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Experience exceptional customer service during your hire journey in Bournemouth. Our dedicated team provides assistance, ensuring a seamless process from pick up to drop off. Navigate along the picturesque Jurassic Coast or embrace the vibrant nightlife. Our understanding of Bournemouth's unique appeal aids in tailoring advice to enhance your driving experience.

Car Hire in Bournemouth

Exploring Bournemouth and its Spectacular Surroundings by Car

City car with surfboard, colourful kite, seagulls, Bournemouth Pier

Welcoming you to Bournemouth, an invigorating city offering a seamless blend of urban sophistication and coastal charm nestled in the South East of England. Situated in Dorset, Bournemouth boasts seven miles of sandy beaches, beautiful parks and gardens, as well as a vast array of shops and restaurants to enjoy. A stone’s throw away from the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bournemouth presents visitors a unique opportunity to thrive in the vitality of the city and retreat to the serenity of the coast.

You can take a break from the bustling city and embark on an adventure by car to the Dorset's captivating countryside. The scenic drive to Poole, which is just a 30-minutes' drive away from Bournemouth, offers a chance to witness a naturally beautiful harbour and explore Brownsea Island. An extended journey southwards to the Isle of Wight, will allow you to admire marvellous beaches and miles of spectacular coastline, at just a ferry ride distance from the mainland.

For those with a penchant for history, the nearby town of Salisbury, about 40 minutes' drive inland, is home to the famous Salisbury Cathedral and the intriguing mystery of Stonehenge, just a 30 minutes' journey by car from Salisbury, one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world. Equally enthralling is a drive to Bath, with its Roman baths and Georgian architecture, found just one and a half hours away by car.

Car Hire FAQs

Bournemouth Edition

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

Car hire prices in Bournemouth can vary based on different factors, such as the type of car, hire duration, time of the year, and the car hire company. Generally, you can expect to pay between £20 and £70 per day. Always compare prices before making a booking.

2. Which car model is most in demand for hire in Bournemouth?

Compact cars or economy cars like the Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Golf are typically in high demand. These cars are ideal for Bournemouth's narrow and busy streets.

3. What are the most popular places to pick up a rental car in Bournemouth?

Most people prefer to pick up their rental cars at Bournemouth Airport, because it is convenient. Other popular locations include Bournemouth railway station and various car hire offices spread across the city.

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

Yes, most car hire services in Bournemouth offer 24-hour pick-up and drop-off. However, this can depend on the specific company and location, so it's important to check in advance.

5. Is there a minimum hire period?

Yes, typically most car hire companies have a minimum hire period of 24 hours.

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

The minimum age to hire a car in Bournemouth is typically 21 years, although this can vary between car hire companies. Additionally, drivers under 25 may have to pay a young driver surcharge.

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

To hire a car in Bournemouth, you will need a valid driving licence, credit card for the deposit, and proof of identity and address.

8. What is the best time to visit Bournemouth by car?

The best time to visit Bournemouth by car is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is warm, and you can enjoy the beach, countryside, and various festivals the city offers.

9. What are the main airports in Bournemouth?

Bournemouth Airport is the primary airport serving the city. However, Southampton Airport and Bristol Airport are also nearby and may be convenient depending on your travel plans.

10. Can I pick up the car in Bournemouth and return it in another city?

Yes, most car hire companies offer one-way rentals. However, this will typically incur a one-way fee, and the charges can vary significantly between companies, so it's advisable to check beforehand.

Car Hire Reviews


Bournemouth – 15-03-2024. The staffs were refreshing honest and non-pressuring, a rarity in this business. I hired a Mini Cooper for a leisure trip to the New Forest - the car was a smooth ride and in excellent conditions. The coastal drive back to Bournemouth was a delight in the lovely car. Top-notch service.


Bournemouth – 18-01-2024. I'm a student studying in Bournemouth University and required a car for a day to visit the Jurassic coast. I received friendly, efficient service and the price was reasonable. Hired a comfortable Honda Civic that didn't hiccup once. Will certainly recommend to my university mates and will use again in the future.


Bournemouth – 28-12-2023. Recently retired, my wife and I decided to take a road trip around Dorset. We hired a car from this company at a competitive price. Should underscore the car’s cleanliness! Really enjoyed the hassle-free experience and the drive around the beautiful county.


Bournemouth – 23-08-2023. Came down to Bournemouth for a quick weekend getaway from Leeds. The car hired from this company made our visit extra special! The car was in great condition and it was an absolute breeze driving it to the stunning Bournemouth beach. Will definitely seek their services again.


Bournemouth – 16-05-2023. I needed a car for the school run and got one from this rental at a competitive price. Staff is friendly and transparent with no hidden charges. One of the best car hire services in Bournemouth. Excellent service.


Bournemouth – 02-01-2023. I never hired a car before and was really nervous, especially being over in Bournemouth for a conference. They helped me choose the perfect car, a cozy Fiat 500. Outstanding service and will definitely use again the next time I'm in Bournemouth!

Bournemouth Connections

Driving Distances and Routes

  1. Bournemouth - London: A 156km journey, taking approximately 2 hours 20 minutes via the M3. The roads are generally well maintained but prone to heavy traffic during rush hours.
  2. Bournemouth - Bath: A manageable 112km trip with a drive time of around 1 hour 35 minutes mainly via the A36. The roads are in excellent condition and offer picturesque views.
  3. Bournemouth - Brighton: A coastal trip of 141km lasting about 2 hours 10 minutes via the A27. Keep an eye out for congestion during peak times.
  4. Bournemouth - Oxford: Expect a 152km drive taking approximately 2 hours 15 minutes mainly on the A34. The route is mainly on dual carriageways and is well signposted.
  5. Bournemouth - Southampton: A shorter trip of 55km, taking just over 40 minutes on the M27. This is typically an easy drive with roads in good condition.
  6. Bournemouth - Portsmouth: A 98km journey generally taking around 1 hour 15 minutes via the A31. The roads are well maintained but can get busy during weekends.
  7. Bournemouth - Salisbury: A quick 51km trip with a driving time of approximately 50 minutes on the A338. It is recommended for first-time drivers thanks to its simplicity and clear signage.

Driving in Bournemouth

Common Questions & Concerns

1. On which side of the road should I drive in Bournemouth?

The United Kingdom, including Bournemouth, drives on the left side of the road.

2. What documents do I need to drive a car in Bournemouth?

You need a valid driving licence. Those who have a non-UK driving licence will also require an International Driving Permit if their licence is not in English.

3. What are the general speed limits in Bournemouth?

Urban areas like Bournemouth typically have a speed limit of 30 mph, but the limit can drop to 20 mph in school zones or residential areas. Faster roads like dual carriageways have a limit of 70 mph.

4. Are there speed cameras in Bournemouth and the rest of the country?

Yes, speed cameras are commonplace across the UK, including Bournemouth. Cameras are placed in various zones, and it's crucial to obey posted speed limits.

5. How common are toll roads in the UK and how is payment made?

Toll roads, bridges, and tunnels are not common in the UK. However, when encountering them, you typically pay at the toll booth via cash or card. Some tolls require pre or post-payment online.

6. Is parking readily available in Bournemouth?

Parking is generally available in Bournemouth. However, different areas have different parking rules and costs. It's advised to check in advance or look for signages when parking.

7. Are there congestion charges in Bournemouth?

No, congestion charges only apply in central London, not in Bournemouth.

8. Is road rage common in Bournemouth?

Road rage is not common, but it's recommended to always drive respectfully and safely to avoid conflicts.

9. Are UK road signs easily understandable for foreigners?

UK road signs are quite clear and follow international standards. However, it's recommended for tourists to familiarise themselves with UK road signs beforehand.

10. What should I know about zebra crossings in Bournemouth?

When pedestrians step onto a zebra crossing, drivers are required to give way.

11. Are there specific road rules for driving in Bournemouth?

Bournemouth follows the same road rules as the rest of the UK. These include not overtaking at a pedestrian crossing and following the posted speed limits.

12. Is there a minimum or maximum driving age in Bournemouth?

The minimum driving age in the UK is 17, there is no maximum driving age, but each driver must ensure they are fit to drive.

13. Are roads in Bournemouth generally in good condition?

Yes, major roads in Bournemouth and throughout the UK are typically well-maintained. However, some rural or minor roads may have potholes or rough surfaces.

14. Are there many traffic jams in Bournemouth?

Like any urban area, Bournemouth can experience traffic congestion, mainly during rush hour times in the morning and evening.

15. Can I drive in Bournemouth with a US driver's licence?

Yes, you can. US citizens can use their driving licence to drive in Bournemouth and the rest of the UK for up to 12 months from their last entry into the country.

Explore Bournemouth

Top 8 Must-see Attractions

  1. Bournemouth Beach: Famous for its seven miles of golden sands and crystal clear water.
  2. Bournemouth Pier: An iconic Victorian structure providing spectacular coastal views.
  3. Oceanarium: Offers a deep dive into the mysteries of ocean life from around the world.
  4. Lower Gardens: A beautiful English garden situated in the very heart of the city.
  5. Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum: An exquisite Victorian villa showcasing art from across the globe.
  6. Hengistbury Head Nature Reserve: Stunning heathland and woodland, rich in wildlife and prehistoric significance.
  7. The Square: Meeting point of the old and new town, perfect for shopping and dining.
  8. Compton Acres: Historic gardens offering a stunning array of exotic plants from around the world.

Bournemouth's Best Roadtrips

Discover Bournemouth and beyond by car

  1. The Jurassic Coast Drive: Starting from Bournemouth, this 260km route takes you through some of the UK's most dramatic coastal scenery, including the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Jurassic Coast.
  2. The New Forest Tour: A shorter trip at 60km, the New Forest offers beautiful countryside and wildlife, with plenty of pubs and tea rooms along the way for refreshments.
  3. The Mendip Hills Drive: This 90km drive takes you through the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with its stunning landscapes, historical sites and charming villages.
  4. The Cotswolds Circuit: This 170km route offers a taste of quintessential English countryside, while also providing the opportunity to visit the historic cities of Bath and Oxford.
  5. The South Downs Adventure: Starting in Bournemouth, this 215km drive leads you through the South Downs National Park, known for its rolling landscapes, picturesque villages and excellent wineries.
  6. The Cornish Cruising: A treasure trove of coastal views, this 500km drive features stunning sea views, quaint coastal villages and delicious local seafood along the coast of Cornwall.
  7. The Welsh Borderlands Road: At approximately 400km, this route along the Welsh border allows you to explore historical towns, medieval castles and the beautiful Welsh countryside.