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Experience unrivalled customer service with us, your ideal car hire company in County Down. Our dedicated team guarantees seamless booking and journeying to great destinations like the Mourne Mountains. We are proud to meet the unique needs of our customers; just part of why we're County Down’s preferred car hire choice.

Car Hire in County Down

Explore nature's beauty, historical jewels and architectural wonders of County Down by car

City car on winding road, serene County Down landscape, sheep and stone walls, captivating sunrise

Welcome to County Down, one of the six historical counties of Northern Ireland. With its breath-taking mountains, verdant landscapes, and serene coastal towns, this county is a mecca for nature lovers. Driving a car is one of the best ways to immerse oneself in the sweeping beauty of this picturesque region. The Mournes Mountains and Strangford Lough are a sight to behold with their stark impressive beauty. Driving distances within the county are manageable, making it an ideal location for a scenic road trip.

A leisurely drive through the Mournes is a captivating escapade. Officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is visually impactful and provides ample opportunities for hiking and rock climbing. Moreover, the county’s capital, Downpatrick, is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. The Down Cathedral, believed to be the burial site of Saint Patrick, adds a spiritual touch to the journey. A 30-minute drive north from Downpatrick lies the charming seaside town of Newtownards, featuring the stunning Scrabo Tower, looming high over the lough.

Other sights not to miss on your drive include the Mount Stewart House and Gardens, a neo-classical heritage property near Newtownards. The world-class Botanic Gardens and the fascinating Ulster Museum located at the heart of Belfast are an hour away by car. With miles of backroads through idyllic country landscapes, yet remaining accessible from the major cities, County Down offers something for everyone.

Car Hire FAQ in County Down

Informative Q&A

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

The cost of car hire in County Down varies depending on the type of car, duration of hire, and the season. On average, prices start from £20 per day for a small car.

2. What car models are most popular to hire in County Down?

In County Down, compact and economy cars, such as the Ford Fiesta, are in high demand due to their suitability for the narrow and winding country roads.

3. What are the most popular locations for car hire in County Down?

Motorists often hire cars at central locations such as Bangor, Newry, and Newtownards, and at Belfast International Airport.

4. Is there a round-the-clock car pick-up and drop-off service?

Most car hire companies in County Down offer 24-hour pick-up and drop-off services, although this may depend on the specific location.

5. Is there a minimum rental period?

Yes, the minimum car hire period in County Down is typically 24 hours.

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

You must be at least 21 years old to hire a car in County Down, although this can vary depending on the car hire company.

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

To hire a car in County Down you need a full, valid driving licence and a credit or debit card in the driver's name. International customers may also need to present a valid passport.

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

County Down is beautiful year-round, but the most popular times to visit by car are during the spring and summer months when the weather is more predictable.

9. What are the main airports in County Down?

The main airports serving County Down are Belfast International Airport and George Best Belfast City Airport.

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

Yes, most car hire companies offer this service, known as a 'one-way' hire. However, this may involve an extra charge.

Car Hire Reviews


Bangor, County Down – 19-01-2024. Stumbled upon their services when I was in dire need of a reliable car. I was really impressed by their wide range of cars and the top-notch condition they were all in. The staff went above and beyond in identifying the car that would fit my needs. The whole process was smooth and I was driving off in my hired car in no time. The price was quite reasonable, considering the quality of service.


Newtownards, County Down – 10-10-2023. Charming staff and highly efficient service. I was stunned at how seamlessly they handled everything, from making the reservation to returning the car. Their attention to detail is commendable. The car was clean, fuel-efficient, and perfect for the scenic drives around County Down. The hire price was fair and completely justified by the quality of service.


Downpatrick, County Down – 20-09-2023. I've hired cars around the world and these folks are top-tier. Had to hire a car for a week-long trip and even though I was a bit late with my reservation, they accommodated me with no issues. The vehicle was in great condition and the customer service was second to none. If I'm ever in County Down again, this will be my go-to car hire service.


Banbridge, County Down – 12-08-2023. Never hired a car before but they made the process so easy. Comfortable, clean, and definitely worth the price. I was able to explore the treasures of County Down at ease! The staff were so helpful and even gave me advice on the best local spots to visit. Couldn't have asked for more!


Holywood, County Down – 02-02-2023. I’ve dealt with other car hire places over the years, but this company raises the bar to a new level. Absolutely impeccable service. They seamlessly handled my reservation and the car was well-maintained and clean. One of the most reasonably priced car hires out there. Made my trip around County Down even more memorable.


Comber, County Down – 02-01-2023. I hired a car for a weekend trip to County Down and was very pleased with the service. The car was spotless, the booking process was straightforward, and the staff was incredibly helpful. Despite initial reservations about driving in a new area, I found it to be a stress-free experience thanks to the quality of the hired car.

County Down Cities

Exploring the charm of Northern Ireland

  1. Bangor: A bustling resort town known for its marina, it has the best parks and gardens.
  2. Newry: It's one of Northern Ireland's oldest towns, with a rich monastic heritage.
  3. Downpatrick: As the burial place of Saint Patrick, it's a significant site in Ireland's Christian history.
  4. Newtownards: Known for its rich farmland and the stunning Scrabo Tower, a famous landmark.
  5. Ballynahinch: Famous for its market place and its scenic views along the Ballynahinch River.
  6. Comber: Known for its potato farming, this town is also the birthplace of Antarctic explorer, Thomas Andrews.
  7. Holywood: This city, known for its annual Jazz and Blues Festival, also has some car hire services available.

Discover County Down

Key Road Connections for Car Hire

  1. Newry - Belfast: Covering approximately 56km, with an estimated drive time of 50min on the A1 and M1. The M1 is a dual carriageway, with excellent road conditions, and offers picturesque views of Northern Ireland.
  2. Bangor - Giants Causeway: A scenic 131km drive, taking around 2 hours via the A2 coastal route. Enjoy coastal views and quaint towns along the way.
  3. Downpatrick - Armagh: A 67km journey via the A25 and A28 taking about 1 hour 20 min. You will travel through rolling landscapes and agricultural views.
  4. Comber - Fermanagh Lakelands: This is a 148km drive via the A4 and M1, taking around 2 hours 30 min. Travel in comfort on the motorway while enjoying the country views.
  5. Newtownards - Portrush: A pleasing coastal 148km drive on the A2 taking approximately 2 hours 25 min. Reward yourself with delightful scenic views all along.
  6. Downpatrick - Newgrange: Travel 102km in about 1 hour 40 min via the A1 and M1 to reach this World Heritage Site.
  7. Bangor - Mourne Mountains: A quaint 54km via the A2 and A24 taking approximately 1 hour 15 min. The A24 is a well-maintained road that leads straight into the heart of the Mourne Mountains.

Driving in County Down

Essential Details and Guidelines

1. What side of the road do you drive on in County Down?

In County Down, like the rest of the UK, you drive on the left side of the road.

2. What are the usual speed limits in County Down?

In built up areas the speed limit is typically 30mph. On single carriageway roads it's usually 60mph and on dual carriageways and motorways it's generally 70mph.

3. Are there many speed cameras in County Down?

Yes, there is a fair number of speed cameras in County Down, both fixed and mobile. It’s always important to observe and stick to the speed limits.

4. Do I need a specific driving licence in County Down?

If you have a valid licence from any European Union country you can drive in the UK. Other international licences may also be acceptable or an International Driving Permit might be required.

5. Are there many service stations in County Down?

There are plenty of service stations throughout County Down where you can refuel, buy supplies or rest.

6. Are there many toll roads in County Down?

Currently, there are no toll roads in Northern Ireland, including County Down.

7. What are the key driving rules in County Down?

Driving is on the left side, seat belts must be worn, and adhere to speed limits. Handheld device usage is against the law while driving.

8. Is parking easy in County Down?

Parking availability can vary. Larger towns and cities have dedicated car parks and some street parking. Always check local parking restrictions and signage.

9. What to do if my car breaks down?

If your hired car breaks down, contact your car hire company. They should provide assistance as part of your hire agreement.

10. What are the penalties for speeding?

Penalties can be severe for speeding, including fines and penalty points added to your driving record. Serious offenses can result in court action.

11. How’s the condition of roads in County Down?

Roads in County Down are generally well-maintained. Rural roads can be narrow and winding. Extra care is advised, mainly under wet or icy conditions.

12. What are typical road signs in County Down?

Ireland uses international traffic signs but also unique ones like warning signs being yellow and diamond-shaped. Familiarise yourself with the UK traffic signs before your journey.

13. Can I drive my hire car into another country?

Some car hire companies may allow you to drive their cars outside of the UK but this should be clarified in the rental agreement.

14. How to act in case of an accident?

Ensure everybody is safe, call the police if necessary, exchange details with any other parties involved, and contact your rental company for further instructions.

15. What if I get a parking ticket?

If you receive a parking ticket whilst in a hire car, the fine will usually go to the rental company and they will charge it to your card, potentially with an additional administrative charge.

County Down Gems

Top Attractions for Car Tourists

  1. Mourne Mountains: Imposing mountain range, boasting the highest peak in Northern Ireland - Slieve Donard.
  2. Mount Stewart: A fascinating 18th century house and garden, reflecting the lifestyle of the Londonderry family.
  3. Strangford Lough: The largest sea lough in the British Isles, it's a wildlife haven with beautiful islands and shores.
  4. National Trust - Rowallane Garden: Experience beautiful woodland and stunning wildflower meadows in this historical garden.
  5. St. Patrick's Visitor Centre: Learn about the patron saint of Ireland at this modern interactive exhibition centre in Downpatrick.
  6. Tollymore Forest Park: Enjoy mesmerizing views, walking trails, a river and bridges at this outdoor location.
  7. Newcastle Beach: A beautiful sandy beach nestled at the foot of the Mournes, ideal for a family day out.
  8. Ulster Folk Museum: Explore traditional rural life in Ulster, including crafts, trades and farming techniques of the 1900s.

Down County Road Trips

Best routes for a memorable drive

  1. Belfast to Mourne Mountains: This 50km drive leads you from the city of Belfast to the stunning Mourne Mountains, with the seascape of Strangford Lough on the way.
  2. Strangford Lough Circuit: A 150km loop, takes in quaint villages, historic sites like Down Cathedral, and the remarkable wildlife of Strangford Lough nature reserve.
  3. Down Coastal Route: This 125km route takes in the picturesque coastal villages of Millisle and Ballywalter and the bustling harbour town of Newcastle.
  4. Newcastle to Spelga Dam: A 19km drive offering breathtaking views of the Mourne Mountains, tranquil reservoirs and the history-rich Silent Valley.
  5. Ballynahinch to Downpatrick: Travel the 16km from the historic market town of Ballynahinch to Downpatrick, a vibrant town reputed to be Saint Patrick’s final resting place.
  6. Ardglass to Killough: A 17km coastal route offering majestic views of the Irish Sea and the quaint charms of Ardglass and Killough.
  7. Bangor to Donaghadee: A 16km coastal drive for a leisure look at the stunning North Down coastline, featuring the popular seaside resort of Bangor and charming Donaghadee.