The diminutive size of York’s centre means that there is no real reason to hire a car to get between its sights and attractions, hotels and restaurants. However, if wanting to arrive and depart by car from one of the local airports say (see my York flights page) or journey out of the city and into the glorious rural heart of The North Yorkshire Moors where there is no network rail services and limited bus options, then hiring a car is definitely worth serious consideration. So too for exploring Yorkshire’s coastline with its seaside resorts such as Bridlington, Scarborough and Whitby and quaint fishing villages of Robin Hood’s Bay and Staithes.
There are plenty of rental companies offering a variety of car shapes and sizes with a presence in both York and at local airports. To make life easier you can not only book your car direct but also find some very helpful money saving advice on our page.
If arriving by air, both Leeds Bradford Airport (www.leedsbradfordairport.co.uk) and Manchester Airport (www.manchesterairport.co.uk) have a good choice of car hire firms within their respective arrival halls. Once keys are in hand, seats adjusted, controls mastered, hidey holes explored and radio re-tuned, you can expect a journey time of 50 minutes or so from Leeds and two hours from Manchester, traffic permitting.
It’s fair to say that getting around York’s compact city centre is best done either on foot or by bicycle. The central streets defined by the city walls to the east or the river hosting the majority of attractions, sights and hotels are predominantly pedestrianised with only limited access to traffic. The very nature of York’s historic narrow streets means that driving into and along those open to traffic can be a tiresome, stop-start experience too, especially during the rush hours and coinciding school runs.
Another consideration is parking, which in York doesn’t come cheap or easy to find at peak periods such as school holidays, bank holidays and weekends. This is especially so in the centrally located car parks where you can expect to pay more than £16 for eight hours and where by lunchtime finding a convenient place to stop can be time consuming. Check my hotel listings York Hotels – Award winning expert hotel reviews, from cheap to luxury hotels in York for the parking facilities offered by each individual hotel.