Manchester Airport (MAN) is the third-busiest airport in Britain and the busiest outside of London, serving 29 million passengers annually.
Its 70 partner airlines connect this northern powerhouse city to 270 locations worldwide, including Montego Bay, New York, Beijing, Barcelona, Toronto and Amsterdam.
MAN is only 13.9 km south west of Manchester city centre, so you’re a short car ride from one of Britain’s most influential cultural centres.
And Manchester Airport car hire companies like Europcar, Keddy, Green Motion and Easirent offer customised deals for any driver, which often have features like 24 hour assistance, third party liability, and free cancellation up to 48 hours before the start of the agreed rental period.
The range of rental vehicles on offer is diverse too, so you’ll definitely find a make and model that suits your driving style, group requirements and planned itinerary. There are chic, compact models like the Toyota IQ and Peugeot 108, comfortable saloons like the Kia Optima or Skoda Superb, and SUVs like the Honda CR-V or Kia Sportage.
It’s easy to hire a car at MAN with Enjoy Car Hire – enter your desired dates and a couple of other details, hit the search button and you’ll have a choice of high-quality packages in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.
Manchester and the north of England combine all the attractions of a modern metropolis with charming countryside and a proud populace that’s warm and welcoming. Read on to find out more about driving around here and absorbing the ambience.
Driving in and around Manchester Airport
When you pick up your hire car in Manchester Airport, head north on the A5103 and you’ll be in the bustling city centre in under 20 minutes, with terrific towns like Bury, Bolton and Salford nearby and scenic rural areas like Rivington Pike and Smithills Country Park within close reach if you’re yearning for serenity.
Congestion & motorways
Roads in Manchester might not usually be as busy as they are in cities like London, but congestion and roadworks can occur, so tune into Radio Manchester to make sure the coast is clear for any journey you’re planning while you’re based here.
Manchester City Council has introduced several 32 km/h speed limits in residential areas where children and old people might be at risk, and a 48 km/h limit applies to other built-up areas with a street lighting system where the lights are no more than 200metres apart. Otherwise, the same rules apply here as elsewhere in the UK – 96 km/h for single carriageways, 112 km/h for dual carriageways and 112 km/h on motorways.
Trunk road and motorway network
If you’re a responsible driver, Manchester will pose no problems and you’ll be perfectly safe, but there are a few roads around the city which are statistically accident-prone – be extra careful on the A6, A56, A57, A58 and M60.
If you haven’t driven in the UK before, please remember that you always drive on the left here, as you do in every part of the country. And since the road signs might be unfamiliar, watch this Highway Code video so that you feel more comfortable and confident when you get behind the wheel. However, here are a few more tips for adapting to Manchester roads:
- Traffic jams can happen fairly regularly in the city centre and some of the streets there are one way, but be patient and you’ll be on your way before you know it.
- Don’t use your mobile phone while driving in Manchester – this is illegal in Britain unless you’re using a hands-free system. However, you can hold your phone and call from it when your vehicle is parked safely and any time you need to call emergency services on 999.
- The M60 is a ring road that encircles Manchester and the M62 takes you south to Liverpool – get to know these major roads and they’ll help you navigate your way around the city and beyond.
- There are several NCP car parks in Manchester, so you won’t struggle to find a space when you’re indulging in some retail therapy or socialising with newfound friends.
- You won’t find toll roads in Manchester city centre, but there’s a toll for the M6 if you’re headed towards the West Midlands, the Warburton Bridge charges a toll, and there are tolls charged if you choose to drive out to Liverpool and Preston.
A guide to Manchester and surrounding areas for MAN car hire companies
In many ways, Manchester is England’s coolest city and there are many reasons to support this claim.
It has produced some of the world’s most seminal bands, is home to two of the world’s biggest football clubs, and Mancunians are an earthy, authentic and talented bunch who wouldn’t swap their home city for anywhere else on earth.
From the city centre to the outskirts and beyond, this is one of the most dynamic regions in Britain and in many spheres it punches above its weight on a global scale too.
And its central location means that it can be an excellent base for exploring the Midlands, Liverpool and Scotland, especially if you’ve invested in a robust hire car that can cope with long-distance travel while keeping everyone in your group in comfort.
Here are some highlights to take in while you’re in the area:
- If you’re a music fan, nowhere in Britain has a broader and deeper musical heritage than Manchester. Outstanding bands from the city and its environs include The Stone Roses, Oasis, The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, Bee Gees, James, The Verve, Happy Mondays, Herman’s Hermits, The Beautiful South, M People, Buzzcocks, The Chemical Brothers, 10CC and many more. Whether you’re already a fan of these iconic artists or simply want to find out why the city is such a hotbed of tuneful talent, take a Manchester Music Tour where you learn all about it.
- Football fans are spoiled for choice here too, because this city boasts two football clubs of global stature. Historically, Manchester United has been more successful, with European as well as domestic silverware ensuring that their trophy cabinet is absolutely crammed and world-beating players like George Best, Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney gracing its books over the years, not to mention hall of fame manager Sir Alex Ferguson. However, Manchester City has been more successful in recent years and its current squad includes exciting players like Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and Sergio Aguera.
- Do you love hanging out in hip cafes, chilling out in artisan coffee shops, sampling craft beers, digging through record crates and checking our craft markets? Then you’ll definitely adore the Northern Quarter, Manchester’s bohemian heartland. Afflecks Palace is a must-see – it’s a huge indoor market where you’ll find everything from wedding dresses to fashion and clothing and cosmetics to comic books. Meanwhile, vinyl fanatics will pick up some rare treats in Oldham Street record shops like Eastern Bloc and Piccadilly Records and if you’d like to spend a few evenings here, The Abel Heywood boutique hotel in Turner Street has comfy suites, excellent cuisine, fine draught beers and a banging juke box.
- Just 45 minutes from Manchester in the Peak District, the stunning village of Edale is well worth the drive. It’s the gateway to the Pennine Way, Britain’s most famous long distance hiking path and the undulating hills are hypnotic. The Famous Kinder Scout plateau looms above the village, which has sublime stone houses and buildings, three campsites, two traditional pubs and a local shop selling essentials. If you want to spend a weekend in a romantic bolthole with your significant other, you’ll fall in love with Edale for sure.
- Salford is a city in Greater Manchester which is a hub for national media organisations like the BBC and it’s the home of Salford Lads Club, which will be familiar to fans of The Smiths as it featured on the cover of their album The Queen is Dead. The Lowry, an ambient arts space with three theatres and galleries showcasing the work of national and international artists. The Lowry Galleries feature major works by L.S. Lowry, whose ‘matchstick men’ paintings depicted local working-class life in an authentic, noble and empathic manner.
Renting a car with Enjoy at Manchester Airport is your launchpad to an array of awe-inspiring adventures in this modern multicultural city which has a fascinating history and embarrassment of cultural riches.
If you want to know the secret ingredient that makes Britain great, it’s distilled in the collective spirit of Manchester, where so many dreams have been made against the odds.
Popular Manchester transport hubs
Other popular UK car hire cities