Where and What to Hire
Anyone wanting to hire a car in Nottingham will have plenty of options. Avis, Hertz, Budget, National Car and Europecar are all based within East Midlands Airport while Enterprise, Hertz, East Midlands Car Hire, Europecar, Top Cars and National Car can be found located close to Nottingham train station in the city centre. Thrifty have a branch in Basford, near Vernon Park. It is possible to hire almost any type of vehicle, from limousines and vans to two-door and four-door cars to larger family people carriers.
Driving in Nottingham is reasonably stress-free though rush hour, from 7.30am to 9am and 4.30pm to 6.30pm, is best avoided. Nottingham does have a one-way system in the centre of town. It is best to be familiar with this before embarking on driving in it. Nottingham is also a big cycling city with high numbers of bicycles on the roads. There is a good tram network in Nottingham so it is important to be aware of them travelling independently of other traffic.
There is a good choice of parking options in Nottingham from 7 park and ride sites with over 4000 spaces at convenient points around the city. These are free provided that visitors pay for their tram or bus tickets into the centre. There is also on-street parking throughout the city. It is organised in zones to which different tariffs apply. (This information is accurate as of 8 April 2015) A minimum fee of £1 applies in all zones and there in no maximum stay limit. Zone 1, marked in blue, is £1 for 30 minutes then £1 for each additional 30 minutes from Monday to Saturday 8am to 6pm. From 6pm to 8pm the cost is £1 for 2 hours. One Sundays from 8am to 8pm the cost is £1 for 2 hours and 25p for every half an hour thereafter. On-street parking is free between the hours of 8pm and 8am.
Where to Go and What to See
While having a hire car in Nottingham is not always required, it is handy to have one for exploring the nearby Derbyshire countryside and for taking trips with the whole family. For example, kids will love a trip to the National Space Centre, just 20 miles away in Leicester. With simulated space flights, rocket towers and interactive galleries, this is one out of this world experience. For keen walkers and hikers, the glorious Peak District is just 1 hour away from Nottingham. Cosy pubs and cafes make a long walk in the hills even more special. 16 miles from Nottingham is the delightful town of Melton Mowbray. Here, Twinlakes Park is the ideal place to take the little ones to enjoy the rides, the outdoor waterpark and indoor play centre as well as lots of animals. Meanwhile, adults can tuck into the areas famous pork pies with gusto! Car fans will enjoy the Donnington Grand Prix Collection in Derby, just a 12 miles drive away. It has the largest collection of Grand Prix racing cars in the world. A little further away is the wonderful Yorkshire Wildlife Park. This 40 mile trip to Doncaster will take around an hour and a half. Once there, adults and children can admire everything from the cute wallabies and ferocious tigers, to anteaters and all kinds of other furry favourites. There is even a giraffe house and climbing frame for the leopards.