Car Hire in Bournemouth
This information is correct as of April 2015
Hiring a car in Bournemouth gives you the freedom to explore and make the most of your time on England’s south coast. Warm weather, great beaches, and the opportunity to try your hand at water-sports are just a few of the attractions Bournemouth and the surrounding area has to offer.
With Skyscanner you can find the perfect hire car for your trip: whether you’re looking for a camper van for a weekend of adventure, a slinky sports car for driving along the coastal roads, or just a family runaround. Here’s everything you need to know about renting a vehicle in Bournemouth.
Where to hire a car in Bournemouth
There’s a cluster of car hire companies around Bournemouth train and bus stationa. Europcar, National, Avis and Budget can all be found nearby. Thrifty also have a town centre location, on Hinton Road. Car rental is available at Bournemouth Airport from Europcar and Hertz.
Driving in Bournemouth
Bournemouth town centre is relatively small. You can easily explore on foot, but if you prefer to take the car you’ll find it quick and easy to get from one part of town to another. The Square is the heart of Bournemouth: this is where most of the big name shops and restaurants are as well as the tourist information office. It’s pedestrian only, but you can get close enough by car. There are some good car parks nearby. Rush hour in Bournemouth is similar to most towns and cities in the UK (8-10 in the morning, and 4:30-6:30 in the evening). It’s best to stay off the roads at these times to avoid congestion.
Parking in Bournemouth
On-street parking is available, although restrictions do apply in some areas of town. There are 47 council run pay and display car parks in Bournemouth, as well as a handful of privately run car parks in and around Bournemouth town centre. NCP operate four car parks: one on Exeter Road, one on Hinton Road, another at the bottom of Richmond Hill, and one above BHS on Terrace Road. APCOA also operate a multi-storey car park on Avenue Road.
If you don’t have any change on you for a pay and display ticket, you can use the Phone and Pay app to pay for parking by card.
Great day trips from Bournemouth
The New Forest National Park
If seaside walks just don’t do it for you, head east for around half an hour and you’ll soon hit the beautiful New Forest. The miles of dirt tracks are popular with cyclists and hikers, and it’s also a popular destination for campers. The narrow roads can get quite congested during summer weekends, and it’s important to bear the 40mph speed limit in mind as the forest is home to lots of animals including deer, horses, cattle and even pigs.
The Jurassic Coast
This 95 mile long stretch of coastline runs from Orcombe Point to Old Harry Rocks. You can spend a fantastic day driving along the coast, admiring the unique geographic features which made the coastline a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or you can head straight to some of the most popular spots. Lulworth Cove is a 40 minute drive from Bournemouth, while the Golden Cap (the highest point in the South-east) is just over an hour’s drive.
The Isle of Wight
Take the ferry from Lymington (around 40 minutes away) and spend a few hours relaxing on this gorgeous island just off the south coast. Admire the colourful sands of Alum Bay, visit the UK’s oldest theme park at Blackgang Chine, and spend some time wandering around The Needles, a headland famous for its rock formations.