Car hire in Bristol

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Car hire in Bristol

Hiring a car in Bristol

The largest city in the south-west of England, Bristol has become a hub for invention and creativity in recent years. Throughout the city there are new and modern attractions, which are perfectly intermingled among the historical landmarks that have helped to make Bristol what it is today. With a growing reputation for great food and drink, as well as an eclectic shopping district, Bristol is fantastic whether you're travelling for business or leisure.

Driving in Bristol is relatively easy, although at peak times you will encounter a bit of traffic. With easy parking access and so many places to visit, hiring a car is the best way to see all that the city has to offer.

What you need to know

You'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding the right hire car for you in Bristol, as some of the best companies in the UK offer vehicles in the city. This can make it quite difficult to find the right car and price for you.

However, you can make things simpler by using our website, which will make it easy to see the vehicles and costs. It also ensures that there are no hidden charges, so you know what you need to pay. On top of this, you'll benefit from 24/7 support and free cancellation when you book through Holiday Autos.

Once you've picked your car, you can get on with enjoying the lively city or setting out to explore the Somerset countryside.

Where to pick up your car

One of the easiest options for collecting your hire car in Bristol is to pick it up at the airport, especially as so many companies use this as their primary collection point in the city. You'll find the car hire desks near the arrivals hall of Bristol Airport (BRS), with pick-up and drop off locations next to the long stay car park, which is within walking distance. Some companies offer a free shuttle bus to their car collection points so you don't need to get a taxi or public bus. A number of companies allow you to pick your car up from other locations in the city, so it is a good idea to see what best suits your needs.

Best Car Hire Companies Bristol


Car Hire Reviews Bristol

  • “The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time. Booking with Holiday Autos was easy and I received the car that I had asked for, just perfect!”
    Diane T

Where to go

As soon as you have your hire car, you can start exploring all that Bristol has to offer. Whether you want to tour the historic sites, head to some of the more modern attractions or enjoy a spot of shopping, jumping straight in your car will allow you start your holiday instantly. Just remember that it's a good idea to have change at the ready for parking though.

You can be in the city centre from the airport in as little as 30 minutes via the A370. However, if you want to see the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge on your way into the city, you'll need to make a small detour.

Nearby Bristol

Whether you want a family-friendly activity or just fancy doing something a bit different while in the city, Bristol Zoo is a great way to spend a day. Located in Clifton, you can get to the zoo in 20 minutes from the city centre via Hampton Road. The zoo has a huge selection of interesting and exotic animals to see and learn about, as well as fun activities like an adventure rope course. As the fifth oldest zoo in the world, the zoo also has some great historical facts.

You might also want to head to Blaise Castle House Museum to explore the 400 acres of parkland that surrounds it and learn about English social history in a beautiful location. In the grounds, you'll also find the folly castle, which featured in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. The drive to Blaise Castle can take half an hour via the B4054.

Longer drives

Staying in Bristol also means that other great areas of the south-west are open to you. This includes the city of Bath, which is just an hour away via the A4. No other city in the UK quite compares to Bath, not only because of the stunning architecture but also due to the sophisticated atmosphere. Home to the best-preserved Roman bathhouses in the world - which you can tour - Bath is a joy to walk around and still has all the elements you would expect of a modern city.

For a real sense of history, you could take the hour and half drive down the A36 to visit Stonehenge. Located on Salisbury Plain, the monolithic stones are one of the most recognisable sites in the world and are definitely worth a visit. Not only do the stones themselves offer great photo opportunities, you can also learn all about them in the visitor centre.

Top attractions to visit in Bristol

While visiting Bristol, you'll never be bored. Hiring a car allows you to see all that the city has to offer and truly understand what attracts so many visitors year after year.

Eating and drinking

With so many diverse cultures present in Bristol, it probably won't surprise you that there is a huge range of options when it comes to types of cuisine on offer. The city has become known for its food and drink in recent years, with many pubs offering pints of locally-made cider and boutique restaurants opening up next to well-known chains. Each quarter of the city has something a bit different on offer, so you'll never be bored when it comes to finding great food.

Things to do

If you want a break from driving around, why not swap your car for a different mode of transport? Ferries run regularly around Bristol's floating harbour, allowing you to take in the sights and sounds of the city from the water.

For a great family day out, you can't beat At-Bristol Science Centre, which is an interactive technology centre located next to the harbour. With fun and interesting exhibits that you can get involved with, big and little kids are sure to have a blast.


Bristol isn't without its great areas for sightseeing, so if you want to take in the history of the city, grab your camera and start exploring. The pride and joy of Bristol has to be Brunel's SS Great Britain, a steamship that has been restored to its former glory. Tickets for the steamship also allow entrance to the Brunel Institute, so you can learn about the city's maritime history.

You should also have a look at Bristol Cathedral, which is among the best examples of a 'Hall Church' in Britain. Restoration during the 19th century means that some parts of the cathedral are Victorian, while others are original 12th-century handiwork.