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For an unrivalled car hire experience in Reading, trust our dedicated customer care. We cater to your bespoke needs with ease, assuring your journey to the picturesque Thames Valley or the historic Forbury Gardens is comfortable and memorable. Enjoy the unique charms of Reading with unparalleled service from our committed team.

Car Hire in Reading

Unveiling the Treasures of Reading and Beyond by Car

City car nestled in Reading landscape, featuring Maiwand Lion and brick houses

Welcome to Reading, a dynamic and thriving city in Southern England. Conveniently located just 40 miles from London, this vibrant city is well-served by a variety of transport links, making it an ideal base for explorations throughout the wider region. Read on for our top recommendations on how to best enjoy your stay and make the most out of your time in Reading, either within the city itself or by hire car.

Undeniably, one of Reading's most famous landmarks is its beautiful Reading Abbey, a 12th-century monastic complex that plays a significant part in history. Pair this with a visit to the Reading Museum, which competently weaves together the town's history. If you are planning on hiring a car, it's worth mentioning that Stonehenge, one of England's most iconic landmarks, is only an hour away. Other attractive short car trips include The Cotswolds, located 50 miles away, or Oxford, just a 25-mile short journey.

Beyond experiencing the city's historical sites, Reading also boasts a multitude of shopping centres, from modern retail complexes such as The Oracle to the charming Harris Arcade. Out in the countryside, many beautiful estates, such as the Basildon Park, offers scenic walks and stunning landscapes. So, whether you're exploring the city streets, setting off on a road trip in your hire car or simply looking to relax and enjoy the lush, scenic parks, Reading offers something for every traveller.

Reading Car Hire

Questions & Answers

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

Car hire prices in Reading can vary depending on the model of the car and duration of hire. An average cost is usually around £30 per day. However, prices may surge during peak season or for luxury models.

2. What car model is mostly hired in Reading?

Economy cars are the most popular choice for hiring in Reading due to their fuel efficiency and maneuverability in city traffic. However, Reading being known for its scenic countryside, SUVs are also frequently hired for comfortable family trips.

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

The landscape of Reading makes hiring a car a common practice at the Reading Railway Station and the Reading city centre. Additionally, the Heathrow Airport, due to its proximity, is another favourite pick-up location.

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

Yes, most car hire companies in Reading offer 24-hour pick-up and drop-off services. It's always advisable to confirm this with the company beforehand.

5. Is there a minimum hire period?

Yes, usually there's a minimum hire period, which typically is 24 hours. Again, this might vary from company to company.

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

The minimum age to hire a car in Reading is generally 21 years. However, drivers under 25 may have to pay a young driver fee.

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

To hire a car in Reading, you must have a valid driving license, an identification document such as a passport, and a credit card. Foreign visitors are advised to have an International Driving Permit.

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

The best time to visit Reading by car is from late spring through early fall. The weather is pleasant and the city's scenic beauty is at its peak.

9. What are the major airports around Reading?

The major airports closest to Reading are Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport.

10. Can I collect the car in Reading and drop it off in another city?

Yes, many car hire companies offer one-way rentals. You can pick up your car in Reading and drop it off in another city. This option might come with an additional charge.

Reliable Car Hire

Oliver Jones

Reading – 01-02-2024. Fast and prompt service with a smile. Hired a family car for a trip to Windsor with the kids. The car was clean and comfortably accommodated all four of us with room to spare. The price was reasonable. Will definitely hire from here again.

Elizabeth Smith

Reading – 14-12-2023. Being a frequent traveller, I have hired cars from many places. But this was a better than average experience. Quick, efficient, and friendly team. I booked an executive car for my visit to Ascot races and was not disappointed! It was sleek and well-maintained, got a number of compliments. Pricing was also competitive compared to other places.

Desmond Clarke

Reading – 25-09-2023. I hired a car from this company for a visit to the University of Reading with my daughter. Although being a bit sceptical at first, I must say the car was in splendid condition, swift paper-work made for a hassle-free hiring process. The staff were seasoned professionals and guided us well. Affordable pricing helped too.

Samantha Park

Reading – 11-06-2023. Booked a luxury car for a family wedding in Reading and they didn't disappoint! High-quality vehicle, excellent ride comfort, and top-notch customer service. Fair pricing for a luxury car and the smooth booking process were a plus. I'd definitely recommend their service!

Ronnie Gates

Reading – 02-04-2023. Great service, friendly staff, and a clean car! Hired a car for a business trip to Reading's Thames Valley Park. The price was very reasonable for the car's condition and quality. Overall, a splendid experience and a great value for money.

Caroline Taylor

Reading – 28-01-2023. Superb Service! Hired a car for a weekend getaway to the picturesque Chiltern Hills. The car was clean, the hiring process was smooth and the staff was cordial. It was a pleasure working with them. Would highly recommend for their all-rounded service.

Reading: Key Connections

Essential routes for car hire in Reading

  1. Reading to London: Approximately 70km, taking around 1hr 30mins via the M4. This motorway is in good condition and usually well maintained.
  2. Reading to Oxford: Around 45km distance, with an average driving time of 1hr via the A4074. Usually free of traffic.
  3. Reading to Stonehenge: This route covers a distance of 90km, taking approximately 1hr 30mins via the M4 and A303. It can be busy on weekends.
  4. Reading to Bath: This connection covers 115km, typically taking around 1hr 30mins via the M4. The road is usually smooth and free flowing.
  5. Reading to Brighton: Around 135km in distance, usually taking around 2hrs 30mins via the M25 and A23. This journey tends to have heavy traffic during peak hours.
  6. Reading to Stratford-upon-Avon: Approximately 120km, and around 2hrs drive time via the M40. Less busy route offering scenic views.
  7. Reading to Bristol: Covering 150km, with an estimated driving time of 2hrs 30mins, via M4. Be mindful of potential rush hour traffic near Bristol.

Reading Must-Sees

Top Attractions for Motoring Tourists

  1. Reading Abbey Ruins: The historic site, recently reopened to the public, showcases medieval architecture.
  2. Basildon Park: This stately home, surrounded by beautiful gardens, is a scenery lover's paradise.
  3. The Museum of English Rural Life: Experience how English rural life evolved over time in this unique museum.
  4. Reading Museum: Housed in a Victorian building, it has exhibits showcasing Reading's history and art.
  5. Beale Park: Animal park and gardens offering a family-friendly day out with wildlife and adventure play.
  6. Dinton Pastures Country Park: A park for leisure activities including boating, birdwatching and fishing.
  7. Wellington Country Park: Offers tranquil woodland walks and children's play areas.
  8. Forbury Gardens: A public park for a relaxed day out, featuring the famous Maiwand Lion statue.

Reading Roadtrips

Car Hire and Explore

  1. Reading to Oxford: A picturesque 66-kilometre route that takes you through charming English countryside and historic towns.
  2. The Cotswolds tour: A 118-kilometre circular route around some of the most quintessentially English villages in the heart of the Cotswolds.
  3. Reading to London: A 66-kilometre drive that brings you from Reading's rural calm to the bustling vibrancy of central London.
  4. South Coast tour: A 160-kilometre route along England's stunning South Coast, featuring unspoilt beaches and historic maritime cities.
  5. Reading to Bath: A 130-kilometre journey through rolling landscape to the UNESCO-listed city of Bath, famous for its ancient Roman Baths.
  6. Chiltern Hills tour: A scenic 80-kilometre circular drive through the Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  7. Reading to Cambridge: A 140-kilometre route that weaves through traditional English countryside, ending in the historic city of Cambridge.


Driving in Reading

Common Queries and Answers

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

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

2. What is the average speed limit in Reading and the UK?

In UK towns and cities like Reading, the speed limit is typically 30 miles per hour unless otherwise stated. On single carriageway roads, the limit is usually 60 mph, and on dual carriageways and motorways, 70 mph.

3. Do I need a specific driving license to drive a car in Reading?

If you have a valid driving licence from your home country, you may use it to drive in the UK for up to 12 months. If your licence is non-EU, an International Driving Permit might be necessary.

4. Are there a lot of traffic in Reading?

Like any growing city, Reading can have peak traffic during rush hours typically in the morning and evening during workdays. Planning your travel accordingly can help avoid congestion.

5. Are there toll roads around Reading and in the UK?

There are few toll roads, bridges, and tunnels in the UK but they are not common. The M4 Motorway near Reading is toll-free.

6. Are there many speed cameras in Reading?

Reading, just like other parts of the UK, has a network of speed cameras on its roads. They are used to enforce speed limits and ensure road safety.

7. Are there any specific driving rules I should be aware of in Reading?

Besides driving on the left side, you should also pay attention to various road signs in the UK, some of which might differ from those in your home country. Also, it's compulsory for all passengers to wear seatbelts while driving.

8. Is parking easy to find in Reading?

There are numerous public car parks available throughout Reading. However, it's a busy town so finding parking might be challenging during peak hours. It's always a good idea to plan ahead.

9. What should I do in case of a car accident in Reading?

Ensure everyone's safety, call the emergency services if needed, exchange details with other involved parties, and report the accident to both the police and the car hire company.

10. What are the rules concerning children in the car?

In the UK, children under 12 years old or shorter than 135cm must use a proper child restraint. Children over 12 years old or over 135cm tall must use seat belts.

11. What happens if I drive over the speed limit?

If you exceed the speed limit, you could receive a minimum penalty of £100 fine and 3 penalty points added to your licence.

12. Are there specific rules for overtaking other vehicles?

Overtaking in the UK must be done on the right-hand side. It's illegal to overtake on the left unless in a one-way system or the vehicle in front is signaling to turn right.

13. What should I do if I breakdown on the road?

If the car breaks down while you are on the road, you should try to get your vehicle off the road if possible, and then call the car hire company as per the instructions usually found in the glove compartment.

14. Can I drive in bus lanes in Reading?

Most bus lanes in the UK can't be used by private vehicles, including hire cars. Look for clear signages indicating the rules of each particular lane to avoid penalties.

15. Is it allowed to drive in pedestrian zones in Reading?

Pedestrian zones, also known as 'pedestrianised' streets, are usually closed to all vehicles. Some may allow access for delivery vehicles at certain times; always check for signage before entering.