Where and What to Hire
When hiring a car in Manchester there are many well-known international car hire companies to choose from. Europecar, Budget, Sixt, Enterprise, Green Motion, and Thrifty are all located in Manchester International Airport. In the city centre, Avis, Hertz and Sixt can be found near Manchester Piccadilly Train Station; Enterprise and Budget are located near Portland Street while National Car, Alamo and Europecar are situated on the Oldham Road. Whatever car is required can be rented in Manchester from luxury limousines and vans to small two-door city cars, family four-doors with large boots and people carriers.
Driving in Manchester can be daunting for the first time due to the many one-way and pedestrianised streets, rush hour gridlock and cyclists on the roads. Rush hour in Manchester is from 7.30am to 9am and 4.30pm to 6.30pm.
On–street parking is available in Manchester and is restricted to Pay and Display from 8am to 8pm. It is almost always limited to a maximum stay of 3 hours. There are also many open-air, underground and multi-storey car parks in Manchester as well as a Park and Ride system which often works out cheaper, and less stressful.
Where to Go and What to See
While having a car in the city centre is not required, hiring a car leaves visitors able to explore the surrounding area. For a fun day out for the whole family, Blackpool is just over an hour away by car and means beaches, donkey rides, sticks of rock, fish and chips, brisk walks, the famous illuminations and plenty of entertainment for the kids. For culture and bags of it Liverpool makes a great day out. Just a hour’s drive east, Liverpool has many museums, galleries, a buzzing nightlife, fantastic restaurants, cafes and bars, a superb concert venue and of course, the iconic ‘Beatles Story’ museum which tells the story of the Fab Four. For a historic ramble, make the 40 mile journey south to Chester where cobbled streets, tea rooms, cosy pubs, Roman ruins and beautiful scenery make a welcome break from the bustling city of Manchester. There is also a fabulous zoo with an aquarium for children to enjoy. Music lovers should make the 40 mile, hour and a half drive through the stunning countryside of the Peak District National Park to Sheffield where live music is some of the best in the country. En-route, the rolling hills of the Peak District and its picturesque villages like Buxton and Edale make the perfect place for a hike or a cycle ride before enjoying lunch in a cosy local pub. An hour and 20 minutes north of Manchester is the even more beautiful Lake District that has been the inspiration for many an English poet and novelist. Enjoy the romance it has to offer.