If you’d like to use Brighton as a base from which to explore the south coast, the South Downs and the rest of Sussex, then a car gives you maximum flexibility.
You’ll often find the best rates through brokers or price comparison websites – see the Simonseeks booking tool above, powered by Kayak. For general hints and links to useful websites, read the Simonseeks money-saving guide on car hire.
Car hire companies at London Gatwick Airport
The nearest major international airport to Brighton is London Gatwick Airport (LGW; www.gatwickairport.com), which lies 28 miles away by motorway and fast dual carriageway (M23, A23).
The following car hire companies operate from Gatwick:
Alamo (0871 384 1086; www.alamo.co.uk), Avis & Budget (0844 544 6001; www.avis.co.uk and www.budget.co.uk), easyCar (0871 050 0444; www.easyCar.com); Enterprise (01293 609090; www.enterprise.co.uk), Europcar (01293 531062; www.europcar.co.uk), Hertz (0870 846 0003; www.hertz.co.uk) and National (0870 400 4581; www.nationalcar.co.uk).
Car hire companies in Brighton
The following car hire companies operate in Brighton and offer excellent deals from time to time; it’s always worth negotiating:
- Avis (6A Brighton Marina Village Square, Brighton Marina, Brighton, BN2 5UF; 0844 544 6042; www.avis.co.uk) - handy if you’re heading along the East Sussex coast.
- City Car Club (0845 330 1234; www.citycarclub.co.uk) - this nationwide membership scheme has numerous cars and vans parked in bays all over Brighton and Hove, bookable by phone or online.
- Enterprise (New England Street, Brighton, BN1 4GQ; 01273 688222, and Kingsway, Hove, BN3 2TQ; 01273 202202; www.enterprise.co.uk) -good rates and excellent service.
- Europcar (Cannon Place, Brighton, BN1 2FB; 01273 329332; www.europcar.co.uk) - very central location, a short hop from The Grand.
- Hertz (1 Melville Rd, Hove, BN3 1TH; 0870 850 4882; www.hertz.co.uk).
- Thrifty (47 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4EN; 01273 738227; www.thrifty.co.uk) - very close to the railway station.
Driving and parking in Brighton
You don’t need a car to get around Brighton and the surrounding area – the city centre is compact and the local bus and taxi services are reasonably efficient and inexpensive. If you do drive, be aware that although getting around Brighton by car is straightforward enough, the network of one-way and restricted-access streets in the city centre takes a little getting used to. And parking can be a challenge as few hotels in the centre have their own car park and there’s limited street parking for non-residents. There are plenty of other options, though. For more information on where to park, plus advice on getting around the city, see How to get around Brighton.