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Torbay Guide

Car Hire

You might snigger, but Great Britain has its very own English Riviera, and the seaside town of Torquay is one of the jewels in its crown. Since the 19th century, people have been coming to this resort in Devon to enjoy the red cliffs and the string of nine high-quality beaches. Torquay is one place where a car rental makes all the difference if you want to explore the ruggedly handsome coast of Devon or cruise inland to the wild Dartmoor National Park.

Who to Book With
Torquay is home to a decent selection of national rental chains like Enterprise and local firms such as Riviera Rentals. You can find a handful of offices at the train station or scattered around town near strategic road junctions. Summers in Torquay get quite busy, with the town’s population tripling. Travellers are advised to make their car hire bookings online in advance for lower rates and a better selection of cars.

Best Time to go
Like most English seaside resorts, Torquay’s finest season is summer. The months of July and August are particularly fine, but that’s no secret, so the local population swells incredibly. To avoid the crowds, consider a trip on the edge of the summer holidays, in May or September, when the weather is still reasonably warm.

Need to Know Essentials
These documents are required when collecting your rental:

- A valid UK or EU driving license or International Driving Permit
- A second form of photo ID
- The credit card used with the online booking
- A printed copy of your confirmation

For more info read our FAQ's.

Driving
There are more than two dozen city-run car parks around Torquay to ensure that the huge influx of annual visitors is catered to. They fall into three time limit categories: shopper’s car park (80 minutes maximum), short stay (three hours maximum) and long stay (24 hours maximum). The rates are the same for every car park, starting at £1 for up to 40 minutes and £8 for up to 24 hours. These are all Pay and Display car parks, so be sure and put your ticket on the dashboard. Street parking with pay meters is also available in Torquay, although harder to find and promptly monitored by parking police.

The centre of Torquay is congested during peak holiday periods, but fairly tame the rest of the year. The city is connected to the main English motorway network by the A380 trunk road, which runs to the M5 and as far north at Exeter.

See our guide to the UK for more information on driving here.

Transport

Buses and taxis are the only forms of transport in Torquay. Most of the city centre can be explored by foot, and taxis handle the bulk of visitor’s transportation needs within the city. A car rental is very convenient for getting out to different beaches or driving around the countryside.

Trains
There are two train stations in Torquay, but most trains stop at Torquay Rail Station. This main station is located along the coast in the centre of town near Torre Abbey Sands. There are frequent daily services from London’s Paddington Station via National Rail. The journey takes about 2.5 hours. A couple of rental car agencies can be found at the train station.

Taxis
Torquay taxis do a brisk business, especially during the bustling summer season when you might actually have to wait for a pick-up. There are several companies to choose from, such as Torquay Taxis, one of the largest firms in town.

Buses
Several bus companies, including Stagecoach, First Group and National Express, maintain routes to and within Torquay. The bus routes vary by company, but are generally useful for visitors who need to move between major parts of the city and greater area. Fares are based on the distance travelled.

Exploring

The section of the English Riviera where Torquay is located is one of the nicest in the region, with nine popular award-winning beaches and many others farther out. With a car, it’s possible to spend days cruising up and down the coast enjoying the different beaches and resorts. For historical fun, check out the prehistoric Kents Cavern or the popular Babbacombe Model Village for a step back into England’s rural past.

Recommended Drives

The English Riviera - This is easily one of England’s top sections of coastline, and Torquay is right at the heart of the action. Drive in either direction and take your pick of the award-winning beaches like Maidencombe, Anstey’s Cove and Meadfoot Beach. The possibilities for coastal daytrips are limitless.

Dartmoor National Park - This is one of England’s largest and most inspiring natural areas, with dozens of granite tors, rivers, waterfalls and hiking trails to make access to this wonderland a breeze. The options for getting out and walking around Dartmoor are extensive from this side of the park, and Torquay is just a quick scenic drive to the south.

Kents Cavern - One of England’s most important prehistoric sites, just a short drive from Torquay. An extensive network of caverns and passages encouraged humans to live here 700,000 years ago. There is a nice combination of archaeological and geological highlights within the caverns, which make it one of the area’s top tourist attractions.

Frequently asked questions

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? This label indicates that a rental car satisfies the following requirements: Unlimited kilometers, no excess liability (and no excess cover available), sustainable energy policy, and that the car rental company has a good reputation. Availability of cars satisfying these four requirements will speed up the selection of a suitable vehicle for you. 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). Which car rental companies are compared by Carrentals.co.uk? at this location
  • Enterprise
  • Thrifty

Torbay

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