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    Car hire in Seattle at the best price

    On the West Coast of the United States, situated between Saltwater Puget Sound and Lake Washington, you’ll find the City of Seattle. This magical landscape is perfect for all-year round sailing, skiing, camping and hiking. Seattle is within Washington State and the County of King. The city has many points of interest, for example, the Space Tower - inspired by the Stuttgart Tower in Germany, The Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge - the world’s longest floating bridge, and let’s not forget that Seattle is the birthplace of Starbucks.

    Seattle is known for hosting the most live events and performances, with it having the most ballet attendance per capital in the United States. It is also the birthplace of the legendary Jimi Hendrix. With so much to see and do, a car hire in Seattle is a great option for getting around the city effortlessly. Auto Europe provides great quotations with a large selection of vehicles to choose from. We have partnered for over 60 years with numerous local, national and international car hire suppliers in order to provide you with a great service and an abundance of car hire collection points. Visit our Seattle car hire reviews page and read the comments posted by other satisfied Auto Europe customers following their recent car rental experience in the city.

    How is the traffic in Seattle?

    Rated as the second most congested US city during rush hour, and the fourth during normal hours, Seattle is a bustling city to drive around. However, don’t let this put you off. Seattle by car can be very rewarding. You’ll get to see all the wonderful architecture and points of interest from the comfort of your car. Rush hour in Seattle starts around 7am and ends around 6pm, like most other major cities. So it is advisable to avoid these times if you wish to make head way.

    Points to avoid vary within Seattle, but generally try to avoid the I-5 motorway in the downtown area, especially during rush hour. The downtown ramps at Yale Street and Mercer Street from Seattle Center to the I-5. If you decide to rent a car in Seattle, then we would recommend avoiding this locations and using public transport around these areas. The city's landscape and design doesn’t lend itself to making it a friendly city to drive in. Generally, drivers have to navigate through narrow streets, hills and numerous rainy days. For further information on driving read our United States road rules and regulations.

    Where can I park my car hire in Seattle?

    In downtown Seattle you will have to pay for parking, but make sure you get there early to avoid disappointment. Car park spaces especially downtown are very sought after, especially during holiday seasons. Overall you can expect to pay from $3 to $7 per hour. You will find 10 car parks in the Seattle Retail Core, Pike Place Market, along Pioneer Square and the waterfront. Likewise, the Washington State Convention Centre has plenty of modern and secure parking for your car hire in Seattle.

    There are also general rules and regulations for parking within Seattle. For instance, you cannot leave a car parked on the city street for longer than 72 hours. You should always obey local parking signs. Take note of operating times often located on signs next to yellow curb lines. These signs often indicate times of operation, types of allowed vehicles, etc. Totally avoid a red lined curb as parking and stopping here is prohibited, and will more than likely get you towed away.

    Seattle also has carpool parking, disabled parking, taxi bays, bus lanes, motorbike parking and car share zones. In addition, temporary no parking zones and time limited parking also exist. All of which have appropriately signage so make sure you know exactly where you are parking otherwise you could have a uniformed parking enforcement officer writing you a fine. Cameras are also in operation and can generate fines if they catch you not abiding by the road rules.

    Seattle Airport

    Seattle Airport - sited at SeaTac City - serves the metropolitan Seattle area and is located around 13 miles (21km) from Seattle City Centre. Serving an estimated 47 million passengers in 2017, the airport is a major local gateway to Europe, Middle East, Asia and the United States. The airport is also the hub for Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines.

    Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
    Address: 17801 International Boulevard, Seattle, WA 98158
    Phone: +1 800-544-1965

    What to do in Seattle

    With so much to see and do in Seattle it is difficult to list everything for you not to miss during your holidays. Seattle has a wealth of history and interesting tourist attractions to explore. From Pioneer Square to the lively University District, and the inspiring Bill & Melinda Gates Discovery Centre to the mini firehouse park ideal for kids, wherever you decide to spend your time, you’re sure to have a perfect day. This magical city offers practically everything for the visitor. A river cruise, seaplane tour to fishing out in the bay, here are our top five things to do whilst in Seattle.

    • Space Needle Observation Deck: The Seattle Space needle is hard to miss as you explore the city. Built in 1962, the tower stands at an impressive 250 feet, and can be seen from practically anywhere in the city. If you are looking for some amazing views over the city, then the towers observation deck is a must visit. To date, the tower gets an estimated 24,000 visitors every day!

    • Museum of Flight: If you are in love with everything aviation, then head to Seattle’s Museum of Flight, located just south of Seattle downtown. Housing the only Concorde on the US West Coast, the museum takes you through an exciting flight tour of both World Wars. Take to the Mustang flight simulator, or practice landing on the moon. Here you won’t only find the history of aviation, but the aspirations for aviation in the future – such as the exploration of Mars.

    • Seattle Underground Tour: If you think Seattle above ground is exciting, then wait till you head underground with a thrilling organised tour. Walk the subterranean tunnels of this amazing city and discover a past unlike any other. From Indian dwellings, to the Gold Rush era, and then on to modern times, this guided tour will take you along three blocks and through a centuries worth of history. The tour costs from $19 and it is advisable to have some level of fitness.

    • Old Ballard Brewery Tour: If you’re interested in finding out what Seattle’s brewery scene is like, then consider a guided-tour of the local brewpubs. The tour starts at Lagunitas Taproom Beer Sanctuary, one of California’s oldest breweries. It then moves onto NW Peaks Brewery which has been in existence since 1947. The tour ends at the Peddler Brewing Company where you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the beer garden on offer.

    • Seattle Locks Cruise: This two and a half hour cruise tour takes you through Seattle’s historical river locks. As one of the city’s most popular attractions, make sure you book well in advance. During the tour you will learn all about the city’s historical waterfront, and obtain a different prospective of the city’s skyline. From the river you can see the Great Ferris Wheel, the Washington Husky Stadium, and the Cascade, along with beautiful fishing and houseboat communities.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Seattle

    Seattle is well positioned to be able to take a day trip to various locations around Washington State and beyond. For example, the Canadian city of Vancouver is only two hours and 45 minutes away by car! Likewise, Victoria in Canada can be reached by ferry. Portland is just under three hours south of Seattle and if you are feeling a little more adventurous, consider taking your car rental from Seattle all the way to sunny San Francisco – although it is a whole twelve hours and a half drive. If you’re looking closer to Seattle, then consider these three recommendations.

    Mount Rainier

    Head to the Mount Rainier National Park and be captivated by this area’s natural beauty. From thrilling waterfalls to impressive glaciers, this nature reserve has it all. With a guided tour, you can learn all about this region’s history, the Christine and Narada Falls and visit the Paradise visitor centre. You'll be able to discover the wonderful alpine meadows first-hand, and if the conditions allow, you’ll even be given the option to sledge back to camp and to enjoy the views over Reflection Lake.

    Olympic National Park

    The glacial mountains of the Olympic National Park are perfect if you’re looking for a day of escapism and to reconnect with nature. You can either opt for a guided tour by van, or take the more scenic route by ferry. During your trip you’ll take in all the wonderful sights on offer - for example, Lake Crescent, Hurricane Ridge and Marymere Falls. Take in some local cuisine and enjoy the regions historical sites.

    Suquamish Native Culture

    When in the area it is important to also get an understanding of how the Native Americans lived and thrived even before Seattle came into existence. During this day trip you will learn about the local Indian Chief – whom Seattle derives its name from – and the Suquamish and Duwamish Tribes. You can catch a ferry to Suquamish Island, visit a traditional Native Indian Village and go on an extensive guided tour of the Native Indian Museum.

    Geographic Information & History

    Covering just less than 84 sq. miles, Seattle City is the United States most populous northern city. The landscape is mountainous, with the city resting on seven hills. Westwards you’ll come across the Olympic Mountain ranges, whilst Lake Sammamish is located to the east. Surrounding the city you will find lush forests, rivers, lakes, fields and the sea, leading to the Pacific Ocean. The city’s main harbour known as Elliott Bay forms part of the Puget Sound and provides an excellent port for ocean vessels.

    The region where Seattle now sits can trace its earliest known inhabitants back at least 4,000 years. Before the European’s arrived, the area was settled by numerous local Native Indian tribes. In 1851, European settlers arrived and settled near Elliott Bay in 1852. This settlement known as Seattle was named after a Native Indian’s local Chief. The city’s hay days revolve around a very successful timber industry. However, this didn’t last long and the next boom period came in the form of a gold rush. Nowadays, the city has focused on aviation and software as its main industries, with Bill Gates being one of its most notable figures.

    How to get around Seattle

    Seattle has a well-planned and efficient public transport system, ideal for getting you to wherever you need to go, easily, fast and often cheaper. Although a car hire is a great option for convenience, parking can be difficult in certain parts of the city, so we would recommend using the local network for more centralised areas.


    A bus network exists around the city and its suburbs. It links you to main travel hubs and downtown areas. Buses are operational during the day time and also at night; although a minimum service can exist. All buses will have the relevant destination displayed on the front. Payment is made onboard and you must exit from the rear door of the bus.

    During the night service, buses are allowed to stop anywhere along its route to let you off. You will have to inform the bus driver when you want to alight.


    The Seattle South Lake Streetcars ‘Trams’ has a total of eleven stops along its route. The service runs every 15 minutes, through the South Lake District. The First Hill Streetcars ‘Trams’ have a total of ten stops and also run every 15 minutes, covering the areas of China Town and Capitol Hill.


    The city has a central monorail network that covers Westlake Center and Seattle Center. With departures every 10 minutes, the journey time is only two minutes, but allows you to quickly avoid congested downtown areas.


    From Seattle’s King Street Station, you can catch trains to Portland, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Tacoma, Chicago and Spokane, stopping at various locations along the way. The service is operated by Amtrak, Coast Starlight and the Empire Builder train companies.


    The city operates an official metered taxi service. The taxis are generally yellow with a taxi sign on its roof. Uber, Lyft and Sidecar also operate in Seattle and can be easily booked via your mobile.

    Can I hire a campervan in Seattle?

    For those looking to add a little more adventure to their trip then consider a campervan during your Seattle holiday. Our motorhomes come with all the modern facilities you’d expect, such as a toilet, shower, kitchen and adequate accommodation. With so many Seattle campsites available, a motorhome will allow you to effortlessly explore the city and surrounding countryside.

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