Cambridge

By | 16th January 2018

Do you need a car in Cambridge?

Do you need a car in Cambridge > Should you rent a car in Cambridge UK > Cambridge ( CBG )
Car: Do you need a car in 2? No car: Is it worth hiring a car in 2? Slider: Should you rent a car in 2? Should you rent a car in 2?

Cambridge car hire quick facts

Cheapest rate for one week Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]

85

 #108/300

  • Price alone isn't the only factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Cambridge but clearly it's an important one. See our "why" section for more figures.
How much should I expect to pay in the peak season? Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]

 €

85

 16/300

  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.
Free parking score Based on the number of hotels which offer free parking.Total 130 - of which 62 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

48

%

132/300

  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.

Cambridge public transport quick facts

"Top trumps" train score

Higher scores go to the systems which take you to the most amazing places.

47%

#123/300

  • [full notes - top trumps trains]
  • A good rail system doesn't mean you shouldn't hire a car, but it often means you have a decent range of options.

Overall public transport score {coming shortly}

This is a more practical rating based on bus and rail travel.

--%

#---/300

  • [full notes - overall transit] buses | trams | metro | local & regional rail | national rail
  • Is public transport in Cambridge good value, or is it worth hiring a car just because it is cheaper overall?

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score {coming shortly}

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Cambridge

--%

#---/300

Need, worth & should!

Whether you have come here asking "do I need a car in Cambridge", "is it worth hiring a car in Cambridge", or whether or not you "should" hire a car here, these are all slight variations on a similar theme:

Do you need a car in Cambridge?

This is essentially based on whether or not public transport and other "non car" options are good enough to get around and beyond the city.

Is it worth hiring a car in Cambridge?

Is car hire good value, especially during the peak season? How does this compare with transit fares?

Should you rent a car in Cambridge?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Do you need a car in Cambridge? Introduction

When someone asks "Do you need a car in Cambridge?", this often breaks down to two key questions:

  1. Can you actually get around using public transport, or is a car all but essential?
  2. Is it worth hiring a car in Cambridge? Is it good value for money, compared with non-car options?

Over the next few sections, we wil look at the pros and cons of driving in Cambridge as a tourist, and ultimately weigh these up, so we can answer the key question of Should you rent a car in Cambridge?

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments


Cambridge is the UK’s cycling capital – at least in numerical terms. The city itself is compact and driving is a nightmare. So why would you want to hire a car there?

Why should you rent a car in Cambridge?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Cambridge?


  • Explore Cambridgeshire villages.
  • Visit The Fens and the East Anglia coast line.

Why not? Visiting Cambridge without a car

What is public transport like in Cambridge? What about local conditions for walking or cycling? Can you rely on public transport and maybe a few taxis for most or all of your trip? Are there some times of year when it's easier to get by without a car than others? When should you rent a car in Cambridge?


  • There are very few reasons to visit Cambridge with a car – as outlined above!
  • Cycling city – Cambridge is the UK’s cycling city, with more journeys made by bike (per capita) than any other. Around 30% of all journeys in Cambridge are made by bike, putting it on a par with the Dutch average.
  • Easy cycle hire – starting at “Station Cycles“, which does exactly what the name suggests – hiring various different types of cycle directly outside the Cambridge station building.
  • Pedestrian friendly – Cambridge is also an easy city to walk around, with all the major attractions within a short distance of each other.
  • Take a punt – why not mess around on a boat on the Cam River?
  • Take a train to Ely.

Conclusion – Cambridge is an obvious place where a hire car really isn’t worth considering.

Verdict – no

Ratings

Our slider ratings range from 0 (it isn't even possible to hire a car, e.g. Hong Kong) through to 10 (you really must rent a car here, e.g. Phoenix, Tampa). However, most places are somewhere inbetween these extremes, and this is where it gets more interesting! Further ratings breakdowns, including a much more detailed public transport rating, are currently being added. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Would you hire a car in Cambridge?

Have you driven in Cambridge? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Cambridge?

Do you need a car in Cambridge? For some or all of the time? 

Tell us what you think using the comments section below:


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