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Discover the unique scenery of Penzance in a comfortable and stylish way with our car hire service. Our customer care is unrivalled, promising a seamless and stress-free experience. Enjoy exploring popular destinations without worrying about transportation. Our friendly and helpful staff are always ready to assist, making your travel experience unforgettable.

Car Hire in Penzance

Your Guide to Explore Penzance and Beyond with Ease by Car

City car in Penzance, with lighthouse, boats, cottages

Welcome to Penzance, a vibrant coastal town steeped in rich history, nestled in the heart of Cornwall, England. Known for being the westernmost major town in Cornwall, Penzance is home to the iconic St Michael’s Mount, Victorian era gardens, cobbled streets, and breath-taking views across the sea. Many prefer to explore this delightful town and its surroundings by car, due to the flexibility it offers.

A must-visit is the St Michael’s Mount, a small island accessible by car and then on foot, with a fairy-tale castle atop. From Penzance, it's a mere ten-minute drive to Marazion, the gateway to the mount. Additionally, a forty-minute drive away lies Lands' End - famed as the most westerly point of mainland England. Choose to admire the beautiful coastlines, visit the historic sites, or take a scenic walk around the clifftops here.

Penzance also serves as the perfect base for trips to other interesting locations in Cornwall. The coastal villages of Mousehole and St Ives, known for their narrow streets and sandy beaches, are within 30 minutes' drive. Further afield, the Eden Project, an exotic haven of rainforest biomes, is easily reachable by a 60-minute drive. The medieval Tintagel Castle, alleged birthplace of King Arthur, is also within reach by car, about 90 minutes away. This variety makes Penzance the perfect start for Cornwall exploration by car.

Car Hire in Penzance

Common Questions Answered

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

The cost of hiring a car in Penzance varies depending on the type of car and the length of hire. It typically starts from £20 per day for economy vehicles.

2. What car model is commonly hired in Penzance?

Most visitors prefer hiring compact cars for their fuel efficiency and ease of parking. Given Penzance's narrow and winding roads, smaller vehicles are more suitable.

3. Where are popular locations to hire a car in Penzance?

In Penzance, popular places to hire a car include the city centre and near tourism hotspots like the Penzance promenade.

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

Yes, many car hire companies in Penzance offer 24-hour pick-up and drop-off services, although this might incur an additional charge.

5. Is there a minimum period for car hire?

The minimum hire period is usually 24 hours. However, some companies may offer hourly rates.

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

Most car hire companies require drivers to be at least 21 years old, but this could vary depending on the vehicle type.

7. What documents are needed for car hire in Penzance?

You'll need a valid driving licence, an ID card or passport, and a credit card to hire a car in Penzance.

8. When is the best time of the year to visit Penzance by car?

Summer (June to August) is the best time to visit Penzance by car when the weather is warm and attractions are open.

9. What are the main airports in Penzance?

The main airport serving Penzance is Newquay Cornwall Airport.

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

Yes, most car hire companies in Penzance allow one-way rentals, but this may come with additional fees.

Car Hire Reviews


Penzance – 15-12-2024. Absolutely delighted with the efficiency and service received from Penzance Car Hire. As a septuagenarian, I expected the process to be complex but was pleasantly surprised. Quality, clean car, easy pick up and drop off. Lovely treat of Cornish pasties on the dashboard!


Penzance – 07-07-2024. Landed at the Penzance station and was directed to the Penzance car hire firm. They delivered a seamless experience for a mid twenties lad like me. Had my car ready, it was a smooth drive around the Cornish coastline. Reasonable price for excellent service. Job well done!


Penzance – 20-05-2024. Celebrating 50s by driving around the Cornish coast was my dream. Penzance Car Hire made it possible. Loved the car, a plush hybrid delivered on time and in budget. Not to forget, they took extra care of sanitising the car due to pandemic. Highly appreciated!


Penzance – 03-02-2024. Great value for money. Penzance Car Hire provides a great fleet at affordable prices. As a grad student, I found it easy on my pocket. The car’s performance was top-notch, got a chance to explore mining history around Cornwall.


Penzance – 29-09-2023. For a young traveller, navigating through the process of car hire can be daunting but Penzance Car Hire was a breeze. They explained everything clearly and not once I felt lost or overwhelmed. The car was a beauty, in great shape and perfect to explore the Roman remains around Cornwall.


Penzance – 10-04-2023. Being in the late 60s doesn't mean you can't have some adventures. Exploring Cornwall’s Celtic roots was on my bucket list and Penzance Car Hire made it possible. Affordable, hassle-free and top class service is what I received. They even had maps and guides to help me out. Brilliant!

Penzance Road Connections

Exploring Britain from Penzance

  1. Penzance - Land's End: A quick 18km drive west on B3315. Takes approximately 23 minutes. Known for its scenic coastal views. This road is usually clear with no congestion.
  2. Penzance - St. Ives: Travel 16km northeast via the A3071 and B3311. The journey takes around 26 minutes. The main road is well-maintained and offers a picturesque, serene route.
  3. Penzance - Truro: The 47km trip on the A30 takes approximately 40 minutes. This major road is easy to drive and usually clear.
  4. Penzance - Falmouth: A longer 53km drive northeast via the A394 and A39. Expect this cross-country trip to take around an hour. Prepare for potential seasonal traffic.
  5. Penzance - Newquay: Drive for about 57km to Newquay via the A30. The journey should take roughly an hour, offering a smooth drive across beautiful landscapes.
  6. Penzance - Plymouth: Reach Plymouth from Penzance via the A394 and A38. The trip spans 128km and may take over 2 hours. The route highlights the iconic British countryside, although occasional congestion may occur.
  7. Penzance - Exeter: A 196km drive east via the A30. Plan for a nearly 2.5-hour journey. This route is often used, so expect heavy traffic during peak hours.

Drive in Penzance

Frequently Asked Questions

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

In Penzance, like the rest of the UK, you should always drive on the left side of the road.

2. What is the speed limit in Penzance?

Generally, the speed limit is 30 mph in built-up areas, 60 mph on single carriageway roads and 70 mph on dual carriageways and motorways. Nevertheless, always follow the signs on the road as speed limits may vary in different areas.

3. Do I need a special licence to drive in Penzance?

If you're a tourist driving on a valid foreign licence, you are free to do so in Penzance for up to 12 months. If you're a resident, you'll need a UK licence.

4. Are there many speed cameras in Penzance?

There are indeed a number of speed cameras within Penzance and its surrounding areas. It is recommended to always respect the speed limits.

5. What are the traffic conditions like in Penzance?

During peak commuting hours, traffic can be heavy. However, generally, the traffic conditions are fairly moderate in comparison to larger cities.

6. Are there any toll roads when driving in Penzance?

There are no toll roads in Penzance.

7. Are there any driving regulations I should know about before driving in Penzance?

The UK Highway Code applies throughout the country, so it's best to familiarise yourself with it before your journey.

8. Are roundabouts common in Penzance?

Roundabouts are common across the UK, including Pensance. Vehicles in the roundabout have right of way.

9. What are the school zones speed limits in Penzance?

There are some areas near schools called 'School Safety Zones' where the speed limit could be as low as 20 mph.

10. How do I use a box junction in Penzance?

Yellow box junctions are areas of road that you must not enter unless your exit is clear, with the exception of turning right.

11. Are there any specific rules for parking in Penzance?

Like most UK towns, Penzance has street parking controls - indicated by road signs and road markings. Always check the rules before leaving your car.

12. How do I go about hiring a car in Penzance?

There are numerous car hire companies in Penzance. Always be sure to check the terms of hire and make sure that you have an appropriate driving license before hiring a car.

13. Is road rage common in Penzance?

Road rage is not particularly common in Penzance, but, like anywhere, it can happen. Always drive courteously and responsibly to avoid aggravating other drivers.

14. Do I need to carry any particular documents when driving in Penzance?

When driving in the UK, it is a legal requirement to carry your driving license. You are also advised to carry proof of insurance cover.

15. How are roadworks identified in Penzance?

Typically, roadworks are indicated by signs, barriers and traffic cones. If temporary traffic lights are in place, drivers must obey them and pass the roadworks only when instructed to do so.

Penzance: Top Attractions

Drive around and explore with ease

  1. St Michael’s Mount: An island with a medieval church and castle, accessible at low tide.
  2. Minack Theatre: Iconic open-air theatre, carved from a cliff, overlooking the sea.
  3. Penzance Promenade: A captivating coastal walkway with stunning views.
  4. Morrab Gardens: Lush, subtropical garden housing rare and exotic plants.
  5. Penzance Harbour: Overlooks the beautiful Mount's Bay, filled with colourful fishing boats.
  6. Trengwainton Garden: A tranquil haven filled with exotic trees and stunning blooms.
  7. Penzance Heliport: Modern commercial airport connecting Penzance to the Isles of Scilly.
  8. Newlyn Art Gallery: Magnificent showcase of modern and contemporary art.

Penzance Roadtrips

Discover the UK by car

  1. Penzance to Land's End: This 16-kilometre scenic route offers stunning coastal views with stops at picturesque towns like Sennen.
  2. Penzance to St. Ives: Journey 21 kilometres for beautiful beaches, traditional Cornish pasties and an iconic, vibrant art scene.
  3. Atlantic Highway: Covering 275 kilometres from Barnstaple to Newquay, this route offers breath-taking coastal views and rich cultural history.
  4. Penzance to St. Austell: A beautiful, 112-kilometre stretch showcasing Cornwall's diversity – stunning seascapes, intriguing towns and quaint fishing villages.
  5. Penzance to Truro: Travel 42 kilometres to Truro, the UK's southernmost city, boasting gothic architecture and an exquisite cathedral.
  6. A39 Exmoor Scenic Route: From Penzance, drive 230 kilometres towards North Devon, featuring sublime moorland scenery and charming rural stops.
  7. Penzance to Falmouth: Drive 57 kilometres along the picturesque South Cornish coast to reach the historic maritime town of Falmouth.
  8. Penzance to Plymouth: Discover an 126-kilometre stretch of history. Pass through quaint villages, with the finale at Britain's Ocean City, Plymouth.