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Car Hire Isle of Wight

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Isle of Wight Guide

Car Hire

Separated from the rest of the British Isles by the Strait of Solent, the Isle of Wight is a lovely island in the English Channel. Because of its mild climate, it is a popular resort and beach destination for many people taking trips from the mainland. Its attractions are essentially the many outdoor activities that can be done in this small island. Going around in your own pace via car hire is definitely recommended.

Who to Book With
The capital of Newport, located in the centre of the island, is home to many of the car rental offices. A few are scattered around major stops such as Cowes, Sandown, Ryde and Shanklin. The car hire firms found here are mostly local brands, including Value Rent a Car, Top Gear Vehicle Rentals, South Wight Rentals and others. Booking ahead via online sites when possible is a good idea.

Best Time to Go
Although the Isle of Wight’s climate is milder than that of the rest of Britain, it is best to come here in the very pleasant summer months if you want to really enjoy the outdoors and the main attractions of the island. Summer temperatures average around 23°C.

Need to Know Essentials
Upon collection of the rented vehicle, renters must provide:

- Identity proof (Photo ID)
- Driving licence (UK or International)
- Credit card
- Rental confirmation

For more info read our FAQ's.

The main towns and villages along the coast are connected by a fairly sufficient network of roads, while the more rural spots are connected to the main network by small roads. Several car parks are set up around the island, both for long-stay and short-stay parking. Fees range from around £1 to £2 for an hour of parking.

Our guide to UK driving will provide more information on driving on the Isle of Wight.


Ferries are the main mode of transport for entry into the island. Passenger and car ferries sail from Lymington, Southampton and Porthsmouth. Train services are limited and cover only the eastern towns and villages, while buses are the main form of transport with a fairly comprehensive network. A number of private taxi companies operate on the island with fixed fares for set destinations.

There is a service from Ryde to Shanklin, running twice every hour. The service is operated by Stagecoach Island Line, with a one-way ticket from Ryde to Shanklin costing around £4, or less for destinations between the two terminals. A summer service is run by Isle of Wight Steam Railway from Smallbrook Junction to Wootton. The basic fare is £8.

Several cab companies, such as A.S.A.P. Taxis and Cowes Taxi and Mini Coach Service have offices on the Isle of Wight, providing transport in standard cars, 16-seater shuttles and even coaches. A ride from Cowes to Newport begins at around £10, with surcharges for waiting and night services.

Buses are the main form of transport on the Isle of Wight. The network comprehensively covers the main towns and villages, with many buses running regular services, except in the southwest area. Southern Vectis is the main operator here, providing basic fares for around £4 and one-day passes for £10.


Holidaymakers on the Isle of Wight will discover that the island’s attractions are mainly based around its scenic outdoor areas. Natural attractions abound, but the same goes for historic sites and manmade tourist spots. Those looking for a bit of seclusion will certainly find it here at areas such as Steephill Cove. Driving around the island is easy, as the roads are very quiet.

Recommended Drives

The Needles (pictured above) - This is a row of chalk stone stacks jutting out from the sea in the far west of the island near Alum Bay. They are arguably the top tourist attraction of the Isle of Wight. It is also worth spending a few hours in the beautiful seaside area of Alum Bay. The sand here takes on different colours depending on the weather.

Steephill Cove - This is a bay near Ventnor offering breathtaking views of the sea. The southernmost part of the cove provides seclusion, with some areas only accessible on foot. A fantastic seafood restaurant is located in the cove, making this the perfect spot for couples.

Osborne House - This is Queen Victoria’s retreat on the island. It is worth the trip to see this historic mansion and its nicely kept grounds, which are open for visits year-round.

Practical information

  • Currency
    British pound
  • Driving direction
  • City speed limit
    48 km/h
  • Freeway speed limit
    96 km/h
  • Language

What most people want to know

The following questions and answers are a selection of the most popular questions. If you do not find the answer to your question, have a look at the Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us.

Is Carrentals.co.uk the cheapest?

Yes, we offer a guarantee of the lowest price - because we compare various retailers, we can always offer you the best price in town.

What do I need to do when picking up a car?

To pick up your car, you will need your voucher, passport, driver's license and a credit card. It is very important that your driver's license and credit card are in the same name as the main driver. Keep in mind that the local rental company will reserve a certain amount on your credit card as a deposit. This requires the PIN code for your credit card. If your driver's license is foreign (for example, in Chinese), you must bring a translation with you. Only your original passport and driver's license will be accepted - a copy is not sufficient.

Are there any additional costs?

In general, our rates are all-inclusive. Should there be any additional costs, our booking department will get in touch with you before issuing the invoice. Should you object, you can always cancel your reservation with no obligations attached (at least 48 hours in advance).

What kind of insurance is applicable to my car rental?

In general, Liability Insurance, Fire Insurance, All-Risks Insurance and Theft Insurance are included in the cost of your rental car.

What is a worry-free label?

Only rental companies with a high level of customer satisfaction are eligible to be included in our Worry-Free selection. This rate includes excess cover and unlimited kilometres. Your vehicle will be provided and must be returned with a full tank of fuel. With a vehicle from our Worry-Free selection, you can travel with peace of mind and no hidden costs.

How can I change or cancel my reservation?

You can cancel your reservation through "My Account". We recommend contacting us by phone if your changes to your booking or cancellation takes place at short notice (48 hours or less).

When will I get a confirmation of my booking?

Most reservations will receive confirmation within minutes after payment takes place. We recommend contacting our Booking Department for last minute reservations (pick-up within 48 hours).

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