Where and What to Hire
There are an excellent range of car rental companies for those wanting car hire in Leeds. At Leeds International Airport companies include, Enterprise, Alamo, Hertz, Europecar, Avis and National Car. In the city centre, Europecar, National Car and Enterprise all have branches located on the A639 just off the A61. Thrifty and Avis are located in Sheepscar off the A58 while Leeds Car Rental and Indigo Car can be found in Burley. Every kind of car is available for hire from sports cars and two-door hatchbacks to limousines, vans, four-door family cars and people carriers.
Driving in Leeds can be initially confusing for those who haven’t driven in the city before due to the one-way City Centre Loop Road that runs clockwise around the centre. There is the Leeds Inner Ring Road for those who need to bypass the centre. Leeds is quite a popular city with cyclists so it is best to take care and be aware of cyclists on the roads. Rush hour in Leeds is from 7.30am to 9am and from 4.30m to 6pm.
There is plenty of parking available, both on-street and in multi-storey and underground car parks although it fills up quickly, particularly at the weekends. (This information is correct as of 8 April 2015) On-street parking charges vary but are approximately £1 for less than four hours and £4 for over four hours – this is applicable from 8am to 6pm. After 6pm there is a flat rate £2 charge for on-street parking. Parking all day on a Sunday would cost £6. Most shopping centres also come with pay and display parking below.
Where to Go and What to See
Having a car may not be required for travelling around Leeds city centre however it is very useful for exploring the surrounding region. Leeds is a fantastic UK hub, halfway between Edinburgh and London and close to York, Liverpool, Sheffield and Manchester. A 40 mile, one hour drive from Leeds is the charming village of Todmorden with bustling markets and stunning scenery. Just 11 miles from Leeds is Bradford which has a fantastic National Media Museum which is a must for fans of film, art and photography. A 40 minute drive North West of Leeds ends up in Ilkley where spectacular Moors are ready to be walked and hiked while the sleepy town welcomes visitors with cafes, pubs and a lovely outdoor pool. This is pure Bronte country. Another spa town is Harrogate, just half an hour north of Leeds. Here, there are plenty of shopping options, elegant Victorian architecture, lush green parks and nearby medieval market towns with castles and cobbled streets perched on the edge of riverside gorges. For unrivalled walks and views, the Yorkshire Dales National Park is just an hour and a half’s drive north and the place for climbers, hikers, mountain-bikers and walkers. Here there is an array of cosy pubs and B&Bs in which to recover from a long day outdoors. For families travelling with children, just 50 minutes from Leeds is Lightwater Valley, a fantastic theme park rides and attractions and 175 acres of action-packed adventures. For younger visitors, Legoland in Manchester, 40 miles from Leeds, is like stepping into a giant box of Lego with over 2 million Lego bricks under one roof! Closer to Leeds, just 14 miles away in Halifax is Manor Heath Park and Jungle Experience; a tropical oasis filled with fish, terrapin and butterflies as well as plants and an adventure playground. In the summer months romantics can enjoy a night under the stars in the beautiful grounds of Harewood House, just 20 minutes from Leeds, for an evening in a drive-in cinema.