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Everyone loves Bristol. It deals you something new at every turn, mixing marinas, riverside parks, grungy bars and swish shopping centres. And a quick drive brings you to landscape heaven: the Avon Gorge, the Cotswolds, and the Mendips. So why not hire a car and explore the city’s brilliant surroundings?

If you're arriving in Bristol by train – or if you're already there – your best bet is to look for car hire deals in the city centre. You'll find some suppliers near Bristol Temple Meads station and the surrounding streets, but there are also some brands on or around the A4044 ring road, including Sixt and Enterprise. For the most central option, try Avis's Bristol Central site, which is a short walk from the shopping quarter.

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Find answers to your questions

Driver requirements

What age do I need to be to hire a vehicle in Bristol?

The minimum age limit for hiring a car in Bristol varies by car hire company. In the UK, most companies require you to be at least 21, though many companies will not rent to those under 25. To see what your options are, input your age on an online search and comparison tool.

What do I need to hire a vehicle in Bristol?

What you need to bring with you depends on which company you hire a car from. You’ll always need your driving licence – usually held for a minimum of a year – and a valid credit card in your name. An additional form of ID, as well as a DVLA licence ‘check code’, may be required.

Do I need car hire excess insurance in Bristol?

Though you’re not required to have car hire excess insurance, it’s usually a good idea. Otherwise, you could end up paying a large sum of money out of your own pocket in the event of an accident. While you can get car hire excess insurance from your rental provider, that’s usually the priciest option. Shopping around for a third-party excess insurance provider before you travel can offer savings.

Can I rent a car with a debit card in Bristol?

Though a credit card is often required, some car hire companies will allow you to use a debit card, provided you have enough money in your account to cover the full cost. Some companies may charge a large deposit when using a debit card, so check with your provider beforehand.

Which rental companies are available at Bristol Airport?

There are nine car hire companies based at Bristol Airport’s car rental centre: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, National, Sixt and Thrifty.

Is it cheaper to rent a car at the airport or off-site in Bristol?

The major car hire companies at Bristol Airport generally offer good deals, especially if you book in advance. Car hire companies outside the airport or in Bristol city centre usually offer the cheapest rates.

Can you rent a car in Bristol and drop it off in another city?

Many of the major car hire companies offer one-way rentals, meaning you can pick up your car in Bristol and drop it off in another city. Sometimes there’s a surcharge for this, so check the rental terms carefully.

Can you rent a car the same day in Bristol?

Yes. The major car hire companies have desks in Bristol Airport where you can rent a car when you arrive. However, it’s best to book in advance to avoid paying a higher fare, particularly during busy periods.

Can I hire a vehicle at 21 years of age in Bristol?

Yes, young drivers can hire a car in Bristol, though some companies may only offer rentals to drivers aged 25 and over, so check around. Some car hire companies will require proof that you’ve held a driving licence for a minimum of 12 months, and may add an extra fee to your bill.

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