Car Hire in Bristol
This information is correct as of April 2015.
Getting around Bristol is easy when you have your own set of wheels. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway with plenty of road trips thrown in, or just need a car to get you from point A to point B in the city, our guide to hiring a car in Bristol will make it easy to find the perfect vehicle.
Where to hire a car in Bristol
Large companies like Budget, Avis, and Europcar have pick-up locations dotted around the city, with clusters around Clifton and the University and a few in the city centre. If you’re flying into the city you have the choice of six large car hire brands at Bristol Airport. If you’re arriving by train you can pick up your car at Bristol Temple Meads train station.
Driving in Bristol
Bristol is a small city, and gets very congested during rush hour. It’s often ranked within the top 10 most congested cities in Britain. It’s best to avoid driving between 8:30am-9:30am and 4pm-6pm, as journey times can increase by up to 30%. Bristol is one of Britain’s top cities for cyclists, with a large number of people commuting by bike. Bristol does have an excellent network of cycle paths, but it’s important to keep an eye out for cyclists while you’re driving around town.
Parking in Bristol
If you want to avoid the congestion of the city centre you can use the Park & Ride car parks on the outskirts of town, using public transport to get into the main sights. There are park and ride car parks at Long Ashton, Portway, and Bath Road Brislington. Metered parking is available in the city centre, with most meters operating between 8am-6pm Monday to Saturday and 6pm-midnight Monday-Saturday. During the day you can park for up to two hours for £3.50. At night you can park for two hours for £1.50, or six hours for £2.50. Car parks are also available throughout the city centre, with seven NCP operated car parks. Some hotels in Bristol also offer their own private car parks.
Prices subject to change
Great day trips from Bristol
One of the most iconic places in Britain, prehistoric Stonehenge is just 44 miles from Bristol: an easy 1 hour 20 minutes drive. As well as the famous stone circle, the visitors centre also has a Neolithic Village where you can learn about life thousands of years ago. There are also a range of exhibitions to enjoy, and like any good tourist attraction there’s a gift shop and a cafe. Stonehenge is open from 9:30am until 7pm, with last entry at 5pm.
Less than an hour’s drive from Bristol, Bath is widely considered to be one of England’s most beautiful cities. Fantastic Georgian architecture, beautifully maintained Roman bathhouses, and a breathtaking abbey make Bath a beautiful stop for a day trip. An excellent fashion museum and an array of excellent gastropubs add a hint of modern charm.
The Mendip Hills
You can reach this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty within 40 minutes if you’re driving from Bath. The limestone hills run from the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare to Frome, offering gorgeous views across the Chew Valley and Somerset Levels. It’s a great place to try your hand at adventurous sports like cave diving and rock climbing, but you can easily spend a day just wandering around enjoying the beauty of Britain’s countryside.