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Car hire in Essex

Car hire at Essex

Essex boasts a remarkable number of busy towns, as well as quiet and rural communities, meaning there really is two sides to this county of England. As well as bustling towns like Chelmsford, Essex is also home to the oldest recorded town in the UK.

Reasonably close to London, the county has excellent road links that make getting around in your hire car incredibly simple.

What I need to know

There are dozens of choices in terms of car hire companies within Essex, so you can find the best deal that is closest to you using our site. As well as city centre locations, car hire companies can be found at Stansted Airport (STN) and London Southend Airport.

Where to pick up your car

Our site with show you your car hire pick-up points across Essex, allowing you to choose a location that suits your needs.

If collecting from Stansted Airport, you'll find the majority of companies at the Car Rental Village, which is within walking distance of the terminal. Some offer meet and greet services or free shuttle buses to their offices.

Car hire desks at London Southend Airport are located just outside the arrivals hall.

Best Car Hire Companies Essex


Car Hire Reviews Essex

  • “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

No matter where you go in Essex, there is plenty to see and do. From thriving shopping areas to quiet nature reserves that are perfect for a relaxing walk, the county has a lot to offer. You can head to the beach at Southend on Sea, take in the history at Thaxted or spend a day at Lakeside Shopping Centre in West Thurrock.

Nearby Essex

While large parts of Essex are easily accessible by the network of main roads, more rural areas may have country lanes that are more winding or narrower than you may be used to. When it comes to speed, built up areas have a 30mph limit, while most dual carriageways and motorways are set to the national speed limit.

Longer drives

Visiting some areas of Essex mean you are within driving distance of London, so you can enjoy all the benefits of the capital city. While the centre of the city tends to get quite congested, you can make the most of park and ride services in order to get shopping destinations like Oxford Street or catch a West End show.

Top Attractions

Eating and drinking

From traditional English pubs to fine dining experiences, Essex is a great place to go for food. The vast coastline means that there is plenty of fresh seafood to enjoy, while the proximity to London ensures there is a great mix of tasty cuisines from around the world. You definitely won't struggle to find an eatery that fits your budget wherever you're staying Essex.

Things to do

There are so many activities to choose from while staying in Essex, no matter when you're there or who you're travelling with. Colchester Zoo is a great day out for all the family, with more than 260 animal species and beautiful parkland, everyone is sure to have a fantastic time.

For a bit of the county's history, head to Central Museum and Planetarium, which has a huge range of exhibition types to check out.


You'll find no shortage of sightseeing opportunities across Essex, so you'll be spoilt for choice. The Romans, Saxons and Normans all left their mark on the county and there are plenty of castles and structures to prove it. Of course, you should also visit some of the stately homes, such as Layer Marney Tower and Audley End House and Gardens.