchange with the M54 is one of the worst effected roads, as is the Aston Expressway.
Parking in Birmingham
Birmingham City Council operates a number of public car parks throughout the city. Prices are revised every year, but in 2015 you could expect to pay around £1.10-£1.30* for one hour. Private companies like NCP, APCOA, and Q-Park also have multi-storey car parks close to a range of the city’s top attractions.
Bay parking in Birmingham is divided into four zones: the Inner Zone, Outer Zone, Gun Quarter, and Jewellery Quarter. In the Inner Zone restrictions apply between 8am and 7:30pm, while the other zones are only restricted from 8am-6pm Monday to Friday. There’s a maximum stay of two hours in the Inner Zone, four hours in the Outer Zone and Gun Quarter, and a mixture of two and four hour stays in the Jewellery Quarter. You can pay with coins, by phoning Parkmobile, or by using the Parkmobile app on your smartphone.
Prices subject to change
Great day trips from Birmingham
One of Britain’s most popular theme parks is just a 20 minute drive away from Birmingham City Centre. Drayton Manor has 35 rides and a 15 acre zoo. There’s something for every member of the family: Thomas Land is great for small children, while older visitors will love a go on Apocalypse (the UK’s scariest ride).
It takes just over an hour to reach this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and having a car gives you the opportunity to explore it fully. Park and take a hike up the Stiperstones where you can see formations like the Devil’s Chair, drive through pastoral towns like Church Stretton, and visit ancient Ludlow Castle, Stokesay Castle, and Clun Castle.
The birthplace of William Shakespeare can be reached within 45 minutes when you hire a car in Birmingham. This picturesque market town is packed with culture and history, and is full of pleasant half timbered buildings that were probably standing while Bill was around. Take in a play at the Bear Pit theatre, get the heebie jeebies on a ghost walk, and walk in the footsteps of The Bard.