Although the bus network is extensive, it lacks the flexibility and convenience of a car hire in Harlow, which affords you the ability to be on the go at any time, day or night, near or far. Few driving experiences can match exploring coastal roads and the town/cities along the way. If you’re up for a challenge, start with a ride down to Chelmsford (20.5 miles via A414) then continue on through Colchester (24 miles) and Ipswich (a further 18.5 miles) along the A12 before the stretch of 44.5 miles along the A140 which leads to Norwich.
Along the M11 motorway that skirts the town, it’s only about 17 miles to London Stansted Airport (STN), and this is as good a place as any to pick up a hire car in Harlow. There is a good selection of providers including Europcar, National and Alamo represented at the Car Hire Village, so you’re likely to get a vehicle even without a reservation. To get to the car hire area, you should catch the free shuttle bus that stops at the terminal forecourt to pick up passengers every 10min.
The A414 borders the town along its northern and eastern flanks, funnelling traffic through secondary streets such as the A1019, A1025 and First Avenue, which all make their way to the town centre. You can expect congestion near all of these junction points inbound and outbound during morning and evening rush hours. The town centre is crowded with cultural landmarks and commercial interests, so there will be significant pedestrian and cycle traffic as well as vehicles on the roads.
One area to avoid during the morning (07:00-09:00) and evening (18:00-20:30) hours is the ring road (Haydens Road, Fourth Avenue, A1019 and A102) between Harlow College and Princess Alexandra Hospital, which contains four roundabouts and is an obvious magnet for delays during these periods. This area is also vulnerable to moderate traffic from 13:00 to 15:00 during the afternoon lunch peak.
Book your car hire in Harlow at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Mini car hire in Harlow are around 47% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about hiring a car in Harlow
Harlow is a modern town, so it has few streets that might bother large passenger vehicles such as intermediate SUVs or luxury vehicles. If your budget is limited, try a late model compact or small economy car which is cheap and has excellent mileage to the litre.
Although there are certain areas (heavily populated districts and school zones) that are limited to a speed limit of 20mph, the legal speed limit in Harlow is 30mph. Secondary roads like the A102 and A1019 have a speed limit of 40mph and the A414 carries a limit of 50mph, however you can observe a speed of 70mph along the M11. All primary and secondary roads are subject to reduced speeds near junctions or interchanges, and they are monitored by CCTV and traffic cams, so exercise caution at all times.
Harlow Council operates close to 15 public car parks in the area. From Monday-Friday, between 08:00 and 17:00, charges apply at these pay and display lots. The first hour is usually free with various escalating charges after that depending on length of time and the location. From 17:00 until 08:00 on weekdays, you can park your Harlow car hire for free at any public lots, unless special restrictions apply. As mandated by Harlow Council, each public car park provides space for disabled persons under the Blue Badge programme.
The average price of fuel in Harlow is R123,17 per litre over the past 30 days. Filling up a tank of fuel costs between R1 478 and R1 971, depending on the car size.
Mini (Fiat 500 or similar) is the most frequently booked car hire type in Harlow.