Derbyshire is a county that celebrates the rural side of English life. Some of the very best of Derbyshire will be found in the great outdoors, with Peak District National Park comprising almost half of the county. This rugged and dramatic landscape is at the south end of the Pennines and is made up of rolling hills and deep valleys cut into a limestone plateau. Choosing how to get around Derbyshire is an important decision when you tour here. You can use public transport, but it won't be a very fast or easy option, particularly if you are travelling with children. A hire car is a great choice, giving you the freedom to criss-cross this exciting area, which, as well as its natural attractions, is stuffed with historic buildings, market towns and villages.
The driving rules in Derbyshire are the same as the rest of the UK, with cars driving on the left and overtaking on the right. It’s mandatory to use baby seats for young children and for all other passengers to use seatbelts. Most of the car hire firms will be able to supply you with a baby seat at an additional cost, but it’s worth checking that they can fulfill this before you choose your preferred firm. Otherwise, you’ll have to bring your own seat, which can sometimes be complicated.
Make sure and use your hire car to get the very best physical activity, too. Search out car parks in Peak District National Park, such as Cutthroat Bridge car park, near Ladybower Reservoir and Hordron Edge Stone Circle. It’s a wonderful gateway to the natural beauty of the region.
Petrol stations are scattered throughout Derbyshire, mostly concentrated around larger towns. There is only a very small number of petrol stations within the Peak District itself, so make sure to research your route before heading off, in case you will need to reach one.
Book your rental car in Derbyshire at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Compact rental cars in Derbyshire are around 23% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about renting a car in Derbyshire
There are lots of reasons to take a car hire tour of Derbyshire, but the market towns and villages alone are a huge attraction (and it’s worth visiting as many as possible). They’re quite spread out, so reaching them without a car would be complicated. Buxton, for example, with its natural thermal springs is set deep in the Peak District. An 11 mile (around 30min) drive from Buxton is the beautiful village of Edale, also hidden among the hills; this is the starting point of the Pennine Way, the UK’s best-known long distance walking route. A drive of 27 miles (roughly 50min) from Edale will bring you to the tiny limestone village of Parwich, right on the edge of the Peak District. The larger county town of Derby is another 20 miles (about 43min) along the road and offers a more cosmopolitan slice of Derbyshire life in the centre of the county.
There are no motorways in Derbyshire, only major A-roads and a series of minor roads in more rural areas. There are no tolls either. You will find the quality of the road surface to be very good, even on the minor roads, and great pride is taken in their upkeep. A larger car would be preferable to a standard small vehicle; it will give you greater visibility and comfort when on the road. A GPS would make a good added extra too, particularly if you plan to explore the hills and villages of the Peak District. Drivers do need to be alert for agricultural vehicles and animal herds on the roads in rural areas.
Depending on the car hire company, you will need to be either 21 or 23 to hire a car in the UK. All drivers under 25 will generally pay a surcharge, and this may also be applied to older drivers, usually over 70 years of age. If you fall into this age bracket, it's worth checking this out in advance.
Compact (Class Compact SUV or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Derbyshire.