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Southampton is the main port on the south coast of England and the nearest city to the New Forest. There is no shortage of attractions and events here. The city vibrates with a sporty energy: boat shows, yacht races, marathons, cycling events. The Titanic departed from Southampton port in 1912, and the SeaCity Museum tells its story through an interactive model; the Solent Sky Museum displays the Spitfire and celebrates aviation history.
Whether you are coming on holiday or for business, a Southampton rental car would help you make easier connections in an hour and 50 minutes to London (via the M3), Bath (via the A36) and Bristol (via the A34 and the M4).
If you land at very busy Southampton International Airport, a Southampton rental car will take you to the city centre in 15 minutes. If you arrive at London Heathrow, 65 miles away, a hire car would take you to Southampton in an hour and a quarter, or you can take public transport.
With a cheap Southampton car hire, you will be able to witness some of the most iconic sights around it: Salisbury (a 40-minute drive via the A36) with its awe-inspiring Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge (under an hour’s drive via the A303)’s pre-historic stone monument.
At Southampton International Airport you can pick up a cheap Southampton rental car from any of these brands.
In about an hour’s drive from Southampton via the M27 and the A27, in West Sussex, halfway between Chichester and Worthing, lies Arundel, well-known for its restored medieval castle, Arundel Castle, and the beauty of its countryside, as it is situated in a valley in the South Downs.
20 minutes is all it takes to drive a Southampton hire car to Winchester in Hampshire countryside. The 11th century Winchester Cathedral, the longest cathedral in Europe, is where Jane Austen was buried in 1817 at the age of 41. While you’re in Winchester you may also want to drop by the medieval village of Wickham, great for some antique shopping too. To see the house where Austen lived during the last eight years of her life and wrote Pride and Prejudice, drive further northeast on the A31 for about 25 minutes to the Jane Austen's House Museum in the village of Chawton.
If you intend to venture out as far as Bath, stop by Lacock, a National Trust village, which is so quintessentially English, it has often been used as setting for films, such as the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice, Downton Abbey and Harry Potter movies. It is about 70 miles from Southampton, just over an hour and a half in a Southampton hire car via the A303.
Drive on the left side of road and only overtake on the right. At roundabouts get in the correct lane as soon as possible and stay there; indicate if you’re turning right or left; give way to the traffic on the right side.
British car hire companies generally provide manual transmission cars. If you prefer an automatic one, you need to specifically request one from your car rental company.
Seat belts are obligatory by law in the UK. When driving, always keep your ID, driver’s licence and car insurance documents at hand.
To start planning your trip to Southampton and other parts of the UK, check out this city guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.
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