Cardiff car hire

By Dave Jenkins, your Cardiff expert

I write for Real Travel. Read more

Hiring a car in Cardiff

If you want to make the most out of your stay in Cardiff then hire a car. The surrounding mountains and coast are suddenly only a short drive away, allowing you to see the whole city and not just the centre.

From the airport

There are various car hire companies operating at both Cardiff and Bristol airports including Europcar (www.europcar.co.uk), National Car (www.nationalcar.co.uk), Avis (www.avis.co.uk), Hertz (www.hertz.co.uk) and Alamo (www.alamo.co.uk). You’ll find their desks in the arrival halls.

In the city

Each of these companies are also based within the city. Europcar, National, Avis and Alamo have three pick-up points across the city so you won’t have any trouble accessing a pick-up point. Read our Car Hire advice before your visit for our money saving guide. The booking tool above will give you the best price comparison.

When it comes to driving in the city, parking is really your only problem, especially if you’re staying at a hotel in the centre. Overnight prices can be as much as £15 in the multi-storey car parks and they’re not the safest places to leave a car. Like all cities, parking is never cheap but there are a few options open to those who don’t mind parking on the edge of the centre; the civic centre and Tyndall Street both offer cheaper alternatives but they get snapped up quite quickly.

Rush hour in Cardiff is generally between 8am-9am and 5pm-6pm, however if you’re leaving the city for an early day trip you’ll find most of the traffic is going the other way. Watch out on your way back mid-afternoon; the school run in the suburbs can be more frustrating than any commute run.
 

For more expert advice on Cardiff, follow these links:

Save money on car hire

Save money on car hire by following our money-saving guides written by our deputy editor, Fred Mawer, who has more than 20 years' experience as a consumer journalist.