Southampton Car Hire

Southampton Car Hire

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  • Huge choice of cars to suit every budget
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Southampton Airport (SOU) is an international airport on the edge of Southampton, Hampshire in the UK. It lies just 4 miles/6.1 km to the north-east of Southampton. Access is via Junction 5 on the M27, while the M3 is the London link.

Our car hire partners at the airport include brand names such as Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, and Hertz, among others. These are all long-established companies, so you can book with total confidence.

Currently a Fiat 500 (mini) costs just £81 for 4 days (booking online for a discount), the (slightly bigger) economy-size Vauxhall Corsa is only £85 for 4 days, and a large compact car such as the Vauxhall Astra (suitable for 5 people) is just £104 for 4 days. Rent a car with Enjoy Car Hire and you can explore Southampton and the gorgeous Hampshire countryside.

Guide to Southampton

Here’s a bit more about Southampton:

  • Southampton is a major port city in Hampshire, England with a population of 253,000.
  • It’s located 70 miles (110 km) south-west of London.
  • A resident of Southampton is known as a Sotonian.
  • The Titanic’s maiden (and only) voyage departed from Southampton, then sailed via Cherbourg in France and Cobh (formerly Queenstown) in Ireland, before setting out on its famously ill-fated voyage to New York.
  • Over 500 Southampton families lost loved ones on the Titanic, approximately a third of all losses, and 4 out of 5 crew members hailed from the city.
  • The iconic Spitfire fighter plane first took off from Southampton Airport, and early production was at the Supermarine factory in Woolston, Southampton.
  • Hundreds of thousands of Allied forces were stationed in Southampton during WWII, and it was one of the launching ports for the D-Day invasion of France in June, 1944.
  • Viking raids from 840 AD onwards contributed to the decline of the original city, before Southampton became a fortified settlement in the 10th
  • It’s a multicultural city, thanks in large part to its historical port status, extensive immigration, and proximity to Europe.
  • Southampton was the departure port for the Mayflower in 1620, which carried the Pilgrim Fathers to The New World (the Americas).
  • The railway line to London was completed in 1840, and the first dock opened in 1842.
  • Like many British cities, Southampton underwent massive expansion during the Victorian Era, and was known as ‘The Gateway to the Empire’.
  • The city was the major military embarkation port of The Great War/First World War.
  • The current Mayor of the city is the 797th person to hold the post!
  • Southampton is the 3rd-most densely populated city in the UK after London and Portsmouth.
  • The city has produced many well-known contemporary musicians, including Craig David (the city had a thriving UK Garage scene), Alt-J singer Joe Newman, 80s popstar Howard Jones, and The Delays. The comedian Benny Hill was born here, as was the current UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. Novelist Jane Austen lived here for a number of years, as did the artist John Everett Millais.
  • Southampton Football Club is nicknamed ‘the Saints’. They play in the Premier League and have a fierce rivalry with Portsmouth FC.
  • The city has a number of marinas, and from 1977 – 2001 was the home of the Whitbread Around the World Yacht Race (now called the Volvo Ocean Race).
  • Southampton has the world’s oldest bowling green, dating from 1299 AD.
  • In Southampton, as elsewhere in the UK, driving is on the left. The main roads observe the national speed limit of 60 mph (96 km/h), while the speed limit on most roads in UK cities is now 20 mph (32 km/h). Otherwise, 30 mph (48 km/h) is standard in built-up urban areas, 40 mph (64 km/h) on dual carriageways and the speed limit on motorways is 70 mph (112 km/h).

Things to do in Southampton

Currently a Fiat 500 (mini) costs just £81 for 4 days (booking online for a discount), the (slightly bigger) economy-size Vauxhall Corsa is only £85 for 4 days, and a large compact car such as the Vauxhall Astra (suitable for 5 people) is just £104 for 4 days. Rent a car with Enjoy Car Hire and you can explore Southampton and the gorgeous Hampshire countryside - here’s a bit more about Southampton:

  • Southampton is a major port city in Hampshire, England with a population of 253,000.
  • It’s located 70 miles (110 km) south-west of London.
  • A resident of Southampton is known as a Sotonian.
  • The Titanic’s maiden (and only) voyage departed from Southampton, then sailed via Cherbourg in France and Cobh (formerly Queenstown) in Ireland, before setting out on its famously ill-fated voyage to New York.
  • Over 500 Southampton families lost loved ones on the Titanic, approximately a third of all losses, and 4 out of 5 crew members hailed from the city.
  • The iconic Spitfire fighter plane first took off from Southampton Airport, and early production was at the Supermarine factory in Woolston, Southampton.
  • Hundreds of thousands of Allied forces were stationed in Southampton during WWII, and it was one of the launching ports for the D-Day invasion of France in June, 1944.
  • Viking raids from 840 AD onwards contributed to the decline of the original city, before Southampton became a fortified settlement in the 10th
  • It’s a multicultural city, thanks in large part to its historical port status, extensive immigration, and proximity to Europe.
  • Southampton was the departure port for the Mayflower in 1620, which carried the Pilgrim Fathers to The New World (the Americas).
  • The railway line to London was completed in 1840, and the first dock opened in 1842.
  • Like many British cities, Southampton underwent massive expansion during the Victorian Era, and was known as ‘The Gateway to the Empire’.
  • The city was the major military embarkation port of The Great War/First World War.
  • The current Mayor of the city is the 797th person to hold the post!
  • Southampton is the 3rd-most densely populated city in the UK after London and Portsmouth.
  • The city has produced many well-known contemporary musicians, including Craig David (the city had a thriving UK Garage scene), Alt-J singer Joe Newman, 80s popstar Howard Jones, and The Delays. The comedian Benny Hill was born here, as was the current UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. Novelist Jane Austen lived here for a number of years, as did the artist John Everett Millais.
  • Southampton Football Club is nicknamed ‘the Saints’. They play in the Premier League and have a fierce rivalry with Portsmouth FC.
  • The city has a number of marinas, and from 1977 – 2001 was the home of the Whitbread Around the World Yacht Race (now called the Volvo Ocean Race).
  • Southampton has the world’s oldest bowling green, dating from 1299 AD.
  • In Southampton, as elsewhere in the UK, driving is on the left. The main roads observe the national speed limit of 60 mph (96 km/h), while the speed limit on most roads in UK cities is now 20 mph (32 km/h). Otherwise, 30 mph (48 km/h) is standard in built-up urban areas, 40 mph (64 km/h) on dual carriageways and the speed limit on motorways is 70 mph (112 km/h).

Eating out in Southampton

Southampton has plenty of pubs, but these are certainly not your only dining and drinking options here. There are cosy cafes, family favourites, Asian fusion restaurants, hearty pub grub, and delectable dining opportunities throughout the area. Let’s tuck in to a few of Southampton’s tastiest locations below:

  • First up in our list is the quirky It’s a Pizza Thing Located next to the Southwestern Arms (you can take your pizza inside to enjoy with a pint), the pizzas are wood-fired in a clay oven in the truck. As well as pizzas, there’s garlic bread and even a chocolate calzone! Meanwhile, the meat-feast pizza is a must for our carnivorous friends.
  • Overlooking the water inside a renovated Victorian warehouse is the Italian restaurant Ennio’s. Every dish is prepared with the freshest ingredients and the grigliata mixta is their most popular menu item – a gorgeous mixed seafood grill with freshly caught fish. Main meat courses start at around £18, so it’s definitely at the higher end of the dining options. The popular lunch menu is more reasonable, with starters from £6.95 and mains from £11.25, or they have a 2-course lunch special for £16.95.
  • The White Star Tavern is the first gastropub on our list. The modernised British cuisine carefully prepared here has won many awards in the pub’s 100-year lifetime. Sit at the bar for a cosy meal, or enjoy the beer garden on sunny days. Their menus are being updated due to current circumstances, but rest assured their award-winning quality is evident. There’s a main menu, and also menus for Breakfast, Sunday Lunch, and Children.
  • That Lovely Little Café serves breakfasts, British food, and vegetarian options. Quaint and cosy, yet bright and ambient inside, it’s frequently full (a testament to its high quality) It also does takeaway, daily blackboard specials, and a Sunday lunch menu. That Lovely Little Café has won best café in the South of England for the past two years.
  • Curry has been Britain’s favourite food for decades due to the long influence of Asian immigration. At Coriander Lounge however, the emphasis is on a real back-to-basics of authentic Indian cuisine. At present there’s a 20% discount for orders placed online and picked up. Vegetarian starters start at £3-£4, while main courses start at £9. Each dish is prepared using centuries-old recipes for a really authentic taste of life in the India of yore.
  • The Rockstone is a pub/gastro pub with two outdoor gardens, in which mini-festivals and events are held ̶ The Blues and Bourbon Festival, Rocktober and Pirate Rumfest are held annually. They have a number of signature dishes, but the The Dirty South(ampton), BBQ pulled pork and kimchi is a real treat for the taste buds. While its prices are a bit more than standard pub grub, the fresh burgers especially are well worth the extra couple of pounds.

Car Hire in Southampton

Southampton city centre is just 4 miles (6 km) from Southampton Airport. There are multiple car hire options throughout the city and airport; often the best deals can be found at the airport, and pre-booking online almost always has generous discounts. Enjoy Car Hire partners with long-established, trustworthy car hire partners to bring you a very affordable, hassle-free driving experience. We work with more than 70 suppliers in 100 countries, which provides peace of mind wherever you’re picking up your vehicle.

Enjoy Car Hire Trusted Partners in Southampton include well-known brands such as Alamo and Avis to the north of the city/at the airport, while Enterprise for example has outlets in the South and East of the city too. Any car hire company you choose has been carefully reviewed for and customer service and quality by Enjoy Car Hire.

The most convenient way to book a hire car at Southampton Airport is online via Enjoy Car Hire – we can arrange your car rental in a couple of minutes.

To get to Southampton city centre from the airport, take the A335. The M27 is also close ̶ take Junction 5 (in either direction) and follow signs for Southampton city centre.

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FAQs about car hire in Southampton

Most frequently asked questions about hiring a car in Southampton

You can presently hire a Fiat 500 for as little as £71 for 4 days.
Economy car hire in Southampton or Southampton airport typically costs about £73 for 4 days/3 nights, ranging to £100 for a 5-door, 5-person car such as the Hyundai Kona. If you’re splitting the cost with others in your group, a larger car or small SUV such as a Nissan Qashqai costs just £117 for 4 days/3 nights at time of writing. You should shop around for the best deals of course, but car rental comparison websites like Enjoy Car Hire are reliable and efficient, because we automatically pool all the data from each company so you don’t have to!
The minimum age to hire a car throughout the UK is 21 years old. However, this can vary by company so be sure to confirm – some companies won’t rent cars at reasonable prices to anyone under 22/26/30 years old. Age limits may be even stricter for vans, people carriers, or luxury models.
Some car hire companies may apply additional charges for renting a car in Southampton – for example, for drivers between the ages of 21 and 26, or for customers who require tailored arrangements to satisfy special requirements. Excess-free packages are standard with most big car hire companies and most packages have road-side assistance included, as well as theft protection and collision damage waiver. The trusted partners at Enjoy Car Hire are well-established, trustworthy companies, so they should carefully explain any additional charges. If no additional charges are mentioned up front but you’re still unsure (and don’t want to be surprised later down the line), take the initiative and ask for a crystal clear explanation, and don’t forget to make sure that you fully understand all fine print in the agreement before signing.
Yes – it’s not unusual to add extra drivers to a rental agreement, as long as they hold a valid license, and an additional daily fee is usually charged. Again, this will probably vary by company, so please do confirm.
Choosing the best car to get around Southampton depends on your group size and travel plans – if you’re going solo a small car like the Fiat 500 is a stylish way to navigate the city centre. However, you’ll probably want to see the picturesque sights of rural Hampshire, in which case perhaps an Estate car like the Skoda Octavia Estate is preferable – currently just £150 for 4 days/3 nights.
Third-party liability insurance and collision damage waivers are included as standard in most car hire packages at Southampton Enjoy Car Hire. However, you should always confirm what to do in an accident with your rental company. In the unlikely event you have a serious accident in Southampton, call 999 immediately for emergency services, or 111 for non-emergency health matters.