Connections and routes are accessible to the Cotswold region from all the major London airports with Heathrow (LHR) and Gatwick (LGW) airports around two hours away. Birmingham is the closest at just under an hour’s drive to the northern Cotswold area via the A429, and the airport is less busy, so you can get on your way quicker. The A40 from Cheltenham will lead you to the medieval town of Burford via the Cotswold Hills and forested areas, or the A46 to Tewkesbury or Bath from which you can turn off at many points to reach tiny hamlets.
You can find 24-hour petrol stations located nearer to larger cities such as Cheltenham, Oxford and Bath in the Cotswolds and along major motorways such as the M5 or some smaller A roads. However, expect limited hours in smaller villages and towns with many closing on Sundays and evening closing times can range from 20:00 to 23:00. If you are returning your car hire to Birmingham Airport (BHX), you can find a 24-hour Esso Petrol Station on Coventry Road in Solihull off the A45 on approaching the airport.
It is illegal in the United Kingdom to drive while using a mobile phone. This includes just holding your phone for any purpose other than calling as well, including scrolling, or looking for play lists. The offence if caught can be a £200 fine and six points on you driving licence. It is also illegal to drink drive with the maximum amount of alcohol in the blood to not exceed 80mg per 100mls.
Remember to observe the different speed limits for different areas. Built-up areas require a 30mph limit, motorways have a 70mph limit, and the maximum speed on rural roads is 60mph. A white circular sign with a diagonal black line symbolises the national speed limit on country roads, meaning you can observe the 60mph limit when safe to do so. It is compulsory for all passengers to wear a seatbelt in the vehicle, including passengers in the back seat.
Book your rental car in Cotswold at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Mini rental cars in Cotswold are around 35% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about renting a car in Cotswold
Consider hiring a car in the idyllic Cotswold r in the south-western region of England which covers an expanse of 800 square miles, bordering the six counties of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Worcestershire. The area is very rural, with hundreds of miles of country lanes and roads, making a car a necessity to discover the region, as public transport can be limiting. Driving through the county will allow you to discover historic limestone villages nestled in beautiful countryside, castles and miles of protected conservation areas. You can also visit the historic towns of Oxford, famous for its old university and Bath, which is famous for its thermal waters.
A small vehicle is perhaps the best option for negotiating the country lanes and narrow roads of the Cotswolds. Manoeuvring along single-track lanes and dipping in and out of passing places is far easier with a smaller car and you are less likely to bump it against a dry-stone wall or another vehicle as you squeeze through small gaps, as opposed to a large SUV or 4x4. It will also make driving easier in cities such as Oxford with old, cobbled streets and small parking spaces. Other than this, roads are generally in good condition and the bigger A roads will connect you to many places. Drivers are generally courteous in the countryside and the pace is slower than London or other southern boroughs, allowing for a relaxed driving experience.
You must be 21 to hire a car in the United Kingdom, although some companies may request higher age restrictions. A surcharge is common for drivers under 25 and you should present a full UK driving licence which has been held for at least one year. If you are an overseas driver, you will need an International Driving Permit, alongside your driving licence from your country of residence.
Mini (Fiat 500 or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Cotswold.