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Experience unrivaled customer service during your car hire process in Carlisle. Our dedicated staff goes the extra mile to ensure your comfort and satisfaction. Servicing you from the historic city centre to the picturesque Hadrian's Wall Country, we understand the unique beauty and adventure Carlisle offers, and we are committed to matching it with superior customer care.

Car Hire in Carlisle

An Introduction to Carlisle and its Surrounding Areas

City car amidst Carlisle's cityscape and Hadrian's Wall

Located at the confluence of the rivers Eden, Caldew and Petteril, stands Carlisle, a quintessential British city steeped in history and charm. Carlisle Castle, a 900-year-old fortress, provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and offers an insight into the tumultuous history of border warfare. The city is also home to the iconic Carlisle Cathedral which has been a cornerstone of the community for over 900 years.

Carlisle serves as the perfect base to explore the natural beauty of the Lake District and the Borders. A quick car journey of less than an hour to the south will see you in the Lake District National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site teeming with stunning lakes and sublime peaks. If you drive westward, you can explore the wild beauty of the Solway Coast, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Northward will take you across the border into enchanting Scotland. So, a hire car is a must to conveniently explore all that Carlisle and its environs have to offer.

A trip to Carlisle is incomplete without visiting the Roman Hadrian's Wall. A mere 16-minute drive from the city centre brings you to this pivotal point in British history, providing an accessible way to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site. From here, you can drive to the spectacular Lake District. Ensure to add these destinations into your car journey from Carlisle.

Car Hire Carlisle

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Costs can vary depending on the type of vehicle, period of hire and additional services, but on average it is around £30 per day.

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

Drivers often prefer compact and economical vehicles like the Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa. However, due to the scenic rural areas surrounding Carlisle, 4x4s are also in high demand for those planning outdoor adventures.

3. What are the popular locations to hire a car in Carlisle?

Most people hire cars from either Carlisle's city centre or Carlisle Lake District Airport, for easy access and convenience.

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

Most car hire companies in Carlisle offer this service. However, it's important to confirm with the individual company beforehand.

5. Is there a minimum rental period?

Yes, usually the minimum car hire period is 24 hours, but it can vary depending on the company's policy.

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

In general, drivers need to be at least 21 years old, however this may vary between companies and for certain types of vehicles.

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

You must present a valid driving license, proof of identity (passport) and proof of address. Any additional drivers must also present their driving licenses.

8. What is the best time of year to visit Carlisle by car?

The best times to visit Carlisle are during the spring and summer months, when the weather is generally mild and the rural areas are at their most picturesque.

9. What are the main airports in Carlisle?

Carlisle has one main airport, Carlisle Lake District Airport, located just a few miles from the city centre.

10. Can I pick up the car in Carlisle and drop it off in another city?

Yes, many car hire companies allow one-way rentals, but this may incur an additional fee.

Hire Reviews


Carlisle – 12-12-2024. As an experienced traveller, I've hired a variety of cars over the years, but I gotta say this company in Carlisle is exceptional. Fast, professional service, and a well-maintained car. Also, the lovely border city added to the experience. Price was fine for the quality provided. Will definitely use their service again. Cheers!


Carlisle – 07-07-2024. The whole experience was near flawless. The car was just what we needed to tour around lovely Carlisle. It was a perfect blend of top-notch service and fair pricing in a great location. The staff were warm and understanding. Easy hiring process, Highly recommended!


Carlisle – 24-04-2024. Renting from this company was a pleasure. Every aspect of the hire was fast and simple, and the car was in splendid condition. The staff were friendly, and the place itself is fantastic with the historical beauty of Carlisle. The cost was very reasonable for the top of the range car.


Carlisle – 14-02-2024. I hired a car here last month and I found the experience very satisfactory. I appreciated the quality of the car and the helpfulness of the staff. The price is right and the service is excellent. Added bonus? The beautiful Carlisle Castle is worth a visit.


Carlisle – 01-01-2024. Hired a car for a visit to the Lake District. The prices were competitive, the service was excellent - professional yet personable. The car was perfectly clean and ran smoothly. Definitely a smooth and enjoyable experience.


Carlisle – 07-12-2023. Rented from here while visiting the Carlisle Cathedral. The staff were delightful and the car was up to standard. The terms are straightforward and the prices fair. Great place to hire, made our trip so much better!

Essential Road Connections

Hire a car in Carlisle and explore

  1. Carlisle - Edinburgh: A 150 kilometre drive, taking about 2 hours mainly on the A7. Enjoy the smooth and scenic roads with great facilities en route.
  2. Carlisle - Glasgow: Glasgow is 197 kilometres away, usually a 2 hour and 30 minutes drive on the M74. This motorway offers good surface conditions.
  3. Carlisle - London: London is 500 kilometres away, an approximately 6-hour direct drive on the M6 and M1 with many service stations throughout.
  4. Carlisle - Manchester: A 2-hour drive spanning 160 kilometres mainly on the M6, known for its well-maintained condition.
  5. Carlisle - Newcastle: Drive for about 1 hour, covering a distance of 80 kilometres on the A69. Enjoy the easy and less crowded roads.
  6. Carlisle - Liverpool: Liverpool is about 180 kilometres away, with an estimated driving time of 2 hours and 30 minutes, mostly on the M6 with steady traffic flow.
  7. Carlisle - Leeds: Approximately 170 kilometres, a 2-hour journey mainly on the A65. The route is well sign-posted with several pit stops.

Carlisle Car Hire Sights

Top 8 Visitor Attractions Around Carlisle

  1. Carlisle Castle: A prominent landmark of Carlisle, offering rich history and stunning views.
  2. Carlisle Cathedral: This is an enduring symbol of Carlisle with a stunning stained-glass window.
  3. Tullie House Museum: Provides an intriguing insight into the history of Carlisle and its artefacts.
  4. Bitts Park: Perfect spot for relaxation or family activities with a beautiful scenic setting.
  5. Roman Frontier Gallery: Displays collections from the Roman era located in Tullie House.
  6. Caldew Riverside Walk: Enjoy a peaceful riverside walk and experience the wildlife.
  7. Watchtree Nature Reserve: Take a car ride to this beautiful reserve to witness a wide variety of wildlife.
  8. Walby Farm Park: A brilliant day out for families with enjoyable outdoor and indoor activities.

Carlisle RoadTrip Routes

Unforgettable British Scenic Drives

  1. Carlisle to Lake District: A 50-km drive southwest leads to the stunning landscape and mirror-clear lakes of the UNESCO-listed Lake District National Park.
  2. Carlisle to Hadrian's Wall: A short 30-km journey northeast brings you to Hadrian's Wall; the Roman Empire's fascinating northernmost fortification.
  3. Carlisle to the Scottish Borders: A 75-km drive north takes you to the picturesque rolling hills and charming villages of the Scottish Borders.
  4. Carlisle to Lancaster: Heading 90 km south leads to the historic Roman city of Lancaster, showcasing a wealth of historic landmarks and beautiful coastal scenery.
  5. Carlisle to Northumberland: A 115-km journey east introduces you to glorious beaches and sprawling countryside of Northumberland.
  6. Carlisle to Glasgow: A 150-km drive north-west takes you to the vibrant city of Glasgow with its rich history, stunning architecture and lively nightlife.
  7. Carlisle to Yorkshire Dales: A 125 km southwards journey takes you to the great outdoors of the Yorkshire Dales, known for its rolling hills, valleys, and serene beauty.


Driving in Carlisle

Essential Driving Information

1. What is the speed limit in Carlisle?

The speed limit in Carlisle operates on a tiered system. Built-up areas are usually 30 mph, single carriageways 60 mph, and dual carriageways and motorways 70 mph. Always pay attention to road signs as speed limits can vary.

2. Do I need a driving licence to drive in Carlisle?

Yes, you must have a valid driving licence to operate a car in Carlisle. If you are visiting from abroad, you might also need an International Driving Permit.

3. Are there any toll roads in Carlisle?

No, you won’t encounter any toll roads in Carlisle, or in the region of Cumbria.

4. Are there many speed cameras in Carlisle?

There are some fixed speed cameras in Carlisle. Drivers should always adhere to the speed limits to ensure their own safety and the safety of other road users.

5. What side of the road do you drive on in Carlisle?

In Carlisle, as in the rest of the UK, you should drive on the left-hand side of the road.

6. Can I use my foreign driving licence in Carlisle?

Yes, visitors are permitted to use their foreign licences to drive a car in Carlisle. However, be sure to check the specific requirements before you travel as you might need an International Driving Permit in some cases.

7. Are there any specific driving rules in Carlisle?

The driving rules in Carlisle are consistent with the rest of the UK. Drivers must give way to the right at roundabouts, follow traffic signs and signals, and drive on the left side of the road.

8. Is navigating traffic difficult in Carlisle?

Carlisle is not a large city and generally the traffic is quite manageable. However, during peak hours, there may be more traffic than usual.

9. Are there any safety guidelines for driving a car in Carlisle?

Yes, safety is paramount when driving a car in Carlisle. Seat belts must be worn, adhering to speed limits is crucial, distracted driving is strictly forbidden, and obeying all traffic signs, rules and regulations is mandatory.

10. Are there any special requirements for hiring a car in Carlisle?

To hire a car in Carlisle, you must have a valid driving licence, be at least 21 years old, and often need a credit card for the deposit. Regulations may vary, so check with your car hire company.

11. How can I find out about any driving restrictions in Carlisle?

Any information on driving restrictions in Carlisle can be found on the official UK Government website.

12. Are there pedestrian zones in Carlisle?

Yes, there are pedestrian zones in Carlisle city centre. These areas are clearly signposted and vehicles are usually prohibited.

13. Is parking easy to find in Carlisle?

Carlisle boasts numerous public car parks. Be sure to check parking restrictions to avoid penalties.

14. Are there any unusual driving laws in Carlisle?

Driving laws in Carlisle are consistent with the rest of the UK and there are no unusual regulations to note.

15. Is rush hour a problem in Carlisle?

As in any city, the beginning and end of the work day can see an increase in traffic. Plan your trips to avoid peak times where possible.