Car hire in Swindon is a good idea if you want to explore the area and have flexibility. Situated almost midway between the cities of Bristol and Reading, Swindon is a large town with a flourishing energy and electronics presence and holds the distinction of being the home of the UK Space Agency. Oxford and its world-famous university lies about 30 miles to the north-east via the A420, while Reading, home to the annual Reading and Leeds Festival, is about 40 miles east via the M4. Both are within easy reach with a car hire.
Hertz, Avis and National are among the list of providers operating at Bristol Airport (BRS) where you can obtain a car hire in Swindon. This airport is closest (42 miles away) to Swindon and likely the most convenient place for car hire pick up. The Car Hire Centre is located near the Silver Zone Car Park and requires a trip on the free shuttle to get there. The collection point for the shuttle is not far from the terminal entrance, just follow the signs once you exit the Arrivals Hall. They run about every 10min and are available 24h a day.
The M4, which bypasses Swindon to the south and east, as well as the A419 coursing along the eastern and northern fringe, are obvious markers for morning and evening rush hour traffic if you are heading beyond the town. There is an intricate system of roundabouts in the downtown area to manage the flow of traffic that may present delays and gridlock on occasion. Additionally, the two transfer bridges in close formation near the Gorse Hill district could prove tricky. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorbikes also share the streets so exercise caution at all times.
If you intend to avoid morning traffic jams you should either depart earlier than 07:00 or later than 10:00 to make your journey more enjoyable. Be advised that it’s not uncommon to experience tie-ups in the early afternoon hours of 13:00-15:00, especially near educational institutions and commercial centres like shopping malls. Inbound traffic should encounter delays from about 19:00 until about 20:30, notably along the M1 and A419.
Book your rental car in Swindon at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Mini rental cars in Swindon are around 70% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about renting a car in Swindon
You shouldn’t anticipate having any trouble negotiating the streets of Swindon so your choice of vehicle remains a personal choice. Economy and compact cars tend to be the most popular hires and are great with petrol and parking, but can be limited in terms of storage and passenger space.
Unless otherwise indicated, travelling at a speed of 30mph within the town is the legal limit. There are a few 20mph zones in areas where cycle and foot traffic is higher than normal. If you encounter single carriageways roads, the speed limit is capped at 50mph and along dual carriageways the maximum is 60mph. Whereas on the M4 motorway, driving your Swindon car hire at 70mph is allowed.
There are nearly 30 public parking spots managed by the Swindon Borough Council. Of them, six are the on-street parking variety, with a maximum limit of 1h and a rate of £0.50 per 20min. If you have a large vehicle the multi-storey parking garages may be more suitable. Tariffs here start at £1.40 per hour and they are open from Monday-Saturday from 08:00-20:00. On-street parking is typically free after normal business hours (20:00-08:00) and is always free on Sundays and bank holidays.
The average gas price in Swindon is ₪25.18 per gallon over the past 30 days. Filling up a gas tank costs between ₪302 and ₪403, depending on the car size.
Mini (Fiat 500 or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Swindon.