As a fairly compact city, many visitors to Belfast won’t feel the need for a hire car. But for those keen to explore the wealth of nearby attractions, such as the Giant’s Causeway, the Old Bushmills Distillery and Londonderry, then renting a car will give you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your stay. One thing to bear in mind when visiting Belfast is that the border with neighbouring Republic of Ireland is open and you won’t necessarily know when you’ve crossed it. Our advice is to let your car hire agency know if you plan to cross the border – that way you’ll be covered in case of an accident or breakdown.
A view at dusk over the River Lagan in Belfast (Photo: Jonathan Mckee via Flickr)
Belfast City Airport has a total of 7 car hire companies serving visitors to the Northern Irish capital, all of which are located inside the airport terminal building. And if you want to ensure you get the cheapest deal, we strongly recommend shopping around online before you arrive. To help you make your choice, TravelMag.com has dug deep and picked out the best car rental companies across three categories: Most affordable, Best for families and Best for luxury.
Our car rental company search results
In conducting our research, we focussed on pricing, fleet of cars, previous customer reviews and company policies of all 7 car rental firms at Belfast City Airport to determine the three best options for you. Check out our conclusions below.
For cheap car hire, visitors to Belfast City Airport will find Europcar to be their best option according to our research. After searching for a wide number of dates, we found that they offer the biggest range of basic but reliable cars, such as the Vauxhall Corse, Fiat 500 and VW Sharan, and they also have a decent selection of larger cars, such as the Skoda Octavia, for those requiring a bit more space. As well as offering the cheapest deals, dustomer reviews are impressive too, ranging between good and excellent for all of our searches. One downside is that Europcar’s offices close every evening at 9.30pm. which is significantly earlier than most of its competitors.
Quite simply, if you’re a family looking for a spacious car, you’ll be spoilt for choice while browsing Sixt’s impressive selection. On most of the dates we searched for, there were at least seven estate cars available, ranging from the humble Skoda Octavia through to the rather more prestigious BMW 5-Series. Of course, which one you choose may depend on your budget, but the good news is that if you choose something on the cheaper end of the scale such as the Octavia, you won’t have to pay much more than £200 per week. However, like Europcar above, Sixt’s opening hours are a little unfavourable, with their desk closing at 9.30pm each day.
Whether it’s a compact SUV such as the Honda CR-V or something a little more magisterial like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class that you’re looking for, Hertz are our pick when it comes to luxury car hire at Belfast City Airport. Not only do they offer a diverse selection of sports cars and high-end cars, you won’t even need to burn a hole in you pocket if you choose wisely. For example, a Mercedes C-Class will cost you just over £300 a week for most of the dates we searched for. As for opening hours, the good news is that they’re open 24 hours a day, Monday- to Saturday, meaning there’ll always be someone at the desk to speak to, whatever time you arrive. The one negative is that if you’re arriving on a Sunday, Hertz offices are closed.