Featuring its own approach road which connects with the M56 motorway, Manchester Airport is just a 20-minute drive from the city centre. The most convenient way to cover this ground is with car hire at Manchester Airport.
The three-terminal international airport, the UK’s third busiest, is situated less than 10 miles southwest of Manchester city. It offers a convenient alternative to London airports for those residing or visiting the north of the country where cities like Leeds, York and Liverpool are located.
Who to Book With
For maximum convenience, drivers should book with a car hire supplier who is represented on site at the airport. Europcar is the only supplier with a presence in all three terminals, with off-site suppliers available but often requiring the driver to take a shuttle bus to the depot.
Need to Know Essentials
When collecting a vehicle, you will need the following:
- Your driving licence (both photo and paper parts)
- A second form of ID such as a passport or utility bill
- The credit card used to make the booking
- Your booking confirmation
For more info read our FAQ's
Most car rentals are manual transmission, so drivers requiring an automatic vehicle should ensure they request one in advance. Parking in the cities is typically expensive and hard to find, but affordable park-and-ride facilities are available outside most towns. Fuel can be obtained most cheaply at supermarket petrol stations, such as those found at Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys. A congestion charge of around £10 applies to road travel in Central London, but tolls are limited to just a few bridges and tunnels.
See our guide to the UK for more information on driving.
Transport options for those wishing to access Manchester city centre from the airport are good. Trains run directly to the city’s Piccadilly Station, while buses and taxis operate 24 hours.
Trains run from Manchester Airport Railway Station (between terminals 1 and 2) to Manchester Piccadilly Station every 10 minutes and to over 100 other stations in the north and beyond, such as Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle, frequently. TransPennine Express and Northern Rail are the main providers. The ride into the city from the airport takes around 20 minutes and costs around £3.
Each of the airport’s three terminals has a taxi rank outside Arrivals. The main operators are Arrow Cars and Hackney Cabs. Fares within the Manchester Licensed Area are determinate by meter, with the ride to the city from the airport around £15 and taking up to 45 minutes. The driver isn’t required to use the meter for journeys to destinations outside this zone.
Manchester Airport to Manchester city centre is about £15.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) bus services run to Manchester city centre from the airport’s transport interchange every 10 minutes (every 30 minutes at night). Additionally, there are regular daytime services to most parts of Greater Manchester and to major northern cities such as Liverpool and Birmingham, as well as National Express services to destinations as far afield as Dublin.
Manchester Airport’s three terminals are linked by Skylink travelators. Terminal 1, the largest terminal, caters to European and worldwide charter and scheduled flights, including those operated by low-cost carrier EasyJet. Terminal 2 serves a similar array of both charter and scheduled flights to cities around the globe, while Terminal 3 is mainly used for domestic routes.
Multi-storey car parks offering short-stay car parking are available next to each of the three terminals. Long-stay parking is available on site, but is only accessible from the terminals by courtesy shuttle, with even cheaper off-site options including JetParks and Shuttle Park.
There is wireless internet access throughout all three terminals. Access is free-of-charge for up to 30 minutes and £5 thereafter (daily and monthly rates also available).
Information desks are available in all three terminals.
Flight Information: +44 90 10 10 1000
General enquires: +44 8712 710 711
Bookings – Car Parks & Fast Track: +44 871 310 2200
Escape Lounge: +44 871 200 4450
The airport caters to reduced mobility passengers with disabled persons’ car parking spaces in all car parks. Bus services which are able to cater to the disabled run between the long-stay car parks and the terminals. Assistance can be arranged in advance through on-site service provider One Complete Solution, while Assistance Points are dotted throughout.
Restaurants and Bars
There is a wide array of eating and drinking options throughout all three terminals, including outlets of AM Express serving Halal Indian cuisine (Terminal 2, Arrivals), Bar MCR (Terminal 1, after security), Broadricks boutique café (Terminal 2, after security), Burger King (terminals 1 and 2, after security), Caffé Nero (terminals 2 and 3, after security and before security respectively), Costa Coffee (Terminal 3, after security), Delice de France patisserie (Terminal 3, Arrivals) and Trattoria Milano for pizza and pasta (Terminal 3, after security).
Escape Lounge (T1)
The Bollin Lounge
Escape Lounge (T2)
Virgin Holidays v-room
Bmi Executive Lounge
British Airways Lounge
Money and ATMs
Travelex foreign exchange outlets are available, as are ATMs.
Retail outlets exist in all three terminals, offering everything from duty free to last-minute gifts.
||Goods Sold & Location
||Accessories, jewellery, handbags and beach wear. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 after security.
|Biza Tax & Duty Free
||Duty-free goods. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 after security, and Terminal 1 Arrivals.
||Beauty and health items. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 after security, and Terminal 1 Arrivals.
||Business and travel gadgets. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 after security.
||High street fashion. Terminal 1 after security.
||Luggage and brand name bags. Terminals 1 and 3 after security.
||Jewellery and watches. Terminal 3 after security.
|The Body Shop
||Beauty products. Terminal 1 after security.
|Tie Rack London
||Ties and other accessories. Terminal 1 after security.
||Newspaper, magazines and books. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 after security and Arrivals, and Terminal 3 before security.