Located in the north of England and on the border of Scotland, this coastal county with areas of outstanding natural beauty is a wonderful location for a car hire trip. It has great roads, widely dispersed attractions, national parks and historic towns and villages set in wonderful rural countryside. You can travel by local transport but, given the wealth of activities and places to visit, you’d probably enjoy a trip to Northumberland more if you hire your own car. The North Sea is on the eastern side and the mountains of Northumberland National Park are on the north west. A larger car than a standard city vehicle will make a trip here much more comfortable. You won’t necessarily need a four-wheel drive, but an SUV or larger family car will give you much better visibility and make those rural roads a lot more enjoyable.
Driving in Northumberland follows the same rules as the rest of the UK - drive on the left and overtake on the right. All passengers need to have their own seatbelt and young children need to be secured in a child seat. Your hire car company should be able to supply one of these, but do confirm with them before booking. Otherwise, you will have to bring your own, which can be complicated.
Northumberland borders Scotland, but you don't need to worry about crossing the border. As both countries are part of the UK, all the same insurance and car hire regulations apply in Scotland as in England.
Compact car hires in Northumberland are around 34% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about hiring a car in Northumberland
You will be glad you hired a car in Northumberland. This lesser visited part of England has so much to experience. You will want to spend time on the coast, but then you will also want to travel the hour or so inland to get into the national park. There are over 70 castles across Northumberland, so choosing which to visit and when is no simple task. Families will want to explore the beaches, hills and water parks, and there are countless cultural and historic locations, too. Getting to sample even a fraction of these would be difficult and complicated via local transport, and so car hire is a really great way to make the county your own.
The roads are generally very good in Northumberland. There are no motorways or toll roads, only major A-roads and a series of rural minor roads. To reach many of the more interesting villages and coastal spots, you will be driving on these rural roads, so do look out for agricultural vehicles and stay alert for the possibility of animals on the road. Driving is quite relaxed in this part of England, so you should be too. Northumberland is recognised as a dark sky location where, due to the low level of electric lights in the countryside, you will have a better opportunity to stargaze than in many parts of Britain; it is something that should be on your to-do list here. This low light and visibility should be considered when driving in rural areas at night, and make sure to be alert for other drivers in the most popular places.
You need to be at least 21 years old to hire a car in the UK. Some companies insist that you are 23 years old, while drivers under the age of 25 will generally be charged a daily surcharge. Older drivers may also face an extra charge. There is no official maximum age, but many companies have rules around drivers over the age of 70. If you fall into this age bracket, it might be useful to have a letter from your GP explaining that you are competent to drive.
Supplier choice (Class Special Car or similar) is the most frequently booked car hire type in Northumberland.