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Key facts for hiring a car in Bristol
Car hire locations
There are pick up locations all over central Bristol, and over 11 suppliers to choose from.
If you plan on visiting during the Balloon Fiesta (usually in August), book cars and hotels well in advance.
When to visit
Pound Sterling (£, GBP)
Hire a car in Bristol
Bristol is surrounded by historic sites, rolling countryside, beaches and architecture.
Bristol is a well-positioned city for visiting other parts of England and Wales, and has many lovely attractions in its own right.
There’s so much to see and do – whether you want to visit the world’s first steam-powered passenger liner or immerse yourself in a cosy indoor farmers’ market – there really is something for everyone.
Top rated suppliers for Bristol
Average Rating 8.6 – “Staff were friendly kind and very helpful. Good experience.”
Average Rating 8.6 – “No hassle quick & easy transaction. Car was under 6 months old.”
Average Rating 8.5 – “Service with a smile and professionalism at its best , oh and a car to match.”
Average Rating 8.5 – “Fast, friendly and extremely helpful staff.”
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Things to remember
High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes
There are some car sharing (HOV) lanes in Bristol, so make sure you only use these if there are enough people in the car, or you risk a fine.
Look out for box junctions, yellow grids which you cannot drive onto unless you can clear them (i.e. no stopping). This is because cars will then block other junctions or emergency vehicle exits. Fines are handed out for using these incorrectly.
Park & Ride
There are four park and ride options around the outskirts of the city: Portway, Long Ashton, Brislington and Lyde Green. If you don’t fancy driving in the centre, this is a handy alternative.
You’ll find a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) in the city centre where restrictions will apply. Read signs carefully. There are also on street pay and display spots, multi storey car parks and some free parking (if you can find it)! Often, evening parking is free.
Free days out
Treasure Island Trail
A harbourside adventure which explores the city’s connection with the famous book by Robert Louis Stevenson.
A great day out. Head to the Harbourside for restaurants, markets, museums and galleries.
Homemade Banksy walking tour
Find some of his original pieces scattered across the city. Legendary wall art such as the Grim Reaper and Masked Gorilla hide in plain sight on the streets of Bristol.
Wander Clifton Village
Perfect for getting away from the city noise, this splendid suburb is packed full of free activities. Take a walk and appreciate the Victorian and Georgian architecture, have a picnic in one of the green spaces or soak in views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Head to Windmill Hill City Farm for a free outing which kids will enjoy. A small farm with gardens, play area and a cafe.
An away day
Where to road trip
1 hour west
The capital of Wales sits just over the River Severn. Interesting architecture, new and old, dominates the city.
45 minutes northeast
Area of National Outstanding Beauty, filled with rolling hills and thatched roofs. Perfect hiking territory.
Weston Super Mare
45 minutes southwest
English seaside resort with pier, pony rides and plenty of entertainment for all ages.
40 minutes southeast
Famous town founded on hot springs, with Roman baths and Georgian architecture.