Car Hire in Barnstaple | Book at Unbeatable Prices

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Our car hire service in Barnstaple believe in giving the best customer service. We are always here to help, from assisting you with your booking to suggesting beautiful destinations such as Exmoor National Park. Discover the uniqueness of North Devon with our dedicated team providing reliable service.

Car Hire in Barnstaple

Historic sites, scenic drives, and spectacular countryside - Barnstaple offers it all.

City car in Barnstaple with Pannier market, clock tower, river Taw and apple blossoms

With a rich history that dates back more than a thousand years, Barnstaple is the oldest and largest town in North Devon, England. Famous for its quintessentially English market town charm, Barnstaple boasts a mixture of notable architectural styles, pride of place being its stunning 13th-century bridge and the traditional Pannier Market. If you’re seeking a slice of authentic British culture, Barnstaple’s blend of history, tradition, and natural beauty makes it a must-visit.

When it comes to sightseeing, pick up your car hire in Barnstaple and make your way to some of the region’s most notable attractions. The imposing Exmoor National Park, just a 30-minute drive from the town centre, offers unspoilt landscapes and challenging hiking trails. Within 10 miles to the north, you'll encounter the golden sandy beaches of Woolacombe, rated one of the top beaches in the UK.

Or why not take an hour drive down to the enchanting village of Clovelly? Step back in time as you walk down its steep, cobbled main street towards a picturesque harbour. Then, return to Barnstaple, perhaps stopping at RHS Garden Rosemoor on the way, a pleasurable 40-minute drive from Barnstaple. Here you can marvel at the intoxicating display of colour and fragrance from its wide variety of stunning floral collections. A trip to Barnstaple offers a perfect balance of seaside, country and historic charm - all easily accessible by car.

Car Hire in Barnstaple

Your Questions Answered

1. How much does it cost to hire a car in Barnstaple?

Rates for car hire in Barnstaple can vary significantly depending on key factors such as the duration of hire, the car model chosen and the time of year. Generally, hire prices can start from as low as £30 a day for economy cars and can go up to £75 a day for luxury options.

2. What car model is most frequently hired in Barnstaple?

Given the charming narrow lanes in Barnstaple and the abundant nature trails surrounding the area, smaller and compact cars like the Ford Fiesta are often ideal and thus, extensively hired. These cars offer better manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency.

3. What are popular pick-up locations in Barnstaple for car hire?

Most customers choose to pick up their hire cars at central locations like the Barnstaple railway station or at main car hire offices located along the Exeter road. There are also options to pick up at Exeter Airport or Bristol Airport.

4. Is there a 24-hour pick-up and drop-off service available?

Yes, many car hire companies in Barnstaple offer a 24-hour pick-up and drop-off service. However, this feature might incur an extra charge and it is always a good idea to check the specifics with the hire company.

5. What is the minimum hire period?

The minimum hire period often depends on the car hire company, but it’s usually 24 hours. Some companies also provide hourly hire for short-term needs.

6. What is the minimum age requirement to hire a car in Barnstaple?

Most car hire companies in Barnstaple require drivers to be at least 21 years old. However, drivers under 25 may face some restrictions and additional charges known as the 'young driver surcharge'.

7. What documents do I need to hire or drive a car in Barnstaple?

To hire a car in Barnstaple, you will need a full, valid driving licence and a credit card in the same name. International visitors may also need an International Driving Permit.

8. When is the best time of year to visit Barnstaple by car?

The best time to visit Barnstaple by car is during summer months (June to September) when the weather is at its finest. This makes it perfect for scenic drives along the North Devon coastline.

9. Which airports are closest to Barnstaple?

The most accessible airports to Barnstaple include Exeter Airport, Bristol Airport, and Cardiff Airport, being 68, 87 and 110 miles away respectively.

10. Can I hire a car in Barnstaple and drop it off in another city?

Yes, most car hire companies in Barnstaple offer the option to pick up a car in one location and drop it off in another. This is known as one-way hire and may require an additional fee.

Car Hire Reviews


Barnstaple – 30-03-2026. As a frequent traveller, I've hired cars from various companies. I have to say, this Barnstaple-based hire service tops them all. The car was in impeccable condition – it genuinely felt like I was driving a brand-new car right off the showroom floor! The entire process was seamless, and the prices were surprisingly reasonable. I’ll definitely be returning here for my future travels.


Barnstaple – 15-02-2025. Incredibly impressed with the friendly and efficient service. I hired a car for my visit to the beautiful North Devon coast and was not disappointed. The car was not only clean and comfortable but also offered ample fuel efficiency. The price was affordable, which is just delightful! Fully recommending them.


Barnstaple – 02-06-2024. Having been a resident of Barnstaple for over 40 years, I've seen many car hire businesses come and go. I can honestly say, though, this business is here to stay. They offer the rare mix of friendly local service and professionalism that multinational chains do. The car I hired performed flawlessly during my family weekend trip. The cherry on top was the competitive pricing.


Barnstaple – 22-12-2024. I usually don't leave reviews, but this car hire company in Barnstaple certainly deserves one! A smooth booking process, friendly staff, and a wonderful car - what more could you ask for? Travelling around Exmoor National Park was a delight, thanks to the comfortable car they provided. Their prices are reasonable without compromising the service quality.


Barnstaple – 14-09-2024. Hiring a car from this company was indeed a pleasant experience. The fleet of cars they offer is impressive, and the one I got was perfect for navigating through the narrow lanes of Barnstaple. The best part? They offered a GPS system at no extra cost! Quite appreciated their transparent pricing too.


Barnstaple – 01-01-2024. This fantastic car hire company has fast become my go-to when I visit my family in Barnstaple. The process is always stress-free, and the staff is incredibly accommodating. The car was in great condition, clean, and reliable. I could genuinely enjoy the scenic drives in lovely North Devon without any unease.

Barnstaple Road Connections

Explore Devon and beyond with these key road connections

  1. Barnstaple - Exeter: This 83km drive will take approximately 1 hour along the A377 road. The road is scenic and would offer a relaxed drive.
  2. Barnstaple - Bristol: A longer trip of 154km, taking around 2 hours via the M5 motorway. Be wary of traffic during peak hours.
  3. Barnstaple - Bideford: A short 16km, 20-minute trip mostly via the A39 road. It's a well-maintained route often used by locals and tourists alike.
  4. Barnstaple - Ilfracombe: This coastal drive takes about 30 minutes, covering 22km via the A361 road. Expect stunning sea views along your journey.
  5. Barnstaple - Plymouth: Expect a 2-hour drive along the A386 road, covering a distance of 88km. Road conditions are excellent, making for a pleasant drive.
  6. Barnstaple - London: This long-distance drive of 346km will take approximately 4 hours. The main route taken is the M5 and M4 highways; tolls apply.
  7. Barnstaple - Taunton: This 68km journey will take just over one hour mostly via the M5. The route is heavily used, so traffic is probable.

Barnstaple Driving Info

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the standard speed limit in Barnstaple?

The limit in built-up urban areas, including Barnstaple, is usually 30 miles per hour (mph), though some areas may have a 20mph limit. On single carriageway roads, it is typically 60mph, and on dual carriageways and motorways, it is 70mph.

2. Do I need an International Driving Permit to drive in Barnstaple?

If you have a full driving licence from an EU or EEA country, Switzerland, or another country that has reciprocal arrangements with the UK, you can drive in Barnstaple without an International Driving Permit.

3. Do exist speed cameras in Barnstaple?

Yes, speed cameras are widely used across the UK, including Barnstaple, to enforce speed laws.

4. Do I need to pay any tolls when driving in Barnstaple?

There are no toll roads in Barnstaple. However, some bridges and tunnels in the UK require tolls.

5. Are there specific driving rules I should be aware of in Barnstaple?

The Highway Code applies throughout the UK, which includes rules such as not driving in bus lanes during restricted hours, and giving way to buses pulling out of stops.

6. What are some general road safety tips when driving in Barnstaple?

Observe speed limits, don't use your mobile phone when driving, wear a seatbelt at all times and ensure you're familiar with the Highway Code.

7. How is the traffic in Barnstaple?

Like any city, Barnstaple can experience traffic congestion during peak times. It is advisable to plan your journey in advance and allow extra time.

8. On which side of the road do you drive in Barnstaple?

In Barnstaple, and throughout the UK, you must drive on the left-hand side of the road.

9. Are there any exceptions to the speed limit in Barnstaple?

Yes, if signposted, speed limits may sometimes be different due to roadworks or other changes. Always follow the signage.

10. What should I do if I get caught speeding in Barnstaple?

If caught speeding on camera in the UK, you will normally be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and a request to identify the driver, which you need to respond to within 28 days.

11. What documents do I need to carry when driving in Barnstaple?

You should always carry your driving licence, along with your hire contract if you're driving a hire car. You're not required to carry insurance or vehicle registration documents, as these are held electronically.

12. Are there any specific rules for driving on motorways in Barnstaple?

The same rules apply as elsewhere in the UK: keep left unless overtaking, observe speed limits, and don't stop except in emergencies.

13. Can I park my car anywhere in Barnstaple?

No, parking restrictions apply in many areas. Always check signage for restrictions before parking your car.

14. Is there anything particular about driving through roundabouts in Barnstaple?

Roundabouts are common in Barnstaple. When approaching, you should give way to traffic on your right and follow the roundabout in a clockwise direction.

15. Can I use a GPS navigator while driving in Barnstaple?

Yes, you can use a GPS navigator or a smartphone for directions. However, it's important to input your destination before you start travelling to avoid distractions.

Barnstaple Must-Sees

Top 8 Attractions near Barnstaple to visit by car

  1. Exmoor National Park: Majestic landscapes with variety of wildlife. Ideal for nature lovers and adventurers.
  2. Arlington Court: Historical National Trust property, featuring a Regency house and extensive gardens.
  3. Barnstaple Heritage Centre: Offers insightful glimpses into the town’s rich past.
  4. Marwood Hill Gardens: Beautiful garden with diverse flora, including rare species.
  5. Queen's Theatre: Enjoy high-quality performances in this modern, comfortable venue.
  6. North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: Explore unspoilt coastal landscapes with picturesque views.
  7. Broomhill Sculpture Garden: Unique outdoor art gallery boasting an impressive collection.
  8. North Devon Hawk Walks: Experience falconry and bird-of-prey handling sessions in a scenic setting.

Explore Barnstaple

Top Road Trips to Explore

  1. Barnstaple to Exmoor: The 60.5 km route from Barnstaple to Exmoor offers breathtaking views of the Exmoor National Park. A must visit for nature lovers.
  2. Atlantic Highway: Stretching for 275 km, the Atlantic Highway offers stunning coastal views. An ideal route for those who enjoy seaside landscapes.
  3. Barnstaple to Ilfracombe: This 19.7 km journey is ideal for those looking for a shorter trip. Ilfracombe is a charming seaside resort with a picturesque harbour.
  4. Barnstaple to Clovelly: At 32 km, this route leads to the unique, privately owned village of Clovelly. Famous for its cobbled, traffic-free streets.
  5. Barnstaple to Glastonbury: Enjoy a 160 km journey to Glastonbury, a town steeped in history and legends. Home to the globally-known Glastonbury Festival.
  6. South West Coast Path: Stretching over 1000 km, this route offers views across the Cornish countryside. Start from Barnstaple and set your own endpoint.
  7. Barnstaple to Plymouth: Travel 98 km to the maritime city of Plymouth, steeped in seafaring history. Visit the iconic Plymouth Hoe for panoramic views.