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Experience excellent customer service when you hire one of our top-notch cars in Bedford. Our cordial and professional team is ready to provide prompt assistance, making your journey to iconic landmarks like the Higgins Bedford Art Gallery and Museum remarkably seamless. In this picturesque region, driving one of our cars equals embarking on a stress-free voyage amidst excellent customer care.

Car Hire in Bedford

Uncover the charm of Bedford and beyond, with the freedom of your car.

City car on a picturesque Bedford road, wildflowers and stone-bridge backdrop

Welcome to Bedford, a historic market town nestled in the heart of the picturesque County of Bedfordshire. With a rich history dating back over a thousand years, this charming locale offers a wealth of experiences for visitors. Bedford is renowned for its beautiful riverside setting, stunning architecture, and diverse range of attractions. The town’s compact size and excellent road network make it an ideal starting point for exploring the wider region by car.

Beyond the town, the surrounding countryside offers a plethora of sites just a short drive away. Highlights include Wimpole Estate, a magnificent, centuries-old mansion with impressive gardens, and Forest of Marston Vale, a 61 square mile community forest. These sites can be easily reached within an hour’s drive, providing the perfect day trip opportunity.

Visitors looking for a longer journey can also take the car from Bedford to the world-famous Cambridge, home to the esteemed University of Cambridge and beautiful architectural marvels, only an hour's drive away. For a unique heritage experience, venture further to the city of Bath, home to the spectacular Roman Baths and exquisite Georgian architecture - a journey of around two and a half hours. With so many delights within easy driving distance, Bedford truly is a gateway to the best of Britain.

Car Hire in Bedford

Frequently Asked Questions

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

In Bedford, you can hire a car starting from £15 per day. However, rates vary greatly depending on the car model, duration of hire, and season. Always check the total cost, including any hidden charges, before finalising your booking.

2. What car model is most commonly hired in Bedford?

The most commonly hired car in Bedford is the compact car, due to narrow city roads and limited parking spaces. Compact cars are fuel-efficient, easy to park and ideal for city driving.

3. Where are the most popular locations to hire a car in Bedford?

The most popular locations to hire a car are Bedford city centre and Bedford train station. Car hire companies are also available at the Luton Airport.

4. Is there a 24-hour car pickup and drop-off service in Bedford?

Yes, several car hire companies in Bedford offer 24-hour car pickup and drop-off services. Please check with your chosen provider to confirm.

5. Is there a minimum hire period?

Most car hire companies in Bedford have a minimum hire period of 24 hours. However, short-term hire may also be available.

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

Typically, the minimum age to hire a car in Bedford is 21-25 years old, depending on the car hire company. However, drivers under 25 may be subject to additional fees and restrictions.

7. What documents do I need to hire a car in Bedford?

To hire a car in Bedford, you need a valid driver's licence, proof of identity (like a passport), and a credit card in your name. International travellers may also need an International Driving Permit.

8. When is the best time to visit Bedford by car?

The best time to visit Bedford by car is during the summer months. The weather is pleasant and the roads are generally clear, making it an ideal time for road trips.

9. What are the main airports in Bedford?

The closest main airports to Bedford are Luton Airport and Stansted Airport. Car hire services are available at both airports.

10. Can I pick up a car in Bedford and drop it off in another city?

Yes, most car hire companies offer one-way rentals. This allows you to pick up a car in Bedford and drop it off in another city. However, one-way rentals may incur additional charges.

User Experiences


Manchester – 18-12-2024. As a frequent car hire user, navigating through various services can sometimes be a nuisance. However, I found that this Bedford company surpassed my expectations. The booking process was conveniently fast and the price was affordable. No hidden costs, which was a great relief. The car was ready at the estimated pickup time and pristine. I quite Enjoyed a scenic drive along Great Ouse.


Bedford – 24-09-2024. Being a local, I was pleasantly surprised by the competitive prices of our home-grown car hire company. The vehicle was in excellent condition and the staff were charming. They were really aware of the historical spots around Bedfordshire, a wonderful personal touch.


Brighton – 02-06-2024. Great car, great service. The staff here are helpful and courteous. The car was clean and drove beautifully. I saved quite a lot by choosing this company. I certainly recommend it while visiting the picturesque Bedford.


Sheffield – 07-03-2024. The service at this location was a breath of fresh air. The team was personable and attentive. I was in Bedford for business, but the excellent drive through the countryside encapsulated the quintessential British charm. The price was reasonable too.


Edinburgh – 10-01-2024. My first experience with this Bedford car hire was immensely satisfactory. Smooth, efficient and affordable, everything you want from a car hire company. The car was incredibly comfortable, ideal for my social service visits around the countryside.


Belfast – 28-03-2023. It was an absolute pleasure hiring a car from this Bedford company. The car was immaculate and the process was fuss-free. Upon hearing my interest in Bedford's historic mills, the staff recommended a beautiful route. A car hire company that provides unparalleled local insights, Highly recommend.

Bedford Road Connections

Important Routes for Car Travel

  1. Bedford - London: A direct route via the A1 and A421. Distance approximately 102 km, with an estimated driving time of 2 hours. A1 offers more scenic route.
  2. Bedford - Birmingham: The M1 and M6 are the main roads for this 126 km route. Expect a travel time of around 2 hours, M1 usually has heavy traffic.
  3. Bedford - Cambridge: An easy 53km trip via A428, taking usually about an hour. Smooth ride with less traffic reported.
  4. Bedford - Oxford: This 63 km route goes along A428 and A34, taking about 1 and a half hours to complete. A34 is usually busy.
  5. Bedford - Milton Keynes: Just about 32 km away via the A421, it takes less than 30 minutes. A421 often has moderate to heavy traffic.
  6. Bedford - Northampton: This route is about 35 km, following the A428 and A45, typically taking about 40 minutes to an hour. It's commonly travelled for shopping trips.
  7. Bedford - Luton: Fairly short 33 km distance, following the M1, which is usually busy. Expect a travel time of around 30 - 45 minutes.

Bedford Driving FAQ

Essential Rules and Tips

1. Which side of the road should I drive on in Bedford?

In Bedford, like the rest of the United Kingdom, you should drive on the left-hand side of the road.

2. What are the common speed limits in Bedford?

Urban areas including Bedford typically have a speed limit of 30 mph. Outside built-up areas the speed limit is often 60 mph and on the motorways or dual carriageways, it's typically 70 mph.

3. Are there any licence requirements to drive in Bedford?

Yes, you should hold a valid full driver's licence from your home country. International drivers may also require an International Driving Permit, depending on their country of origin. Always check this before your trip.

4. How are the traffic conditions generally in Bedford?

Like any town, Bedford can get busy during peak morning and evening hours. Always plan extra time for your journey during these periods.

5. What should I expect regarding road tolls?

Tolls are not common in Bedford itself, however, there are some tolls on certain roads and bridges elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Be prepared to pay with either cash or card.

6. What are the typical driving rules I should follow in Bedford?

Besides staying on the left, you should also follow the speed limits strictly, use indicators when changing lanes and give way to vehicles from your right at roundabouts.

7. What should I know about driving on motorways?

Driving on motorways requires you to keep the left lane as much as possible. The right lanes are generally for overtaking.

8. Is it easy to find parking in Bedford?

Bedford has several car parks in the town centre, although it can get busy. Street parking is also available but check for any restrictions.

9. Are there any specific safety rules for driving in Bedford?

In addition to general driving rules, avoid driving in the bus lanes during their hours of operation and always look out for pedestrians and cyclists, especially at crossings.

10. Are there speed cameras in Bedford?

Yes, there are speed cameras in and around Bedford. Be aware of these and adhere to the speed limit strictly to avoid fines.

11. What if I do not understand the road signs?

Most UK road signs follow international standards. However, if you are not sure about any, we recommend studying the Highway Code before your trip.

12. What should I do in case of a breakdown in Bedford?

If your car breaks down, pull over safely, switch on your hazard lights and call your car hire company or roadside assistance service.

13. Are there any exceptions to the speed limits?

Yes, when driving a van or towing a trailer or caravan, speed limits are typically reduced. Always check the specific rules for your vehicle type.

14. What documents should I have when driving in Bedford?

You should have your driving licence, proof of insurance and vehicle registration documents while driving.

15. What happens if I commit a driving offence in Bedford?

A driving offence could result in fines, penalty points on your licence, or in severe cases, imprisonment. Always adhere to the local driving rules and regulations.

Bedford's Top Attractions

Explore Bedford Like a Pro

  1. Cardington Hangars: Visit these historically important airship hangars, a testament to Bedford's rich aviation history.
  2. Bedford Park: Ideal for a relaxing day spent among green lawns, colourful flowers and impressive Victorian features.
  3. The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum: Discover some amazing stories and artefacts linked to Bedford and its inhabitants.
  4. Priory Country Park: 360-acre greenspace perfect for picnics or strolls, offering stunning lake views and plentiful wildlife.
  5. Bromham Mill: Visit this restored watermill, complete with a nature reserve and delightful tea room.
  6. Bedford Embankment: Beautiful walk along the River Ouse, with lots of places to eat and drink nearby.
  7. Moot Hall: This 15-century market headquarters holds a significant role in Bedford’s economic heritage.
  8. St Mary's Church: A Grade I listed monumental church boasting Bedfordshire’s tallest spire.

Top Bedford Roadtrips

Driving routes for hired cars

  1. Bedford to Oxford: A lovely route of 62 km that crosses the picturesque landscape of the Bedfordshire and Oxfordshire countryside offering beautiful views.
  2. The Cotswolds Journey: Get in your hired car for a 145 km drive through some of the UK's most stunning countryside, passing through charming villages and market towns.
  3. Bedford to Cambridge: This route of 42 km offers a journey through the beauty of Cambridgeshire's flat landscapes and ends up at the iconic university city of Cambridge.
  4. Royal Triangle: Bedford-Windsor-Oxford. Enjoy a 160 km royal treat starting from Bedford to Windsor Castle and concluding at Oxford city.
  5. Bedford to London: A 102 km drive heading south from Bedford brings you to the bustling city of London with its countless attractions.
  6. The Grand Tour: Bedford-Cambridge-Ely-Peterborough. Make a 180 km loop around some of Eastern England's most beautiful cities. Get a taste of the rich history of the region.
  7. Bedford to Brighton: Drive approximately 167 km from Bedford to the award-winning coastline of Brighton. Enjoy the sea views and local attractions.