Car Rental in Manchester
Manchester is commonly considered as the UK’s second city behind London and a leading center of culture, commerce and heritage. Having rapidly transformed in recent decades, Manchester is a vibrant city with a thriving cultural scene and plenty of fascinating museums and historic landmarks to complement its world-class nightlife and shopping. Situated close to beauty spots like the Peak District and just a short drive from other top UK cities like Liverpool and Leeds, renting a car in Manchester is an excellent way to see everything in the region.
Where to rent a car in Manchester
You can rent a vehicle immediately upon arrival at Manchester Airport’s Car Rental Village which is connected to all three airport terminals via a free shuttle bus. All of the recognizable car rental companies you would expect such as Avis, Europcar, Sixt, Hertz and National are available. Most providers also have a presence in central Manchester so you can arrange things once you are settled down in the city. Many car rental offices are concentrated around Manchester Piccadilly train station but there are many more locations across the city.
Driving in Manchester
Manchester city center generally isn’t a good place to take your vehicle but you can still do so if you don’t mind the slow traffic and lack of parking spots. However, avoid the city center from 07.00-09.00 and 16.30-19.00 on weekdays or you can end up stuck in traffic for hours at a time. Remember that traffic drives on the left-hand side in the UK and the country’s streets are heavily monitored by traffic cameras and CCTV so stick to the rules at all times. It is only a short distance from Manchester Airport into central Manchester and usually takes less than 30 minutes via the A5103 heading north.
Parking in Manchester
Parking in the city center of Manchester is difficult to come by but there are official NCP Car Parks in the center if you are lucky enough to find a space as well as street parking. The price of on-street parking in Manchester is zone-based, with prices as steep as around 7 AED per half hour in the center down to 2.5 AED per half hour in outer-city zones. Zone 1 and Zone 2 parking is also limited to a maximum of 2 hours so don’t overstay or you will be fined. With over 30 NCP Car Parks across Manchester, you can go online and pre-book your parking to secure a space.
Where to go around Manchester
Besides the many sights to be found in the compact city center of Manchester, there are many more excellent places to visit with your rental car. Drive out to the huge Trafford Center, one of the largest shopping center in Europe, or watch a football game at Old Trafford which is located just on the outskirts of Manchester central. There are many appealing day-trip destinations within close reach of Manchester. Make the one-hour drive west into Liverpool, celebrated as one of the UK’s finest cultural destinations known for its charming architecture and leading theaters and concert halls. Alternatively, escape from urban life to the nearby nature retreats of the Peak District and the Lake District which are both quick and easy to reach by car.
* This information is correct as of December 2018