Car Hire in Oxford
This information is correct as of April 2015
Hire a car and enjoy Oxford on your own schedule. Leave the city behind and explore England’s breathtaking countryside, head off on a memorable road trip, or just use your rental car to nip around Oxford’s top sights and destinations. With Skyscanner you can compare deals from the top car hire firms, so you’ll always get the best deal.
Where to hire a car in Oxford
Most of the car hire locations can be found near Oxford Railway Station. Avis and Budget can both be found right beside the station, while Hertz, National, Thrifty, Europcar and InterRent all have branches near Oatlands Road Recreation Ground, just across the Thames.
Driving in Oxford
Many of the streets in central Oxford are pedestrian only. There’s a one-way system in place for the roads that aren’t. If you’re not familiar with driving in Oxford it can take a bit of getting used to. It’s best to bring an up-to-date sat nav with you to help you find your way about. The streets are quite narrow, and can get congested: especially around rush hour (8am-10am in the morning, 5pm-6pm in the evening).
Most people in Oxford get around by bicycle, giving the city a vibe similar to Amsterdam. Always keep an eye out for cyclists coming up fast on your inside, and check your blind spots before turning left.
Parking in Oxford
On-street parking is available, but can be quite scarce. Prices are usually £1 for half an hour, £2 for an hour, and £3 for two hours. Reduced rates apply from 6:30pm Monday-Saturday, and in some bays the price is reduced all day on Sunday. It’s always a good idea to check the parking regulation signs before leaving your car.
If you don’t carry a lot of change, you can use the RingGo mobile phone service to pay by debit card. You don’t need to pre-register. Just phone the number on the side of the ticket machine to get started.
There are six council run car parks in Oxford City Centre, although the Westgate Car Park and Abbey Place Car Park will be closed until 2017. Oxpens Car Park is a good alternative, and is near Oxford Ice Rink. Worcester Street Car Park and Gloucester Green Car Park are more central. If you’re heading off on a train journey, try Becket Street car Park.
If you’re not keen on driving in Oxford city centre, you can leave your car at one of five Park & Ride sites on the outskirts of the city. Pear Tree and Water Eaton are to the north, Thornhill is to the east, Redbridge is to the south, and Seacourt is to the west. There’s a fixed charge of £2 per 24 hours, or £10 for a week. There’s an additional 20p charge if you choose to use RingGo to pay for your parking.
Prices subject to change
Great day trips from Oxford
Kate Middleton’s favourite designer outlet centre is just a half hour’s drive from central Oxford. You can pick up cut-price designer goodies from the likes of Alexander McQueen, Agent Provocateur, Cath Kidston, Chloe and more. You’ll definitely need a hire car with a good sized boot.
This impressive country house is a UNESCO World Heritage Site: and is best known as the birthplace of Winston Churchill. The beautifully landscaped gardens surrounding the house are fantastic for a stroll, but if you fancy something more fun you can take the miniature railway over to the palace’s Pleasure Park which has fantastic mazes, a butterfly house, and adventure playgrounds for the kids.
From Oxford city centre it only takes around 90 minutes to reach the iconic standing stones of Stonehenge. As well as the stones themselves, you can also visit a replica Neolithic Village and see how people lived thousands of years ago. There’s an exhibition featuring 250 archeological objects: from tools to jewellery.