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Providing exemplary customer service is our priority. Our car hire company in Southampton ensures your journey to the historical maritime city or the stunning New Forest is seamless. We handle inquiries with the utmost professionalism and strive to personalise your journey, maximising your unique experience in this region.

Car Hire in Southampton

Uncover the rich history and beauty of Southampton with convenient and affordable car hire options

City car amidst Southampton's landscape, docked ships, park balloons, clock tower

Welcome to 'Southampton', a vibrant city steeped in history, marked by iconic landmarks, and enhanced with a stunning coastline. This bustling port city, best known for its maritime heritage including its association with the Titanic, is one of England's most historic sites that shouldn't be missed. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a lover of art and music, or a serious shopper, Southampton has everything you need to make for an unforgettable trip.

Exploring Southampton is best done by car, allowing you to discover the rich history and cultural diversity at your own pace. Worthwhile journeys include a visit to the 'SeaCity Museum', the 'Tudor House Museum', and the 'Hillier Gardens'. The city is notably compact so all the key sights are within a short drive of each other. Interestingly, it's only a two-hour drive to London, making day trips exceedingly possible.

Another affordable and exciting way to explore Southampton and beyond, is by hiring a car. This provides the freedom and flexibility to visit all the city's iconic landmarks and scenic surroundings at your own leisure. Don't miss the chance to drive down to the picturesque 'New Forest National Park', just a 30-minute drive from the city centre. This is a perfect spot for a picnic, a walk, or a bike ride. Also, you can drive to the stunning coastline to experience breathtaking views of the sea and enjoy some time at its beautiful beaches.

Car Hire in Southampton

A Comprehensive Guide

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

Hire rates can vary depending on the provider, the type of car and the length of the hire. However, on average, hiring a car in Southampton ranges from £30 to £80 per day, with discounts often available for longer hire periods.

2. What car model is most frequently requested for hire in Southampton?

The compact cars like the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa are the most frequently requested cars for hire in Southampton, largely due to their suitability for city driving and more modest parking spaces in the city centre.

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

The most popular locations to hire a car in Southampton are the airport, the city centre and the central train station. Providers in these locations offer a wide range of vehicles and flexible pick-up and drop-off times.

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

Yes, many car hire providers in Southampton offer a 24-hour pick-up and drop-off service, although this may incur additional charges.

5. Is there a minimum hire period?

Most car hire services in Southampton have a minimum hire period of 24 hours. However, some providers offer hourly rates for shorter hire periods.

6. What's the minimum required age to hire a car in Southampton?

The minimum required age to hire a car in Southampton is usually 21 years old, and drivers under 25 may need to pay a young driver surcharge.

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

To hire a car in Southampton, you'll need a valid driver's license, proof of identity (like a passport), and a credit or debit card in your name to secure the hire.

8. When's the best time of year to visit Southampton by car?

The best time to visit Southampton by car is in the summer months, from June to September, when the weather is warmer and attractions are fully open.

9. What are the main airports in Southampton?

The main airport in Southampton is Southampton Airport. It's conveniently located just outside the city centre and offers a range of car hire options.

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

Yes, many car hire providers in Southampton offer one way hires, where you can pick up your car in Southampton and drop it off in another city. Extra charges may apply.

Car Hire Reviews


Southampton – 15-01-2024. Outstanding car hire service at the heart of Southampton. The variety of cars on offer was quite impressive. I found a clean, comfortable car that fit my needs perfectly. All at a decent price too. A notably good experience!


Southampton – 23-11-2023. It's been a pleasure hiring a car from this company. The staff were professional and helpful. The car was in excellent condition and I loved driving around the quaint Southampton streets in it. The pricing was fair considering the top-notch service quality. Will certainly hire again.


Southampton – 03-10-2023. Remarkably smooth car hire process. The staff were accommodating and efficient, with prompt answers to all my questions. Pricing was transparent and value-for-money. Great service in the beautiful city of Southampton.


Southampton – 09-09-2023. This is a reliable car hire company in Southampton. Fantastic service and good prices. I recommend to anyone who needs to hire a car. Will make your journey around the lovely ports of Southampton easier!


Southampton – 16-06-2023. Did a splendid job for me, hiring a car was easier than I thought. The prices were competitive, not to mention the professionalism of their staff. It enhanced my trip to the historic sites in Southampton.


Southampton – 02-03-2023. Exceptional service throughout, from booking to returning the car. Prices were transparent and reasonable. Would definitely recommend their service when in Southampton.

Key Road Connections

Exploring from Southampton

  1. Southampton - London: A journey of approximately 130 km via the M3, taking around 1 hour 40 minutes. Roadways are typically well-maintained, though traffic may increase during peak times.
  2. Southampton - Brighton: With a distance of about 105 km, travel via the M27 and A259, which generally takes nearly 1 hour 35 minutes. The route offers scenic coastal views.
  3. Southampton - Oxford: Approximately 105 km via the A34, the drive can take 1 hour 20 minutes. The roads are well-maintained and direct, with plenty of service areas en-route.
  4. Southampton - Bournemouth: A short trip of 55 km via the M27 and A31, the journey typically lasts around 40 minutes. Expect lesser traffic compared to larger cities.
  5. Southampton - Stonehenge: Roughly 60 km away, taking the A36 and A303 will lead you to this iconic location within an hour. Beware of potential tourist traffic.
  6. Southampton - Salisbury: At 40 km distance via the A36 with average driving time of 45 minutes, the roads are often quiet, making for a pleasant drive.
  7. Southampton - Bath: Covering 100 km distance via the A36 will take you approximately 1 hour 45 minutes. This route is often busy, especially during holidays.

Driving in Southampton

Frequently Asked Questions

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

As with the rest of the UK, you should drive on the left side of the road in Southampton.

2. What is the speed limit in Southampton?

The standard speed limit in built-up areas, including Southampton, is 30 mph (48 km/h). However, roads may have different limits so always check for road signs.

3. What kind of driving licence do I need to drive in Southampton and UK?

If you intend to hire a car in the UK, you need a valid licence from your home country. You might also need an International Driving Permit (IDP), especially if your licence is not in English.

4. Do I need to pay for tolls in Southampton?

Southampton itself does not have any toll roads. However in the wider UK some bridges, tunnels and roads require tolls. Always plan your route to prepare for any tolls you may encounter.

5. Are there many speed cameras in Southampton?

Yes, as with many UK cities, Southampton operates a number of speed cameras to enforce the speed limits. They are usually marked with signs and road markings.

6. Can I park my car on the street in Southampton?

Yes, but it's important to check for any parking restrictions. In certain areas you may need to pay or display a parking ticket.

7. How can I prepare for driving in traffic in Southampton?

Like many cities, Southampton can have traffic during peak times. Try to plan your journeys to avoid rush hour. Listening to local radio traffic updates can also help.

8. Are the rules of driving similar to the rest of the UK?

Yes, the same laws and rules that apply throughout the UK also apply in Southampton.

9. Is it safe to drive at night in Southampton?

Yes, it's safe to drive in Southampton at night. Just ensure your vehicle's lights are correctly working and always adhere to road safety rules.

10. What should I do if I get in a car accident in Southampton?

If you get into a car accident in Southampton, you should stop your car if it causes injury or damage. Inform the police, exchange information with the other driver, and report to your car hire company.

11. What rules must I follow when driving a hired car in Southampton?

The rules are the same as for any car. You should adhere to speed limits, drive on the left, and obey traffic laws.

12. Are there any special regulations for motorway driving?

On UK motorways, the speed limit is 70 mph unless stated differently. You mustn't drive in the right-hand lane unless you're overtaking. Always follow road signs for exits and diversions.

13. What's the best way to navigate through Southampton?

Having a GPS can be very helpful in navigating through Southampton – in fact, many hire cars come with one. You can also use map apps like Google Maps on your phone.

14. Are there child safety laws for driving in UK?

Yes, all children must be in an appropriate car seat or booster until they're 12 years old or 135cm tall. Children can't ride in the front seat unless they're 14 years or older.

15. How does the City of Southampton handle disabled drivers?

In Southampton and throughout the UK, disabled drivers are offered a number of parking concessions through the Blue Badge scheme. All car park operators in Southampton offer disabled parking spaces.

Southampton Sights

Explore with Ease

  1. SeaCity Museum: Discover Southampton's maritime history in this modern, family-friendly museum.
  2. Tudor House & Garden: Experience the city's oldest house, providing a unique journey through over 800 years of history.
  3. Southampton City Art Gallery: Known for its diverse collection and regularly changing displays. Ideal for art enthusiasts.
  4. New Forest Wildlife Park: A great day out for families, with a variety of outdoor and indoor exhibits featuring native and exotic wildlife.
  5. St. Michael's Church: The city's oldest building, offering panoramic views from its tower.
  6. Mayflower Theatre: Visit for a range of productions from ballet, opera, and West End shows.
  7. Southampton Common: A large open space in the heart of Southampton, perfect for walks, picnics and outdoor recreation.
  8. Southampton Boat Show: An annual event showcasing the newest and best in the boating world - scored highly by boat enthusiasts.

Best Southampton Roadtrips

Explore England by Car

  1. Southampton to Bath: A perfect drive for history lovers, the 94-kilometre journey offers the opportunity to explore the charming villages of the Cotswolds before arriving at the stunning Roman city of Bath.
  2. Southampton to Oxford: In this 108-kilometre route, you can visit Winchester before reaching the university city of Oxford, a mix of ancient traditions and modern offbeat culture.
  3. Southampton to Bristol: Take the 127-kilometre journey to Bristol through the enchanting New Forest and the medieval city of Salisbury with its celebrated cathedral.
  4. Southampton to Brighton: A 108-kilometre seaside excursion that takes you across the South Downs National Park, offering panoramic views of sea and countryside.
  5. Southampton to London: 132 kilometres separate Southampton from the cosmopolitan city of London, passing through historic towns and beautiful countryside.
  6. Southampton to the Jurassic Coast: Travel 85 kilometres to see England's first natural World Heritage Site, offering 185 million years of geological history.
  7. Southampton to Stonehenge: A shorter 52-kilometre journey to one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world makes an ideal day trip.
  8. Southampton to Eastbourne: Heading east for 143 kilometres, you’ll discover the splendour of English seaside from the grand pier in Brighton to the white cliffs of Seven Sisters in Eastbourne.