Why hire a VW Beetle?

A VW Beetle hire gives you a chance to experience driving this fondly remembered classic car with a cult following, affectionately nicknamed the ‘Bug’.

The Beetle hire car we have in Leeds is a convertible, making it ideal for open topped motoring in beautiful Yorkshire or Lancashire countryside.

Whether you want to have a leisurely day or weekend out in a classic car, or to buy a gift for someone who is a great fan of the VW Beetle, this one fits the bill. It also makes a cute and unusual wedding car which will make you and your guests smile. When hiring a self drive Beetle wedding car we know that collection can be difficult when you’ve so much to do on the day, so have a look at the wedding package.

Experience driving a VW Beetle

Classic VW Beetle Hire
Beetle -Hire this car from our Leeds branch
VW Beetle in the Yorkshire Dales
Beetle wedding car West Yorkshire

Pick up point for the VW Beetle is Leeds

Hire our Beetle from £133 to £195 per day

VW Beetle Hire

Originally built by Karmann in Germany, our 1970 VW Beetle Convertible has had a full body restoration in the last ten years and has covered only about 4,000 miles since. It is white with a black interior, and black hood. This Beetle hire car meets the original factory specification even down to the steel wheels.

Although not fast in anyone’s book, a Karmann cabriolet is stylish, rugged and great fun to drive. Karmann cabriolets were produced between 1950 and 1980 and what sets them aside from other soft-tops, Beetle-based or not, is the quality of the hood.

Our Beetle hire car is the 1302 model with a 1600 engine, which, together with the 1303, is commonly called the ‘Super Beetle’, due to having had the most radical rework of the Beetle during its long life. MacPherson strut front suspension was adopted, which allowed more front boot space and improved handling. The struts also allowed front disc brakes to be fitted.

History of the VW Beetle

Instantly recognisable, loved at first sight and probably the world’s most successful motor car, the VW Beetle was designed by Ferdinand Porsche. History reminds us that Adolf Hitler also played a part in bringing the ‘strength through joy’ project (as the Volkswagen was originally known) to fruition. Hitler met with Porsche in 1933 and asked him to develop a car which was affordable for everyone, a Volks Wagen or “Peoples car”.

However, some say that the dictator’s role is often overstated and that he actually hindered Porsche’s development of the Volkswagen. All pre-war Beetle deliveries were limited to Nazi party officials and nearly 340,000 German workers who had paid for the cars were denied them. Production was diverted instead to military vehicles.

Aside from Hitler’s interference, the Allies repeatedly bombed the Wolfsburg factory (which had been diverted into the manufacture of flying bombs) damaging much of the machinery. After the war ended in 1945 Allied military personnel were sent to Germany to begin the process of reconstruction. A British Army officer, Major Ivan Hirst, was sent to inspect the Wolfsburg factory and found a pre-war prototype Volkswagen in it. He was impressed by the design, so together with a Colonel Radclyffe (both motoring enthusiasts) he lobbied for production to start in order to provide cars for the British army.

By the end of 1946 the Beetle was well on its way to full production, and the foundations for Volkswagen’s successful automotive business were in place. One can’t help wondering whether the VW would exist at all today if Hirst hadn’t found the prototype.

By 1947, the first few VW Beetles were arriving in the UK. A manufacturing plant was set up in Melbourne, Australia and the Karmann coachbuilding company began production of the Beetle Cabriolet at Osnabruck in 1949. Sales increased dramatically in the 1950s and in 1957 the 2 millionth Beetle rolled off the assembly line.

Success in British and European racing and rallying aided international sales. 5 million Beetles had been produced by 1961 and at the height of production Volkswagen were producing a car every 4 seconds. Walt Disney’s film ‘the Love Bug’ did no harm to sales in the USA. Ironically, due to its unique and quirky design, Hitler’s Volkswagen attracted 1960s peace lovers and developed a cult following. Associated with surf culture and the hippie movement, they were frequently custom painted with colourful, flowery designs. The Beetle was said to be able to float on water (for a short time at least!) thanks to its sealed floor pans and overall tight construction.

Altogether over 21 million VW Beetles were manufactured. European production ceased in Germany in 1978, but the Karmann factory continued production of Cabriolet versions for a short period. The last of more than 330,000 cabriolets came off the conveyor belt in January 1980. However, plants in Mexico and Brazil continued where Germany left off, Mexican production continuing until 2003.

An interesting fact about the VW Beetle is that it was marketed simply as the “Volkswagen”. There are various theories about how the Volkswagen became known as the Beetle, but considering the car’s shape, it’s not surprising they are names associated with animal cuteness. Other nicknames for the car are ‘the Bug’ in the USA, and ‘the Coccinelle’ or ladybug in France.

The hugely selling VW Beetle starred in many films including the Disney film ‘the Love Bug’ in 1969 where it was named Herbie, a small, lovable outsider who beats superior automotive opponents.

Hire a classic Beetle in Yorkshire and become a member of the Beetle appreciation society!




Flat four, air cooled 1.6 litre rear engine

Top Speed

0-60mph 17 sec, max speed 81 mph

Power (BHP)

50 bhp at 4000 rpm and 78 lb/ft at 2800 rpm


Approximately 30 mpg.


4 speed manual.


Disc brakes on the front, drums on the rear



2 door, 4 seater soft top.

Luggage Space

Fairly limited boot space in the front but big enough for a medium suitcase and a bag.


White with black upholstery.

Sat Nav

Socket for SatNav

Hire a Beetle as a gift

Gift vouchers available for that special person in your life.

Prices – Select the option that suits you best

No single price suits everyone, so Classic Car Hire North gives you a choice of packages

All Day Hire

09:00 – 20:00


Additional days £145 per day

Prices include 200 miles per day

The All Day option is ideal for those who want a tour of the Dales, Moors or even the Lake District.  The generous mileage limit of 200 miles will even get you to and from the East coast.  The majority of people do around 170 miles when they hire a car for 1 day, and don’t incur excess mileage charges.

24 Hour Hire

Return within 24 hours


Additional days £145 per day

Prices include 200 miles per day

The 24 hour option is evening to evening and suits those who are planning an overnight stay.

Weekend Package

Saturday 09:00 to Sunday 20:00


Price includes 300 miles

The weekend option lets you take a relaxing weekend, with enough miles included to stay in either the Lake District, or the Yorkshire coast.

2 Day Mid Week Package

Tuesday 09:00 to Wednesday 20:00


Wednesday 9:00 to Thursday 20:00


Price includes 300 miles

The 2 day midweek option provides a lower price for those who have time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays for a leisurely 2 day break.

Proms Package

Available Monday to Thursday

Evening to following morning


Price includes 50 miles

This package is tailor made for proms. As long as you are not going too far,  this package should suit you perfectly. You can collect the car on the evening of the prom and return it the morning after.

Wedding Package

40 hours hire


Price includes 125 miles

This package is tailor made for weddings making it easy to pick the car up and drop it off without interfering with your big day.  Collect the car the evening before the wedding (17:00 – 20:00), use it all day on your wedding day and then return it the  morning after the wedding (09:00 – 10:30).


All prices include insurance for 1 driver

Additional drivers £20 per day per driver

Picnic for 2 can be added at £35

Excess mileage charge £0.75 per mile

Security deposit £750

The security deposit is not taken until you pick the car up, and is done as a pre-authorisation on your card. This means that no money is actually taken, it just authorises us to take up to that amount in the unlikely event that the car is damaged during your hire.

Driver Insurance Requirements

Driver minimum age 25, maximum age 75

In general, drivers need to have had:

  • a full licence for 2 years or more
  • no more than 6 penalty points on their licence
  • no more than 1 claim in the past three years
  • no mental or physical problems which affect their ability to drive

If you have any queries please contact us.

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