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Car hire at Cardiff Airport

Car Hire at Cardiff Airport

Cardiff Airport (CWL) is Wales' largest airport, serving both domestic and international flights. The M4 is the closest motorway to the airport, but it is situated by the coast in the area of Rhoose. The city of Cardiff - the Welsh capital - can be reached within 30 minutes by car.

What I need to know

Several Cardiff Airport car rental options are available, and Holiday Autos can compare car hire deals from each of these to find you the very best offer for your visit to Wales. We search through over 1,500 suppliers for you, and you can rest assured that we'll never charge you credit card or cancellation fees.

Where to pick up my car

At Cardiff Airport, car hire desks are located in the Arrivals hall, meaning your flight can land and you can be on your way exploring Wales in under an hour. Whether you choose to head straight for the city of Cardiff or spend time driving along the South Wales coast, there's plenty to discover from Cardiff Airport.

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Car Hire Reviews Cardiff Airport

  • “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.”
    Diane T

Where to go

Castles in various states of preserve and ruin are scattered throughout Wales, with nearby Cardiff Castle a great example of a well-preserved site. There is also some breathtaking scenery to be seen in this part of the world, from the rolling green hills of the Welsh Valleys to the rugged beauty of the coast.

Nearby Cardiff Airport

Barry Island with its beach, funfair, hot dog stands and candyfloss stalls is just a 15-minute drive from Cardiff Airport, providing a classic British seaside holiday experience. Half an hour from the airport in the Welsh capital itself is the National Museum Cardiff, Wales Millennium Centre and historic Cardiff Castle.

Longer drives

The city of Swansea, home to Oystermouth Castle and the National Waterfront Museum, is located just over an hour's drive from Cardiff Airport. The picturesque headland of the Mumbles, a favourite haunt of the poet Dylan Thomas, is around an hour and 15 minutes from the airport and is well worth driving to for its gorgeous views.

Eating and drinking

Traditional Welsh food is comforting and delicious in equal measures, with Welsh cakes and Bara brith the nation's signature bakes. Welsh rarebit - thick toast smothered in local cheese and Worcester sauce - is another must-try while you're in the area, as is cawl, a soup or broth usually made from lamb and locally-grown leeks.

Things to do

You could spend several days just exploring Cardiff's many museums, each of which offers a different cultural experience. These include the National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans National History Museum, the Cardiff Castle Museum and the Cardiff Story Museum, where you can learn all about the history of the city and its people.


Park up at Cardiff Bay and take an aquabus to the city centre. This will give you the chance to see the 19th century Pierhead building and modern Wales Millennium Centre from the water, before you journey along the River Taff towards Cardiff centre. The boat ends at Bute Park, but not before you pass the Principality Stadium, formerly known as the Millennium Stadium.