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Guide to Renting a Car in England

Renting a car can be an excellent way to explore the beautiful country of England. It gives you the freedom and flexibility to go anywhere, anytime at your convenience. However, renting a car in England is not as simple as it may seem.

Renting a Car in England

What You Need to Know about Renting a Car in England

There are many factors to consider before making a decision on which car rental company to choose and what type of car to rent.

You need to know all there is to know about renting a car in England before you arrive.

Driving a rental car in England

Before you decide to rent a car in England, it’s essential to understand the driving rules and regulations.

In England, they drive on the left side of the road, which can be quite different for those used to driving on the right side.

It may take some time to get used to, so make sure to pay extra attention while driving.

It’s also crucial to have a valid driver’s license from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP) if you are visiting from outside the UK.

Age Restrictions

Most car rental companies in England require drivers to be at least 23 years old, and some may even have a minimum age of 25.

Additionally, drivers under the age of 25 may have to pay an extra fee as they are considered high-risk by the rental companies.

The extra charges for a driver under 25 are very expensive at around £30 – £40 per day.

Types of Cars

When booking a rental car for England, you will need to decide whether you want a manual or automatic transmission.

Manual cars are easy to find in England and if you can drive a stick shift, you will have more of a selection to choose from.

But if you haven’t ever driven a manual transmission, this is not the time to learn! Stick to what you know.

When choosing a car, make sure to consider the size and type of vehicle that would best suit your needs and budget.

Keep in mind that larger vehicles may be more expensive and harder to navigate on narrow English roads and have less parking options.

Don’t forget that not only will you need to have space for people, but also for your luggage.

While some compact cars can fit four adults, the trunk isn’t large enough to fit four suitcases.

When we travel to UK with our family of four, we generally choose a mid-size vehicle in order to fit four adults and our luggage.


It’s essential to have insurance when renting a car in England.

Two forms of insurance are required on UK vehicle rentals: third-party liability and fire insurance.

Most rental companies offer other insurance options that cover collision, theft and even tire damage.

You may find that your credit card or auto insurance company will cover these things, so do your homework in advance to see if you will need to spend money on extra coverage.

Booking in Advance

It’s highly recommended to book your car rental in advance, especially if you are visiting during peak seasons like summer or holidays.

This will ensure that you have a wider selection of cars to choose from and potentially get a better deal.

It’s also important to read the terms and conditions of the rental company before booking to avoid any hidden fees or restrictions.

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Additional Car Rental Tips for England

  • Make sure to thoroughly inspect the car for any damages before driving off, and report any findings to the rental company. You might even want to take a quick video of the outside of the vehicle in case you need to defend yourself if the rental company finds imperfections they claim were not there previously.
  • Most rental car suppliers require a credit card held in the name of the primary driver. There is no way getting around this so make sure that you have this on hand when you pick up the vehicle.
  • When renting cars in England, factor exact times of pick up and drop off.  Most car rental companies book cars for 24-hour rentals. This means that if you pick up the car at 12 pm, you need to bring it back before noon on the day of your return. If you show up at 12:30, you will be paying for an extra day!
  • If you are planning on using your own GPS on your phone, bring a phone holder for the vehicle so that you can have the GPS maps visible.

Renting a car in England can be a convenient and enjoyable experience if done correctly. Make sure to plan ahead, understand what is required of you, and choose a car that suits your needs. With these tips in mind, you can have a smooth and memorable road trip in beautiful England.

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