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Our car hire service in Cumbria prides itself on exclusive customer service. Whether you're exploring the picturesque Lake District or experiencing the unique culture of Carlisle, our team is ready to help. Our dedicated 24/7 customer support aims at enhancing your journey, addressing concerns promptly and ensuring ultimate satisfaction.

Car Hire in Cumbria

Exploring Hidden Gems of the English Countryside by Car

City car cruising through vibrant Cumbrian landscape with daffodils

The delightful county of Cumbria beckons the discerning traveller to embark on an unforgettable journey brimming with heritage, scenic landscapes and charming villages. Cumbria, also home to the captivating Lake District National Park, is a befitting destination for explorations through winding paths and picturesque dales in a comfortable car. Hire a car and traverse with ease, as the quaint towns of Keswick, Kendal, and Carlisle are less than one hour’s drive from each other.

The journey would be incomplete without marveling at the natural splendors of the Lakes, such as Windermere, the largest lake in England. The stunning 10.5-mile long lake offers scenic Windermere Lake Cruises, which are a must-visit. Another noteworthy detour is the Hadrian’s Wall - a UNESCO World Heritage site and an emblem of the county's rich Roman history, which is an hour’s drive from Windermere.

Your car journey will also take you into the enchanting valleys of Cumbria. The tranquil Eden Valley is a delightful contrast to the rugged splendor of the Lake District, but equally rewarding with its charming villages, historic landmarks and abundant wildlife. For literary enthusiasts, a visit to Dove Cottage, the home of revered poet William Wordsworth, in Grasmere is highly recommended, which can be reached in less than an hour from the Eden Valley.

Car Hire in Cumbria

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The cost of car hire in Cumbria varies greatly. Factors such as the time of year, type of car and rental duration will affect the price. As a reference, you can expect to pay from £20 to £120 per day.

2. Which car model is in high demand for hire in Cumbria?

Many visitors prefer to hire compact cars in Cumbria due to the narrow country roads. However, 4x4 vehicles are also popular for navigating the more rugged terrain of the Lake District.

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

Popular car hire pick-up locations in Cumbria include the towns of Carlisle, Keswick, and Windermere, as well as Carlisle Lake District Airport.

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

Yes, though this service is not available at all locations and may be subject to additional fees. It is recommended to check with the car hire company directly.

5. Is there a minimum hire period?

Most car hire companies in Cumbria require a minimum rental period of one day.

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

The minimum age to hire a car in the UK, including Cumbria, is generally 21 years old, although this can vary among different companies.

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

To hire a car in Cumbria, you will need a valid driving license, proof of identity, proof of address and a method of payment. For non-UK residents, an international driving permit may be required.

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

The best time to visit Cumbria by car is during the summer months when the weather is more favourable for driving and exploring the outdoors.

9. What are the main airports in Cumbria?

The main airport in Cumbria is Carlisle Lake District Airport. There is also Manchester Airport, which is a 2-hour drive away.

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

Yes, many companies offer one-way car hire services. It is recommended to confirm the availability and any potential extra costs with the car hire company.

Customer Narratives

Theodore Owens

Carlisle – 02-01-2024. Exceptional car hire service from this Cumbrian company! Picked up a sturdy vehicle perfect for braving the Lake District's hilly terrain, all at a great value. Loved every minute of the adventure!

Elizabeth Darnell

Whitehaven – 11-10-2023. I'm partial to the many natural delights Cumbria has to offer and this car hire company has always enabled my wanderlust! Prices are decent, cars well-maintained. My go-to for road-tripping around the beautiful Lake District.

Iris Woolf

Penrith – 08-09-2023. Prompt service, clean cars and reasonable prices, what else can one ask for in a car hire company? They even included a complimentary guide on Cumbria's hidden gems. Highly satisfactory from beginning to end!

Norman Harper

Keswick – 12-08-2023. Amiable staff and impressive choice of vehicles. Cumbria's verdant landscapes were a pleasure to explore in the comfortable car we hired. Prices were modest considering the quality. Well worth the price.

Yusra Patel

Brampton – 21-07-2023. Car hire made easy! Swift process, attentive service, and a car equipped to tackle Cumbria's varied landscapes. Reasonable prices for such an efficient service. Would highly recommend.

Lewis Clark

Workington – 03-06-2023. Fuss-free car hire! Convenient location with diverse selection of cars. Made our Cumbrian expedition stress-free. Pricing was transparent with no hidden costs. Would hire from them again.

Cumbria City Guide

Discover the 7 most important cities of Cumbria

  1. Carlisle: Known as the Border City, Carlisle has a rich history and a stunning castle.
  2. Penrith: Penrith is a historic market town with numerous shops, cafes and restaurants.
  3. Workington: This town boasts impressive views of the Solway Firth and the opportunity to hire a vintage car.
  4. Whitehaven: It is a beautiful Georgian town on the west coast, blessed with a beautiful harbour.
  5. Kendal: Known as the gateway to the Lake District, Kendal is famous for Kendal Mint Cake.
  6. Barrow-in-Furness: An industrial powerhouse, this town is renowned for its shipbuilding industry.
  7. Cockermouth: Birthplace of poet William Wordsworth, this town has a vibrant cultural scene.

Cumbria Road Connections

Essential Driving Routes for Tourists in Cumbria

  1. Carlisle - Lake District: This 51 km route via A595 takes roughly 1 hour, providing a beautiful drive through rural highways.
  2. Penrith - Windermere: Spanning 48 km along A66 and A592, this journey offers an estimated drive time of 1 hour 30 minutes on captivating routes.
  3. Barrow-in-Furness - Ulverston: A 30 minute drive covering 21 km, is complemented by scenic views along the A590.
  4. Whitehaven - Cockermouth: This road trip on A595 runs for 25 km and usually takes about 30 minutes. The roads can be narrow and winding.
  5. Kendal - Hollgill: This 20 minute drive takes you through A6 for 13 km providing an intimate experience of the Cumbrian countryside.
  6. Workington - Maryport: This short 10 km drive along A596 can be completed in 15 minutes, making it a quick and handy route.
  7. Amble - Keswick: The 46 km trip via A66 and A591 can take up to 1 hour 20 minutes and features a blend of countryside and towns.

Drive in Cumbria

Common Queries

1. On what side of the road do you drive in Cumbria?

Like the rest of the United Kingdom, you drive on the left side of the road in Cumbria.

2. Do I need any special driving licence to drive a car in Cumbria?

If you're from the UK, you can drive with your standard UK driving licence. If you're from abroad, you'll need an international driving permit.

3. Are there many speed cameras in Cumbria?

Yes, there are a number of speed cameras in and around Cumbria to ensure that drivers adhere to the speed limits.

4. What is the speed limit in Cumbria?

Typically, the speed limit on motorways is 70 mph (112 km/h), on single carriageways it's 60 mph (97 km/h), in towns and cities it's usually 30 mph (48 km/h). Some residential areas may have a 20 mph (32 km/h) limit. Always pay attention to posted speed limit signs.

5. Are there many petrol stations in Cumbria?

Yes, Cumbria has ample petrol stations, especially on the main routes such as the M6.

6. Are there toll roads in Cumbria?

No, there are no toll roads in Cumbria. The closest toll to Cumbria is the M6 Toll, which is in the Midlands area.

7. What regulations should I be aware of when driving a car in Cumbria?

You should be aware of U-turn regulations, give way rules, and rules for roundabouts. Additionally, you're required to stop for emergency vehicles and school buses. Always pay close attention to all road signs and signals.

8. How accessible is roadside assistance in Cumbria?

There are several companies providing 24/7 roadside assistance throughout Cumbria. These can be reached with a simple phone call.

9. What are the road conditions usually like in Cumbria?

Cumbria's major routes such as the M6 are kept in good condition. However, due to the rural nature of the region, some minor roads may not be in perfect condition, especially in adverse weather.

10. Is there much traffic in Cumbria?

Traffic in Cumbria is usually light, but there can be congestion on the M6 and in larger towns during peak hours.

11. Are there particular routes in Cumbria I should avoid?

The Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass routes are very steep and narrow, and may not be suitable for inexperienced drivers or large vehicles.

12. Are there winter driving restrictions in Cumbria?

There are no specific restrictions, but some routes may become impassable after heavy snowfall. Always check weather conditions before travelling in winter.

13. Does Cumbria have any unusual driving rules?

No, driving rules in Cumbria adhere to the Highway Code used throughout the UK.

14. Are there plenty of car parks in Cumbria?

Yes, even in the smallest towns and villages, there is usually plenty of parking available in Cumbria.

15. Is driving the best way to explore Cumbria?

Given the rural nature of Cumbria, having access to a car can make it easier to visit remote locations and enjoy the beautiful scenery at your own pace.

Discover Cumbria

Top 8 Tourist Attractions

  1. Lake District National Park: Scenic beauty and adventure await at Britain's largest national park.
  2. Hadrian's Wall: A UNESCO World Heritage site, this Roman frontier offers remarkable history.
  3. Scafell Pike: England's highest mountain beckoning experienced climbers to its peak.
  4. Windermere: England's largest lake, ideal for watersports and lake cruises.
  5. Beatrix Potter House: Visit the charming home of the world-famous children's author.
  6. Carlisle Castle: A thousand-year-old castle filled with rich history and stunning views.
  7. Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway: Enjoy a picturesque steam train ride through the tranquil countryside.
  8. Keswick: A charming market town with quaint shops and beautiful scenery.

Cumbria Roadtrips

Explore the Scenic Routes of Cumbria by Car

  1. The Heart of the Lakes: A gorgeous 85km route starting and ending in Keswick, passing through Braithwaite, Buttermere, Bowness on Windermere, and other picturesque locales.
  2. Western Cumbria Coast: This 88km roadtrip takes you along the stunning coastline from St Bees to Whitehaven, providing breath-taking views of the Irish Sea.
  3. Hadrian's Wall and Northern Borders: An approximately 90km historical journey through splendid landscapes from Carlisle to Brampton along the line of the Roman wall.
  4. Around Eden Valley: A charming 80km round trip from Penrith circling the Eden Valley and passing through Appleby, known for their magnificent historical buildings.
  5. The Yorkshire Dales Outlander: A long adventurous 150km loop starting in Sedbergh and visiting Hawes, Ribblehead Viaduct, and the notable Three Peaks of Yorkshire.