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Car hire in Exeter

Hiring a car in Exeter

Exeter is unlike other cities in the UK, primarily because it feels more like a large town. Set in the heart of picturesque Devon, the city is beautifully historic, featuring cobbled streets and a mix of buildings ranging from Medieval times. Recent years have seen a revamp of the city centre take place, turning it into a shopping haven and resulting in some great eateries springing up.

It isn't just the city itself that is worth a visit, the surrounding areas are incredibly varied, offering something for everyone and making it worth investing in a hire car.

What you need to know

There are a number of car hire companies available in Exeter, ensuring you'll be able to find the right vehicle for you. To make it easier to get the best deal and to make sure you aren't hit by hidden costs, use our website to find your hire car. Not only do Holiday Autos ensure the best price, you'll also get around the clock support and free cancellation in case your plans change. This is why millions of people choose to book their hire cars with us every year.

Where to pick up your car

You've got a few options when it comes to collecting your hire car in Exeter, ensuring you can pick up your vehicle in the best location for you. If you're flying into the city, you can collect your hire at Exeter International Airport (EXT). You'll find the car hire desks in the arrivals hall of the terminal building, with the pick-up point located within walking distance.

For those arriving by train, some car hire companies offer collection from St David's Station, which is located in the city. You can also arrange to pick up your car from other locations in Exeter depending on the company you choose.

Best Car Hire Companies Exeter


Car Hire Reviews Exeter

  • “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

Staying in Exeter means that there is literally every type of attraction you could think of close by. As well as the food and shopping on offer in the city centre, you can head further afield for walks on the moors or to one of the gorgeous red sand beaches in the area. Each town around Exeter has its own individual charm that will have you fall in love with Devon as a whole and not just the city. Hiring a car ensures you see all of this and fully appreciate what this area of England has to offer.

Nearby Exeter

While Exeter is a busy and bustling city, you'll encounter a very different atmosphere just 30 minutes down the A38. Dartmoor National Park is a hugely iconic moor that has featured throughout literature - including Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles - and film. While some tours are hard to reach and others are closed off for safety reasons, there is still miles to be discovered. Just remember to take sturdy walking shoes with you and to avoid wandering too far from your car unless you know where you're going.

If you'd rather spend a day at the seaside, you really can't beat the beach in Teignmouth. The historic port town has a lot of charm and offers a broad stretch of russet red sand that is unlike anywhere else. If you don't fancy braving the water, you can grab an ice cream and walk along the seafront or play some classic arcade games on the pier. There are also brilliant restaurants in the town, offering freshly caught local seafood.

Longer drives

Although the city has some great historic sites of its own, you can't visit Devon without heading to one of the most picturesque castles in the UK. Dartmouth Castle is located at the narrow entrance to the Dart Estuary, perched at the water's edge and offering an amazing view. It includes a number of defences built at different times. The fortress isn't free to enter, but it is definitely worth the hour-long trip down the A38.

For an activity-filled day during the summer months, you can't beat the local outdoor waterpark, one of the largest in the UK. Featuring twisting slides suitable for all daredevils and located right on the beach at Goodrington, this is a great family day out when the sun is shining. You can reach the park in 40 minutes from Exeter's centre by taking the A380 past Torquay.

Top attractions to visit in Exeter

It's easy to see why Exeter is referred to as the heart of Devon, especially if you make the most of car hire to visit some of the city's top attractions.

Eating and drinking

There are so many options when it comes to restaurants in Exeter that you really will be spoilt for choice. From the big names that you'll recognise from other areas in the UK to the local institutions that are hidden down the ancient winding streets, there is great food to be had. If you don't want a full meal, grab a freshly-baked Devonshire pasty on the go or stop off for afternoon tea and enjoy scones with locally made jam and clotted cream. You also can't visit Devon without trying some local ice cream, no matter what the weather.

Things to do

Shopaholics will feel right at home in Exeter, with a range of big name stores and cute local shops to choose from. Explore all the smaller paths to find some hidden gems and keep an eye out for special markets close to the cathedral. For a spot of history, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum is a must. It has exhibitions that will entrance all ages and is a great choice for a rainy day.


You can't really go to Exeter without heading to the stunning cathedral. The amazing gothic cathedral is open for worship and can also be visited throughout the day for a small donation. If the weather is good, the green area surrounding the building is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic or a cup of coffee from one of the nearby cafes. It isn't just above ground that is worth seeing in the city, as you can also explore the medieval underground passages that run beneath Exeter's high street. While not suitable for those who get claustrophobic, the passages offer an interesting insight into the area's past.


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